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The Ninth Hour


A crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.
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Discuss The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott:
Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

Created: 09/01/18

Replies: 10

Posted Sep. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?


Posted Sep. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 87

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RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

I had nuns when I was quite young that I admired And loved, and for a time thought I wanted to become a nun. Later I was taught by nuns who ruled by fear and rudeness and left a bad taste about future interactions.


Posted Sep. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 162

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RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

I was not taught by nuns as a child. My children, however, were - but only for three years - when we moved and placed them in public school. My experience with the nuns during those years was based on the age of the nun. I, myself, was young and my children were in kindergarten and first, second grades. The nuns teaching those grades happened to be young as well - close to my age which was early 20's. The seemed gentle and honest and caring. Older nuns were in charge of older grades and administration in this private school, and they seemed intimidating to me. They seemed no-nonsense, more severe and less loving generally - more businesslike. I married into the Catholic faith, and my husband at that time had horror stories about his upbringing in Catholic schools - stories about having his hands slapped with a ruler, or his ear pinched - those sorts of physical punishments which we would never hear of as being allowed in schools today.


Posted Sep. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 40

RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

I had a better (mostly) experience than many I knew having gone from 1 to 7th grade in parochial school. The sisters I had were of the Order of St Francis. I learned a lot from many of them. Some did wear their habits (dress) as a mantle of authority however, and it was because of one of these that I left parochial school.

Most of the sisters I had in school were smart, caring, and gentle. They could be tough but fair. My Catholic school education put me light years ahead of my peers when I finally went to public school in most things.


Posted Sep. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosienick

Join Date: 03/20/16

Posts: 17

RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

Ah yes! I was taught by nuns from grade 1 through my graduation from college since I attended a Catholic women's college. For the most part, I found them professional and aloof...with a couple exceptions. I was ill during final exams my senior year in high school and I had to go to school on Saturdays to make up the work and be tested. The nun who worked with me was very kind and brought me hot chocolate and a snack when we worked. I never viewed the nuns as 'regular women' until I was much older and could think of them as equals. I do remember well when Sr. Agnes told me that if I didn't become a nun, and instead got married, I would only be giving my second best to God. That is some advice one never forgets! Married, with 6 children and 15 grandchildren!


Posted Sep. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tswaine

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 48

RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

I was taught by nuns throughout my 12 years at Catholic school. Some were very strict and we were in fear of them! They were all very dedicated to teaching. I remember when I was in 8th grade and the nuns didn't have to wear the full habit that covered their hair and one of the nuns had bright red hair! We were in shock.


Posted Sep. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
veronicaj

Join Date: 05/25/17

Posts: 9

RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

Yes. Catholic education from kindergarten through Marguette University. (There were also lay teachers during that time.)
I have a deep respect for the women who dedicated their lives to their order and their careers, whether nursing, teaching or maintaining the convent.
I had a second grade teacher who was young and a great fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. (This is in Milwaukee.) The minute school was dismissed, on came the radio and the baseball game. I got to stay after school and clean the chalk board, and the turtle bowl. I think having that experience helped me realized nuns were "people" too!


Posted Sep. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorettaf

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 26

RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

Yes, I was taught by nuns from 6th through 9th grade. My 6th grade teacher was the most kind and very loving. She spoke softly and rarely raised her voice to us. My other teachers were okay. They all seemed to care about us individually, academically, and spiritually. I appreciated the guidance I was given by my 8th grade nun as she prepared me to enter high school.


Posted Sep. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenk

Join Date: 10/31/17

Posts: 7

RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

No, I wasn't, but my parents were (and possibly my grandparents). Most of the stories I heard were of the nuns' extreme strictness and of how children would be rapped on the hands/knuckles by rulers if they didn't behave, etc. I know times have changed a lot but my parents' experiences are why I attended public schools.


Posted Sep. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 25

RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

I can remember being taught Sunday school by a number of nuns, ranging from very young to ancient. I think I wondered more about their lives than I paid attention to the lessons they were teaching. They always seemed so exotic and removed from every day worries.


Posted Sep. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 311

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RE: Were you taught by nuns at any point in your schooling? If so, what are your most lasting memories?

Yes I was taught by nuns from first grade through high school. The nuns in the early grades were young and often very kind and sweet. The high school nuns were older and I often found them to be bitter, which they often took this unhappiness out on their students. They tended to have favorites, and if you weren't one, it was best to keep quiet, do your work and hope for the best. Later I taught in a Catholic school and worked closely with the nuns. We were considered to be an equal. I found these women to be very much like the rest of us. Some were happy, some sad, some bitter. They carried the same worries and anxieties like the rest of us. Unfortunately they did not have the same outlets that we had, and living in such close quarters with a group of women took its toll on many of them. Some became very petty and looked to us (the lay teachers) to befriend them. I have to say, I really learned a great deal about this life and it is not an easy one.


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