Catholic School psyche

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Catholic School psyche

Post by world citizen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:24 pm

I went to Catholic school grades 1-6 and still have vivid memories of a living hell in three of those grades. I was in such a state by the end of my sixth year that my parents didn't have a choice but to switch me over to the local public school. Anyone here a Catholic school alumnus? Want to share memories, good or bad?
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:34 pm

Not me, fortunately.

My first husband went K-12 to Catholic schools. Most of his friends had as well. Not a one of them still subscribed to the party line and every one avoided going to Mass except when coerced by parents.

Ex said that the best way he knew to produce an agnostic or atheist was to send your kid through Catholic schools.

That's one of the few things about which he and I agreed.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by world citizen on Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:44 pm

Hello again, Dot ~

I sent my children to public schools and raised them with the Baha'i understanding that all of the world's classic religions come from the same Source. When it came time for high school, one of my daughters begged to go the Catholic high because that's where her closest friends would be attending. Her dad paid for her to go, but I tried to talk her out of it. Fast-forwarding to today, that daughter hasn't set foot in a church since high school graduation. She and her husband attend a Methodist church for the sake of my grandchild, but neither of them are tied to any denomination. My son-in-law had attended a Catholic college.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:16 am

If it doesn't raise too many bad memories, may I ask what you found so hellish about Catholic schooling? Sadistic nuns? (And for the unfamiliar who may read this, I mean that quite literally. I truly think some got their jollies from being cruel to kids.)

Personally, based upon two weeks of Vacation Bible School taught by nuns each summer, I found Christopher Durang's play, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, somewhat representative.

My "nundar" was finely tuned enough having an aunt who was a nun that I could spot and avoid the nastier ones. Which is not to say that my aunt was one of the sadistic types... However, there's enough weirdness to the basic conditioning that she'd have her freakier moments to the point that Grandma told me and my cousins to be sure not to ask to play priest-giving-communion when Sister was visiting.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by tmarie64 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:22 am

My husband and all 4 of his siblings went, K-12. No horror stories or nightmares. He enjoyed it.
My youngest brother and sister went, for several years, then, we moved to KY and the principal at that school was crazy as a shithouse rat and decided that Kathy (my sister) was bad, or something, and she rode Kathy so hard (5th grade) that she (K) started to develop an ulcer.
I went for one half of the first grade, but don't remember it.
There were no other schools close enough to switch us to so we went to public schools.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:55 am

I think that Catholic schools, like all other schools probably depend largely on where you go. Not that I ever went to a Catholic school. My schooling was public the whole time.

But you have your crazy teachers and admin in public schools as much as you do private school.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by tmarie64 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:32 am

Yes, SG. I had many arguments with teachers over my church.
My sister had one teacher who made her stay in every Monday during recess so she could give Kathy a Sunday school lesson, because, apparently, our CCD classes weren't good enough.
My husband's school years were great. He enjoyed the school. It offered a much better education than the public system at that time.
Our daughters would have stayed in Catholic school longer if the principal, a layperson, had not been more wrapped up in it being "private" than "Catholic". She was unfair to the kids of blue collar families and the doctor's and lawyer's kids could do whatever they wanted.
The year I pulled my kids out the school lost 14 Catholic children, 9 different families pulled their kids out at the same time.
There's good and bad in every system.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:35 am

True, SG. There are nutjob, sadistic teachers in public schools, too, of course. However, from what cousins told me, the sadists in Catholic schools have a lot more leeway to treat kids like crap.

I dunno from anything but hearsay, thankfully never having had to go to one.

However, of my cousins who went to Catholic schools, only one is still a regular churchgoer of the dozen or so that I know got at least part of their K-12 there. But then, he's a bit of a nutjob anyway despite being a brilliant engineer who does top-secret design work on the space shuttles and the like. Suffice it to say that I do NOT discuss any issues the Catholic Church is hardcore about such as abortion or birth control with him. He can even get incensed about the possibility of women as priests.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:35 am

I had the aquaintence of a neat black woman in her late 40s/early 50s who went to Catholic school. The spankings were pretty severe, she recalled, and they had a child that would be identified as what is considered ADHD now they had to keep locked in a box during lessons. That was what stood out in her mind the most.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by AutumnalTone on Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:51 am

My ex-wife did K-12 in a Catholic school. She was only nominally Catholic when we were together and stepped away from the Church completely when the outcry over the pedophile priests and coverup of their activities started up.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by world citizen on Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:01 pm

Thanks to all for your input. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that a parochial education is excellent. When I transferred to public school in the 7th grade, I was relearning things I'd already covered in the 5th grade. It was sooooo boring for a while.

The question was asked about what I'd gone through that was so traumatic for me. Almost 60 years after the fact I still remember the name and the face of the demon nun I had the misfortune to have in both the third and fifth grades. I still recall vividly when her abuses of me began. In the third grade I made the mistake of going to another church for Sunday "mass" with a girlfriend. Anyone who missed the 9 am children's mass had to stand at the back of the room and give an accounting. If it passed muster you got to return to your desk. If not...

