25 Things I Have Not Forgotten From My Catholic Grade School Experience


  1. The smell of church incense
  2. The words to On Eagle’s Wings
  3. When Jaclyn broker her arm, when Shannon broke her ankle and when Ryan sprained his ankle and cracked his skull open after the basketball hoop fell on his head and blood squirted everywhere
  4. Playing catch during recess with my friend Brian in third grade. He was a really talented artist and had the best laugh. Later, he joined a gang and now he’s in prison for shooting and killing a girl when we were in high school.
  5. Performing a Mexican Hat Dance and serving nachos with my friend Mary for our social studies report on Mexico
  6. When my basketball coach and father of one of my class/teammates told me I was playing like I had my head up my ass
  7. How to spell khaki
  8. When my third grade teacher tore up my Garbage Pail Kids during Reading Rainbow
  9. Raising money at a bake sale for the elephant habitat at the Woodland Park Zoo
  10. Hot lunch on Thursdays
  11. Getting in trouble and having to apologize for telling my friend to fuck-off during recess and then saying it again after the teacher left
  12. Making up the same stories every time we’d have to go to confession: I used the Lord’s name in vain, I disrespected my parents, I lied and I yelled at my sister.
  13. Heated games of four-square
  14. Selling Easter candy door-to-door: chocolate walnut eggs and peanut butter crunch eggs. $3.00 each.
  15. Going to a movie at Oak Tree Cinemas with friends and my first and only boyfriend, Jordan. He kissed me on the cheek while we waited for our rides home. For Christmas he got me the soundtrack to Pump Up The Volume and I got him a Raiders t-shirt. I broke up with him in the hallway because someone told me he was going to break up with me. We didn’t talk again until the last day of 8th grade and I’ve only seen him once since then, a few years later at a church spaghetti dinner.
  16. An 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. where we went to dinner theater and saw Oklahoma!
  17. When Claire, a new kid from Mobile, Alabama, had a sleepover at her house and her little brother (Frank?) said to me “You sure have big bosoms!” in his ridiculous southern accent. Mortified.
  18. Cheating on a spelling test in first grade and getting caught.
  19. Pre-whiteboards in schools, our eighth grade teacher had to use special chalk-holders because she was allergic to chalk.
  20. How to say “it rains” in French: il pleut
  21. When Sister Paula was defrocked and wasn’t Sister Paula anymore and, instead, had a very handsome roommate named Lori. If you know what I’m saying.
  22. Eleven of the fourteen Stations of the Cross
  23. Spending the occasional Religion class watching and having class discussions about the moral lessons in Degrassi Junior High
  24. Sister Claudia’s penchant for tightly curled hair and sweater vests
  25. That whole “gays go to Hell” thing.