08 September 2011

When I (Almost) Shoved the Principal

Writing Prompt 1.) Write about a time you shoved someone.

I'm not much of a shover.
My personality tends to be more doormat than steamroller.
But sometimes, every now and then, I get riled up.
And when I get shoved, I shove back.
Not often. But when it happens, it tends to be memorable.

The time that most sticks out in my mind happened like this...

I am six years old, imprisoned in a strict Catholic school.
Picture black tunic, navy knee socks, white shirt, gold tie.
Picture the scariest Headmistress you can. A tall craggy Nun with a permanent frown.
Pointy-nose sniffing out trouble she strides the dark corridors of our school, brown Habit flapping, Crucifix swinging.
Sister Stanislaus is her name.
We secretly called her "Sister SantaClaus". Secretly.
Never anywhere she might hear, oh no.
She is Scary with a Capital S. And nothing at all like Santa Claus. But we think it's a funny name, so we giggle quietly then scurry away like mice before she can hear our impertinence.

One morning I happen to walk past her office where she is in the middle of administering The Cane.
The door is ajar and I can hear her shouting, "WHERE do we CROSS the ROAD? At the PEDESTRIAN crossing! We DO NOT RUN across the road WHERE WE LIKE!"
Transfixed in horror I stand, feet glued to the snot-green lino floor.
Down comes the Cane. A wail erupts. A big strong boy reduced to tears by this goblin.
I flee and determine in my heart to never ever get in Sister Stanislaus' way. Never to ever draw attention to myself or do ANYTHING that could bring her wrath down upon my head.

Morning Assembly is held daily on the netball courts. Classes line up neatly for inspection, uniforms perfect or else.
Sister Stanislaus stands before us, issuing her daily instructions.
Don't move, don't cough, don't breathe.

"There have been CHILDREN... RUNNING... IN THE HALLWAY!"
She casts her steely gaze across the rows of trembling kids.
Don't breathe, don't let her catch your eye...

"If I catch ANYONE... RUNNING in the HALLWAY... there will be CONSEQUENCES!!!"
Consequences. I know what that means.
I've seen what Sister Stanislaus does to kids who just cross the street at the wrong place.

As we are dismissed to return to class I decide to walk as slowly as I can. I must make sure there is no way I can be mistaken for running in the hallway.

Painstakingly I inch toward my classroom, when suddenly I feel a massive THUMP on my back.
Who shoved me? Who pushed me, thumped me so hard??!!!
"HEY!!!!" I shout indignantly, spinning round, about to shove back...
Only to see Sister Stanislaus towering over me, fixing me with that steely gaze.
"Get a move on!" she snaps. "Quit dawdling and get to class!"

Oh the injustice!!!
I gape at her, disbelieving what I've heard.
There I am trying so hard to follow her orders and she tells me to go faster!
A final imperious shove, accompanied by "Off you go!" and she is off again, barking orders, habit flapping, crucifix swinging.

I'll never forget the day I {almost} shoved The Principal.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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PaisleyJade said...

hehe. LOVE the way you write... and am so glad I didn't go to your school with the scary principal!!

Jen said...

I took on the science teacher who was also the dean of my house in high school
he wanted me to do science in 4th or 5th form it wasnt compulsory so I said no - he wasnt happy
however I didnt like it and it was getting harder with having to learn the periodic table etc so I stuck to my guns

jfb57 said...

Oh my goodness! Heart in mouth times there! As a retired headteacher, I can imagine some of my pupils feeling just like you did! :0

SisterSister said...

Well..I'm glad you didn't shove her because of the consequences you'd have surely faced, but can you IMAGINE the look of disbelief that would've crossed her mind? Don't you sometimes wish you could go back in the past and ask her "why she felt she had to be such a tyrant?" I loved the way you wrote this...I could imagine myself in your shoes the whole time.

hi from MK's

Diane said...

Holy smack! That was one scary sister!

Thank God for the key word 'almost' here, right? Whew, that would have no doubt been bad!

Galit Breen said...

LOVE the story, LOVE the photos!

{Also: Holy scary!!}

Kim Lehnhoff said...

I'd never have survived in a school like that, as I have just a tad of oppositional defiance in me.

I'm glad you made it out alive!

Anonymous said...

She sounds awful! No wonder you have such vivid memories! I liked all your pictures. They really made the story come alive. Stopping by from the Writer's Workshop. :) I'm a new follower!

Anonymous said...

I am SOO glad I didn't go to a catholic school and, whether they are still like this or not, I will never send any of my children to a catholic school.

I am glad you didn't get in trouble... but part of me wishes someone would have put her in her place. I have a high disdain for bullies and she, obviously, was a BIG one!

Anonymous said...

Hi dropping by from Mama Kat's. Loved the post, the nuns must have been terrifying. I can't imagine what would have happened if you did push Sister Santa Claus.

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