Catholic School Drinking Fountain

For those of you who have attended catholic school, you will undoubtedly be able to relate to this story.

For those of you who haven’t…just THANK GOD you didn’t.

(but I still think you may enjoy reading this)

However, I would like to mention here, that there are many demented individuals on this planet who thoroughly enjoyed their time in catholic school. I don’t know HOW or WHY…but they did.

Yet, I will say one good thing about attending catholic school…it's given me some GREAT blogging material.

Anyway…

As I was sitting in a café this afternoon, enjoying a primo cup of French roasted java and a delicious toasted cinnamon-raisin bagel with butter…I saw a young gentleman walk over to the drinking fountain, and begin slurp-quenching his obvious CAMEL thirst.

He drank and drank, as if he had just returned from a 7-day barefoot journey across the Sahara Desert.

And while I was watching him savor every precious drop of agua, it caused me to have an immediate flash-back to my catholic grammar school days.

School, when I was a kid, ended sometime in early June, and considering that the particular catholic school that I went to had no air conditioning, it got pretty damn hot in the class room.

(but you see, that was part of the catholic school teaching format….SUFFERING)

Sometimes when it would get really hot and humid, the sister’s took tender PITY and would allowed us to get a drink from the water fountain that was located in the hallway, right next to the lavatories.

Well…I can’t actually say that it was a drink…it was more of a SIP.

Suddenly, the sister would start clapping her hands and announce, “Alright children, please form a single file line, and QUIETLY move into the hallway...and NO running!”

*Running in school was considered a mortal sin, which meant that when you went to confession that week, you knew the priest would be administering a complete rosary for your penance.

Then we would line up in a perfect duck-row, as the sister would stand directly next to the water fountain and TIME our drinking.

Just as our mouths got to the water, she would begin tapping us on the back, and with each tap would yell, “ONE…TWO…THREE…THAT’S ENOUGH!”

And then the next student “ONE…TWO…THREE…THAT’S ENOUGH!”

On and on this went, until each one of us got barely even a DROP of water.

It was like torture, because no sooner had your lips got wet, and that first trickle of moisture reached the back of your throat, you would hear… “THAT’S ENOUGH!”

It always felt like I was in catholic military school; having Colonial Sister Beatrice-Ralph as my drill instructor.

Jeees!

Needless to say, none of us ever got enough water to fill a thimble. And because “snack time” usually came AFTER our sip of water, peanut butter and crackers were like trying to eat a dry sponge, while having cotton-mouth.

I SO enjoyed my 8 LONG years spent in Boot Camp.

“ONE…TWO…THREE…THAT’S ENOUGH!”




24 comments

  1. YIKES, that doesn't sound like fun at all. Maybe a good two weeks at a catholic school will help my son to appreciate his school!!

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  2. I never completely develop the skill of sipping water from an upwards trickle! I sucked up more air than water and ended up with a case of hic-ups near every time. And then they'd send me BACK to the water fountain to get a drink to cure 'em?

    *shaking head*
    I'm sure it made sense to them. LOL

    (gratefully, 'they' weren't catholic nuns....or......maybe they were in disguise and I just didn't know it!)

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  3. Great story! I taught 38 years in the regular school and your story reminded me of a fourth grade teacher who used to do that to the kids. I wonder if she learned it from the nuns?

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  4. I'm at a loss. I can't really relate to this one. LOL
    I went to public school and while a couple teachers might have been a bit mean, most of them were pretty cool. And I was on safety patrol for part of middle school and in the band in high school, so we got a few perks. Getting a band pass for part of a period was like license to roam the halls. We could go to the school store and buy snacks, etc.
    My Mom was Catholic though and personally followed the rules and regulations of her religion quite strictly. But that woman was wiser than she ever let on as she never put me and sis in Catholic school. Took heat for it too. But she wanted for us to decide what path we'd take. Sis eventually took communion and joined the church. But I became a fantastic heathen, thank you very much!

    No wonder you hate the summers so much after all those years of being so parched!!
    I wish you ALL THE WATER YOU CAN DRINK!!!! Gulp it down, splash around in it. ENJOY!!! You're free from Sister Beatrice-Ralph!

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  5. Oh dear! Amazing how times change, isn't it? Now, all kids must take a water bottle WITH them so they get enough water during the day. I get in trouble by the teacher if my boys go to school wihout one!

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  6. I remember the lukewarm water from the school drinking fountain...

    Happy Monday to you, Ron !

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  7. Morning Bekah~

    NOOOOO! NOOOOO! don't do it!

    Just send him into the military for two weeks...

    *because at least THERE, he'll get food and WATER!

    HA!

    Thanks for stopping by, Bekah!

    Hope you had a fun weekend with the hot air balloons!

