Years ago I saw a picture of Madonna in a Tshirt that said I Survived Catholic School and thought, her too? How does one describe Catholic school, honestly, I can't begin to tell you. But Bill O'Reilly does a good job of it.
Yes, Bill O'Reilly that Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity. I borrowed his book on a recent trip to the library and have been laughing out loud since. Most everyone is familiar with the O'Reilly we see on TV, the brash, ego-driven, pompous so and so. But apparently, Bill and I have more in common than I would have thought.
Bill went to St. Brigids School in Westbury, NY which he describes as cruel and unusual punishment. My incarceration began in Kindergarten at Star of the Sea School in Honolulu, HI. We both attended school when corporal punishment was the norm. I was a well behaved student but even I had my knuckles rapped. Bill on the other hand was a little knucklehead who inspired a nun to come up with this very original quote...William, you are a bold, fresh piece of humanity!
That will be three Hail Mary's, one Our Father and
At our school, the nun's came up with an unusal method of keeping their young charges compliant...the spanking room. I am not making this up! It was actually a supply closet but we didn't know it at the time. It was never actually described to us but believe me we had very fertile imaginations. I pictured it as some sort of machine that had belt straps attached to it and doled out punishment to poor unsuspecting children. God forbid the dog really did eat your homework!
On his eighth-grade report card, Bill describes a comment written by Sister Mary Martin: Socializes quite freely yet resents correction! As a side note, strangely, most nuns were named Sister Mary Something. Anyway, after viewing the note, the conversation at the O'Reilly house went like this.
Mr. O'Reilly: What the hell does that mean?
Bill: I'm popular.
Mr. O'Reilly: Get less popular!
Bill: Okay.I really admire the way Bill thinks on his feet! By the way Bill had a sister Janet, who was neither fresh nor bold and the nuns loved her.
Bill continued his Catholic education and graduated from Chaminade High School while I switched to Kalani High School, a public school at the start of my sophomore year. I can only say that I went through some serious culture shock! You just wouldn't believe it. Such language, such gestures, smoking in the bathroom, cutting class? OMIG - I had just landed on Mars!
In the end I believe changing schools was a good thing giving me exposure to the outside world. In Catholic school there was no doubt we were sheltered. What I missed most besides my childhood friends was the structure and discipline. Although I had made friends and did well in public school my loyalties lay with Star of the Sea. And yet I still feel some conflict about it. The stories I could tell you, I know you would shake your head in disbelief.
Let me leave you here. I'm only half way through the book and I am curious what other adventures Bill and I may have in common.Remember if you have any comments keep it pithy and no bloviating. That's Bill's job!