June 21, 2012
sister drusilla5th entry – 8th grade
Sister Drusilla was the principal of St. Veronica’s School. She was also the 8th grade teacher. And she was a Sister of St. Joseph. It was the first time I had had a nun as a teacher. Back at St. Theresa’s there were no religious teachers, all were lay-people. Only the older elementary schools in the older neighborhoods had nuns and St. Theresa’s was one of the new schools in a newly-built, Henrietta Street community.
Having a nun as a teacher was strange for me. My memory of nuns was from when we were living in Aprigliano and Mafalda took me to Pietrafitta – the next hill-town over – to visit a preschool. The experience was horrendous. I hated the nun who walked us around; i hated the jail-like building; and I hated my mother for taking me there. I still have pictures in my head of massive, wrought-iron gates blocking cells and rooms and of a big, fat nun with a huge smile who I was sure was going to lock me up and beat me if my mother left. Mafalda tells the story of an out-of-control child who embarrassed her – screaming, carrying on and holding on for dear life; a child who had to be taken home and promised never to be sent back to that place. (My dad, being a man who didn’t trust nuns, was an ally.) And for the next 10 years, I was nun free.
There were two Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Veronica’s; the second one taught in the lower grades; and she was younger than Sister Drusilla. They were driven to school every morning and picked up every evening and taken back to their convent at Mount St. Joseph College. The image on the right is Mount St. Joseph College as I remember it. The right hand side was the girl’s high school; the left hand side was the convent.
I have to say that I got along with Sister Drusilla. Not that she was warm-and-fuzzy, there was nothing nurturing about this Irish-Canadian, but I could appreciate her sarcasm and mean sense of humor especially if it wasn’t directed me.
The actual date of this entry is Tuesday, February 19, 2013.