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  8. Morning Mel!

    Oh that's funny!

    I bet they WERE nuns in disguise!!!

    Ya, see...that's how they TRICK you, so they can SPY!!!

    (and I hear now, they can actually make themselves INVISIBLE)

    I know what you mean about drinking out of a water fountain...me too!

    Plus, it bothers me that some people practically put their WHOLE mouth over the damn thing...

    eeewww GERMS!!

    As always...VUNDERBAR seeing ya, Mel!

    Have a great Monday!

    As

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  9. Hi Jay...welcome!

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

    Nice meeting you.

    I bet the fourth grade teacher you're talking about was actually a NUN is disguise!!

    WOW...you taught for 38 years????

    I have a deep respect for teachers. Many years years ago, I taught a creative dramatics class for two months. I LOVE it...I really did, but I've got to tell you....it was DRAINING!!

    I came home every day, feeling like I had just done 8 hours of physical labor!

    I don't think most people understand what teachers go through everyday.

    You guys and gals are AMAZING!

    Have a great day, Jay. And please stop by anytime...you're always welcomeed!

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  10. Oh dear Ron, I cannot relate as I attended public school. But I have heard similar stories of suffering from former Catholic school students. This is funny....now that it is long since a memory! Like another commenter said, my kids are required to bring a bottle of water to school everyday...how things change.
    I wonder though if a lot of this is due to the time period. When I was in elementary school, the teachers were allowed to hit the kids with a big paddle if they were bad. Now that is unheard of. So I would be interested to learn if Catholic school in the 2000's is as bad as it was when you attended.
    My step-daughters went to a private school for years until my husband finally pitched a big enough fit about the cost and the dumb rules that their mother (his ex) finally pulled them out.
    The girls would get in trouble for dumb things like crossing their ankles while seated at their desks, or standing within 2 feet of another student....stupid stuff!!!
    I am pretty happy with my kids being in public school!!

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  11. Morning Annie!

    Doesn't lukewarm water taste AWFUL????

    Eeee gads...

    It's like drinking BATH WATER!!!

    And HAPPY MONDAY to you too!

    Thanks for stopping by, Annie!

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  12. Hellooooo Trixie!

    OMG...I didn't realize that!

    Hey, but that's a good thing, I guess.

    Teaching them to replenish that 75% water!

    See, in catholic school...it was more about replenishing your ability to SUFFER!!!

    tee, hee!

    Thanks for stopping by, Trixie!

    Wishing you a happy Monday!

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  13. Morning Crystal Chick!

    You're mother WAS a very wise woman!!!

    The truth be told...my mother actually had a cousin and aunt who were catholic school nuns, and when my youngest brother was beginning school, BOTH nuns told her to place him in PUBLIC school!

    LUCKY KID!!!

    I actually ended up in public school for high school...and freaking LOVED it!!!

    (that's when I got interested in theater and acting)

    oooh how fun...you were on safey patrol? I always wanted to do that! And the band too? How cool.

    My older brother was in the band too. TRUMPET!

    Yes, my dear lady...now I can drink ALL THE COLD WATER I WANT!

    And for as LONG as I want...Sister Ralph!

    Thanks for stopping by, M.

    Wishing you a MAUUUUVALOUS Monday!

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  14. Morning Nicole~

    YES!!!! OMG...I think it must have changed in catholic school.

    They would NEVER be able to get away with how they disciplined.

    *I think "paddling days" are over. As well as, "knuckle cracking" with a ruler!

    I remember that all too well.

    And catholic school too, had some insane rules about how you were to be seated at your desk...it was called: West Point Position.

    I SWEAR!

    When we moved to Florida, my parents decided to have my younger brother attend a private school for his last 4 years. And I know...it's VERY expensive.

    It's funny, every time I hear the words "private school" I always think of that scene in Mommie Dearest, when Joan Crawford drops her daughter (Christina) off at the Chadwick Private School!!!!

    And Christina was CRYING..."NO...NO...I don't want to leave home, Mommie!"

    tee, hee!

    Mucho thanks for stopping by, Nicole!

    And wishing you a day filled with NO timing at the drinking fountain!

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  15. How cruel they were! I didn't go to Catholic school but MWM did and he would agree with you because he hated it. He hated being ridiculed on a Monday morning because he hadn't been to confession on Sunday - he stopped going when he got to 13 because he said it was full of hypocrites.

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  16. Afternoon Akelamalu~

    OMG...MWM is SOOOOO right!

    And good for him!

    CONFESSION, CONFESSION, CONFESSION...

    Catholic school was so BIG on confessing. What the hell, could a 6-7 year old child confess to all the time?

    (besides maybe...drawing outside the lines in your coloring book)

    jeeees!

