Friday, May 27, 2011

My Sinful Career Choice At Age 12

Yet another Catholic school horror story 
for your reading pleasure.
In this post on Wednesday, I promised to fill you in on this horrible forced career discussion I had with a fifth grade nun. Here ya go...

Eighth grade was a monumental year. As a Catholic school kid it meant graduation and confirmation. Big and exciting changes for a kid. Part of the confirmation process required each kid to survive an interview with an assigned random teacher. I was sent to speak with a 70-year-old fifth grade nun, Sr. Frances Dorothy.

I was sweaty and nervous. Sitting on a hard, creaking wooden chair next to her hulking metal desk, I tugged on my black snug-fitting polyester uniform skirt. Sitting meant the skirt would rise a bit above my knee and I dreaded her putrid frown. I did my best to brush off and flatten my goldenrod button-down blouse and hideous skirt-matching black polyester vest. No lie, I looked like a fat bumblebee. Only I wasn't  young and adorable like that little bumblebee girl in the Blind Melon video.

Not quite as cute in my yellow and black school uniform.

She rattled off several standard questions, which I answered as best I could. Things were going rather smoothly until we hit upon a question I wan't quite prepared for. "Have you thought about your future? What career path do you see yourself following?" Lady, I'm 12 -- I had late birthday syndrome making me younger than my classmates. What the hell kind of question is that? 

Sitting as straight as I could--posture was important to nuns--I told her the truth. We were taught as Christians that lying was a sin. It was always a no-win for me. My truths always got me detention. Kinda like the time I got busted for fessing up to forging Alfred's mom's signature on his failing quiz to protect him from getting in trouble -- the things we do for love.  

I longed to be a television actress. I felt movies would be too difficult to land, but maybe the chubby sidekick on a show or cute high school guy's younger sister. Ya know, like Tracey Gold in Growing Pains? I was going to make it. I attended Hofstra University's summer drama camp that past summer. I had talent. Not. 

I'd be happy just playing the chubby sidekick.

I blurted out my career plans as Sr. Frances remained still and tight-lipped. She cleared her throat and began to tell me how my career choice was sinful. It was a selfish world filled with money, backstabbing and booze. She reprimanded me and suggested I do some serious soul searching and find a more respectable career like nursing or teaching. 

Flustered and panicked, I began defending myself saying I would make large donations to Catholic charities. I told her many celebrities like Oprah and Bill Cosby help others. She didn't want to hear another word about it. The subject was changed and she shooed me out of her classroom. 

If Sr. Frances was alive today, I'd like to tell her I had four children's books published, but guess what? She'd be disappointed that they were all about, gasp, CELEBRITIES. Hey, if you can't be one, write about one. Right?

Thirsty for more tales from an EIGHTH grade nothing? Here's a diary entry from back in the day. Bonus picture of what I looked like that year. Ick.


Lady Estrogen said...

Oohh.. that was FUN!
And that Blind Melon girl? Only cute in a funky weird kinda way. haha.

I've got loads of horrible school stories too - you'd appreciate them. x

Unknown said...

To be honest, almost every position out there could probably be deemed sinful in some sort of way.

For example, Doctor's play God all the time. They make way too much money. If they really did it for the love of their careers, they'd do it for less money, right? Greed = Sin.

Yes, a huge stretch I know, but I grew up arguing with people, and still love to do it today. I'd have fun with the sister.

Until she pulled out the yardstick and whacked my knuckles. Damn them and their long, wooden trumpcards...

(as a ps - your captcha was 'boozy.' hahahaha)

the late phoenix said...

i can relate, the nuns for me were a constant presence, fear of them turned to love

blind melon=awesomeness of an era in music long since dead

and i love mindy cohn! (scooby doo, mystery incorporated anyone?)

peace :)

PeaceLoveandSharpies said...

Oh geez.
I still say you could become a philanthropist celeb. :3

I remember in our Kindergarten graduation, we had to say what we wanted to be when we grew up.
Half the girls said "princess." xD

Ms. A said...

I wouldn't have made it in a Catholic school.

Riot Kitty said...

I would have gotten kicked out of a school like that...btw in 8th grade, one of my friends came to school on Halloween as a pregnant nun.

LaraAnn said...

I love your Catholic school memories. I've got alot of my own too, mostly bad ones from high school but many good ones from grade school. I don't really remember much about my confirmation like you do though. The nun that scared me was Sister Jane. She was the math teacher and I wasn't good at this subject. She said that I had a fat head when measuring it for the graduation cap.

Cheeseboy said...

I think I dated the Blind Melon girl later in life. Was that you? You didn't spend any time in Utah, did you?

Oprah and Bill Cosby are Catholic?

I loved this story.

M. Hicks said...

I love your choice of pictures. Your choice to post your diary was really bold too. I remember the challenger as one of those really vivid moments in my childhood as well.

Ally said...

@lady - i love comparing catholic school horror stories!

@lost in idaho - so true!

@late awesome, right? miss old bands...

@peacelove so funny, i remember those girls too :)

@ms a & riot & lara - it was a difficult task staying enrolled ha ha.

@cheeseboy - never said they were catholic, said they gave to charities as do most celebs.

@m hicks - thanks, i have lots of diary posts from the old days.


Belle said...

Great story!
I'll never forget the look on the face of a college counsellor when I (the young mother of two children) told him I wanted to be an archeologist! It was a mixture of shock and pain as he then explained how that would be impractical.

Ada said...

What a judgmental lady!

Teachinfourth said...

Man, do we ever really become that which we thought we'd be as kids? I am not who or what I thought I'd be when I was a kid...

Not saying it's bad, but I didn't see myself here. I was supposed to be a movie director, movie star, writer, director, and pretty much famous.

I guess in my own little world I've got the last one least amongst 5th graders.

~ Noelle said...

loving your blog... just found it and i am already hooked!


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