At first Sister Mary Regina was satisfied to learn that I hadn't missed mass but had gone to another church. My fatal error was in answering the question "Which church?" It seems I'd committed the "mortal sin" of attending a non-Catholic church and the woman went ballistic. Hell, at eight years old and indoctrinated, I didn't even know there WAS another kind of church. Rather than the usual ruler-on-the-hand-after-waiting-in-the-cloakroom punishment, I was castigated in front of the entire class, assured I was doomed to eternal hell, and went home with welts on my behind - also received in front of the class (as a lesson for all I suppose). Life improved little after that. Things that went wrong in her classroom (e.g., a broken statue) were blamed on me and tearful denials had no effect. Who in her class would be stupid enough to stand up for me and take the heat for being the actual perpetrator?

One good thing DID come out of that experience. It was the beginning of a lifelong curiosity (until I found the Baha'i Faith) as to WHY there were so many religions if ALL were doomed to hell other than the Catholics. Even at that tender age I knew my girlfriend was too nice a person to go to hell. Glad I didn't say that to Mary Regina!
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by world citizen on Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:13 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:I think that Catholic schools, like all other schools probably depend largely on where you go. Not that I ever went to a Catholic school. My schooling was public the whole time.

But you have your crazy teachers and admin in public schools as much as you do private school.
In public schools the teachers aren't given carte blanche to use corporal punishment as they see fit.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by tmarie64 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:14 pm

world citizen wrote:
sacrificialgoddess wrote:I think that Catholic schools, like all other schools probably depend largely on where you go. Not that I ever went to a Catholic school. My schooling was public the whole time.

But you have your crazy teachers and admin in public schools as much as you do private school.
In public schools the teachers aren't given carte blanche to use corporal punishment as they see fit.
Not now... They used to be quite loose with the paddlings and humiliations. We had a "bad box" in our classrooms, PUBLIC classrooms.
No schools are allowed "carte blanche" with physical discipline now. It would be nice if all the facts about ALL the options were given.

Seriously folks, I really almost hate to open discussions here because I don't see debate, I don't even see a willingness to debate..I see dislike, hatred and half truths. You take limited experiences and paint the ENTIRE group by those. How is that any less wrong than saying, "I was mugged by a black man, all blacks are thugs"? Or "Muslims attacked the U.S. in 2001, all muslims are murdering scum"?
A little fairness...
That last sentence, wc, SHOULD have read "In public schools teachers WEREN'T"...Not "aren't"... because no one is given carte blanche any longer.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:08 pm

tmarie64 wrote:
world citizen wrote:
sacrificialgoddess wrote:I think that Catholic schools, like all other schools probably depend largely on where you go. Not that I ever went to a Catholic school. My schooling was public the whole time.

But you have your crazy teachers and admin in public schools as much as you do private school.
In public schools the teachers aren't given carte blanche to use corporal punishment as they see fit.
Not now... They used to be quite loose with the paddlings and humiliations. We had a "bad box" in our classrooms, PUBLIC classrooms.

Now, you're unfairly generalizing, Tina. "They [public schools] used to be quite loose with the paddlings and humiliations."

Not my public school system. To refer a kid to the principal--and only the principal could spank after notifying the kid's parents of the reason for it--a teacher had to follow certain procedures. I don't know what all they involved being only a grade school kid at the time, but I recall hearing of or knowing only a very few kids who behaved badly enough to get a sanctioned swat from the principal. I doubt if there were more than a half dozen that I knew of from K-6, it simply didn't happen often enough but what people took note because it was such a rarity. Classroom teachers were not permitted to do anything more severe than have a kid stay after school, sit in the corner for what would now be called a "timeout," or if the misbehavior was bad enough, send the kid directly to the principal.

Both my parents had been elementary teachers before they married, and I know from having talked to Mom that the disciplinary policies were pretty similar in the school where they both taught. Anyway, I recall her saying that the fact that they were was one reason why she felt we had good public schools in my hometown.

No schools are allowed "carte blanche" with physical discipline now.

This is a blanket statement that is unfortunately not true. I've spoken to various teachers who taught in private schools of one sort or another, mostly small fundamentalist Christian academies, and corporal punishment was pretty much anything goes in a number of these schools.

It would be nice if all the facts about ALL the options were given.

Certainly. However, I think you'll agree that no one of us knows enough to give all the facts about anything and definitely can't be familiar with all options.

It was made abundantly clear that we were discussing our perceptions based upon our freely admitted limited personal experiences.

Seriously folks, I really almost hate to open discussions here because I don't see debate, I don't even see a willingness to debate..I see dislike, hatred and half truths.

Your perception. Maybe some padding would help you to be less thinskinned?

You think Catholic schools are pretty good overall; you're an active Catholic. So far, we have four non-Catholics, two of whom were raised Catholic, discussing their feelings about what the Catholic school experience WAS like, freely admitting that they don't know what it IS like currently and hardly likely to praise Catholic schools or Catholicism unstintingly. What's unfair about that?

A little fairness...

