…We probably should have had a male teacher in Grade Eight. The hormones were just beginning to manifest, to kick in, to be vibrant and rebellious. Not quite full blown mind you but just beginning to flower. We were beginning to need discipline. Our innocent, angelicalness ways were beginning to transform into awkward stupidity, as evidenced by the peach fuzz on our chins and our winter Friday night skating get togethers at the park and at George Blodger’s proposed Christmas house party that was undermined by Sister Mary Bernice. Riding shotgun on this matter, the good sister called all of the parents of our Grade Eight class and in typical Catholic vernacular promised brimstone and hell fire, damnation, or worse, if any one of us dared attend this party, with the real threat of excommunication for our parents and the Sanctimonious Tool for Restraint And Providence for us, the party was cancelled. I for one was really disappointed for I really wanted to see Sister Mary Bernice dish that punishment out. For thirty of us! My God! Her perseverance and endurance would have been ecclesiastical in its inspiration and miraculous in its execution.
I always wondered why Catholic Elementary schools were co-educational yet Catholic High Schools separated the girls from the boys. It never really dawned on me until this moment in time, as I am reflecting and writing on this. Of course! The nuns couldn’t fathom the physical attractiveness between the sexes. If they could, they, and the Catholic School Board, error-ed by one maybe two years. We should have been separated after Grade Six, Grade Seven at the latest. The Protestant School Board understood this fact of life all too well. That is why they instituted middle school or junior high as they called it. The transition phase! The Catholics, not so much. Some of us lads, like Jim Reynolds, McDink and a few others, repeated grades in Elementary School a plethora of times. By Grade Eight some of them were driving their own cars to school for Chr…heaven’s sake and some of the lasses disappeared suddenly never to be seen or heard from again except after spending some time in Home Economics School. After all this was 1963!
Pope John the Twenty Third died in April.
President Kennedy was assassinated in November.