Here’s a picture from my son’s recent 5th grade graduation ceremony. In the picture is one of my son’s friends, who is also on his All Star baseball team.
If you’re anything like me, you’re not focusing on 11 year old Jacob getting his diploma and moving on to the next phase of his educational career. Hells no. You are thinking — why the #$%& wasn’t my Assistant Principal in elementary school this easy on the eyes?
Perhaps — for me — the reason is because my Assistant Principal at Father Andrew White S.J., Elementary School was named Sister Francis Miriam, who
- Threw an eraser at you from the blackboard if she thought you weren’t paying attention.
- Kept a stash of colorful plastic bow-shaped barrettes to place in the hair of boys who she said “needed to get the hair out of their eyes so they could see better until they could make a trip to the barber”. I remember that Keith Bridgewater sported every color of the rainbow during his eighth grade year.
- Safety-pinned poor Billy Cusak to her dress and made him follow her everywhere for an entire school day because he was misbehaving.
- Upped the ante by tossing — with amazing speed and accuracy — a piece of chalk at you, if the eraser didn’t work.
- Nearly popped a blood vessel when the most common mis-spelling in every students’ “The Holy Trinity and Me” essay was “Holly Sprite”.
- Patrolled the lunch room with a greater tenacity, fierceness, disdain for frivolity, and glee at imposing punishment than any correctional officer featured on MSNBC’s documentary series Lockup.
- Consulted with the 8th grade teacher Mrs. Aud about who should have to go outside in the rain to clap the erasers clean. (Editor’s note: Mrs. Aud could barely be bothered with that decision anyway, since she was too busy A) trying out OPI’s lastest color (Schoolmarm’s the Charm), and/or B) plucking her chin and nose (!) hairs during individual/quiet study time, and/or C) scolding me for making the dots of my i’s into circles because that’s not WJWD [what Jesus would do] since those demonic little circles meant that I was summoning Lucifer to bring on the apocalypse and was I really ready to shoulder the entire burden for the end of civilization at the tender age of 12?)
- Conducted the eighth grade girls’ charm class. That really ‘effing took with me, huh?
- Called the 7 students who were math whizzes in 8th grade her “boys in the bullpen” and frequently spent half of the class talking about the Orioles’ Ken Singleton’s amazing walk percentage or how Earl Weaver should have pulled Scotty McGregor an inning earlier because his arm was tired, all while ignoring the rest of the students in the class. Some of us non-math whizzes would have been happy to be part of that conversation, but alas, we were resigned to changing the dots in the division sign to circles in an attempt to bring on the end of
math classcivilization even quicker.
- Was a total McHotHead about misbehaving demon spawn of unrepentant parents. But was most definitely not a McHottie.