Which, as I've demonstrated, goes both ways.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:01 pm

Ooops! Sorry, AutumnalTone, didn't intend to exclude you from the count....Make that FIVE non-Catholics.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:31 pm

In grade school, I attended four of them and truthfully I don't remember the first couple. In the last one, the music teacher one day lined everyone up who had been "bad" and gave swats on the behind with a paddle for the boys and used a ruler on the hands of the girls. They were also allowed to switch the backs of the legs of the girls. The principal had a paddle and administered swats to the boys sent to him.

Children were routinely put in the corner. One time I remember the teacher drew a small circle on the blackboard and made the boy keep his nose and face in it in front of the class until she told him he could sit down - a long time later. Other punishments included doing laps and the good old standby of writing something a hundred times.

When I taught school the first year the principal had a paddle and paddled boys and girls sent to him. When I filled in for a teacher, about 10 years ago, the principal couldn't swat the children herself but she encouraged parents to spank or apply the paddle in her office. They did it, too.

I forgot to put in that these were all public schools.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:38 am

DotNotInOz wrote:Ooops! Sorry, AutumnalTone, didn't intend to exclude you from the count....Make that FIVE non-Catholics.

Didn't hurt my little feelers. My ex-wife attended the Catholic school.

I can say that corporal punishment was highly regulated and rare in the public schools I attended. I know the nearby school systems were much the same in that regard.

My ex-wife reported a great deal more physical punishment as a matter of course in the Catholic school system she attended.

Students coming into the public school system after K-8 in the Christian school in my hometown reported a harsher approach to discipline there than in the public schools. They also seemed to curse like sailors; we figured it was a big deal to them to cuss because they caught hell for it in the Christian school, where we got simple reminders to watch our language and it wasn't a big deal.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by gillyflower on Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:23 pm

Well, like Tina was pointing out, some public schools had/have harsh punishments and so did some Catholic schools and some Christian schools. Certainly not all, in any category, of them have corporal or harsh punishments.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by Davelaw on Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:47 pm

my private Christian School (Baptist-located within our church) gave spankings; but did it sparingly-and always called the parents first "to get permission"-which actually had the effect of giving you another set of spankings when you got home-I remember some kids begging to get spanked without the phone call; because they knew how much worse it would be later on
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:58 pm

I had a teacher that used to bash my knuckles with a ruler in the 3rd grade, and I went to public school.

I'm pretty sure that they don't go for corporal punishment any more no matter when school you go to.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by world citizen on Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:52 pm

Sorry I'm late getting back to this but the email notice went into the spam pile instead of inbox and I just saw it.

I don't even see a willingness to debate..I see dislike, hatred and half
truths.

tmarie ~ My opening post clearly asked for memories "good or bad" about having attended a Catholic school. I went for six years and can recall many happy times with my friends, but it was having that one slap-happy nun twice that has stayed with me to this day.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:04 pm

Davelaw wrote:my private Christian School (Baptist-located within our church) gave spankings; but did it sparingly-and always called the parents first "to get permission"-which actually had the effect of giving you another set of spankings when you got home-I remember some kids begging to get spanked without the phone call; because they knew how much worse it would be later on

Oh, yeah, the double jeopardy whammy! Were we anyplace other than home and got in trouble, we wanted it settled right there without any phone calls. Getting in serious trouble away from home always meant double the punishment--once at the scene of the crime and once upon reaching home.
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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:24 pm

Hillary Clinton must've known of my hometown when she wrote her book, It Takes a Village.

I grew up in a town of about 3600, so if I got into something I ought not be doing, I could pretty much count on some adult who knew my parents getting on the phone or chatting with Mom or Dad next time the person saw either.

I wasn't dumb enough that I wanted to get in trouble as much as I would have had I been a public embarrassment, so I didn't get any such bad reports until I wanted to be cool as a high school freshman and began saving the money Mom gave me to buy a lunch ticket and spending it for lunches at the little mom & pop grocery a block from the school. The lady who owned it mentioned to Mom one day that she sure was seeing a lot of me at lunchtime, and I heard about that and then some!

Mom gave me the choice of behaving honestly and using my lunch money as it was intended or having the embarrassment of her writing a check to cover my lunch ticket and mailing it to the school secretary. Knowing my mother as I did, I knew she'd ask the secretary to call into my homeroom on the p.a. and ask that I come to the office to get my lunch ticket whenever I needed a new one.

Guess what I decided I'd rather do, especially since the secretary's goodlooking son was in my homeroom, and I was very interested in his not thinking I was a complete dork?

That was one time when Mom didn't do anything else to me. I remember she mentioned she thought I'd rather have an opportunity to behave like the grownup I nearly was rather than be punished like a little kid. She did insist that I apologize to her for having used the money dishonestly. That was actually worse than any more typical punishment.

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Re: Catholic School psyche

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:43 pm

"Avert your eyes children, he may take on other forms!"

Sorry all the talk about Christian schools and paddling made me think of the Simpsons.

"Paddling the school canoe, oh you better believe that's a paddling"

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