    Anyway, dear lady...as you can tell, you didn't miss a thing!

    Thanks for stopping by, Akelamalu.

    I'm so glad you're back!

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  17. Ron sweetie, hahaha. I kind of liked it. Um yes, I was eventually kicked out of Our Lady Of Guadalupe and St. Phillips and eventually to Santa Maria, finally an place where I belonged. hehehehe.

    I kind of figure it like this...who had it worse Sister Mary Alice or me? I mean I had to deal with them and they had to deal with me...I think my Nun drill instructors had the worst of it. I'm sorry for the fights I got into, but the boys shouldn't flip my skirt up amd not think they will not get punched out. I know I did the same to the other gals too and paid for it with a slap...it was well worth it. I know I deseved detention when I put several slightly opened mustard packets on Gary's seat and it stained his pants yellow, but he pulled my hair. How was I to know he liked me and that's why he did it.

    I was always willing to go to confression and say my 10 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers...then go outside and have a cigarette.

    Ah...those were the days, huh Ron?

    Ciao baby...have a fab day and evening.

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  18. Well we've already established that I have a sky box in hell reserved just for me so I have no problem admitting that when the nuns tapped me on the shoulder I shrugged them off.

    What!!? Shrug a Nun!!

    I was a Filthy evil child

    The water always tasted warm and rusty.

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  19. That's just wrong. Plain wrong.

    These days kids can have water bottles on their desks, thank god. I wonder if catholic schools are still that freaky about water...

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  20. Dear Miss Jones....

    OMG...your comment deserves an ACADEMY AWARD!!!

    BRAVA!

    That was friggin' PRICELESS!!!

    And placing the slightly opened mustard packet on Gary's seat was BRILLIANT, girl...just BRILLIANT!

    How the hell did you think of that?

    Dear God...I wish you and I would have known one another in school, because I KNOW we would have been the BEST of friends!

    Hey, listen...if you enjoyed catholic school, that's great! Like I shared, I've met many people who said that they did.

    And I bet even though you may have gotten kicked out of Guadalupe....I also bet deep down inside, the sister's missed you!

    Because you're the DIVINE MISS JONES!

    Thanks SOOOOOOOOOOO much for sharing your experiences in this post, Spiky.

    God...that was GREAT!

    Ciao bella!

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  21. Oh, Dianne....you KILL me, girl!

    "A sky box in hell!!!"

    That was WONDERFUL!!

    Well...I have a feeling you and I will have adjoining SEATS!

    (that's ok though...cause we can BLOG)

    YES...and I do remember the water tasting rusty too!

    YUCK!

    Thanks for sharing, Dianne!

    That was WONDERFUL!

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  22. Howdy Rhea~

    Yes...I'd have to agree with you, that was wrong.

    But, I do some volunteer work with the Sisters of Mercy, here in Philadelphia, and sometimes at lunch we'll talk about stuff like this and they TOO feel that it was wrong. They're much younger sisters, and have a whole different approach to teaching.

    THANK GOD!

    And I think catholic school has changed drastically since I attended.

    Thanks for stopping by today, Rhea!

    Always nice sharing with you!

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  23. Ron dear heart...do you have recurring nightmares about that..it sure sounds like a nightmare memory.

    I did not go to Catholic school, but I had one teacher in the 6th grade that would have qualified to teach there. We were all terrified of her. She would grab the boys hair (even crew cut's) and shake their heads and call them hoodlums!! She would be charged with child abuse today!! My one and only trip to the principals office in school was in her class. I couldn't find my homework...because she was standing over me like a fire breathing dragon. I was scared to death, and I found it later..after I went through detention with all the other "bad kids" in detention. Detention was pulling weeds on the school grounds. Can you imagine that today??? To this day I hate pulling weeds. :O

    The worst part is the rule was if we got into trouble at school we got our ass whipped at home!! So all the trouble I was in was for something I had in my notebook all along!!

    Thanks for the memories! Now I may have nightmares of Mrs. Baird! hee, hee

    Love ya!

    Ps Is that young man in the picture you?

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  24. Evening Dearest Gypsy-Heart~

    No...that's not me in the photo, but it's SOOOO funny, because I just KNEW someone was going to ask me that.

    I actually found that on Flickr, and I just LOVED the expression on his face. It reminded me of the look I had on my face several times in school.

    OMG, your detention was PULLING WEEDS???

    In my school it was CLAPPING ERASERS, to get all the chalk off them. It was horrible, because all this chalk dust would be flying around. And the REALLY bad kids use to clap them on the side of the school building, which made them get ANOTHER detention.

    In my school, the girls got their hair pulled and the boys got their faces slapped OR their knuckles cracked with a metal ruler!

    And to this day, whenever I see a metal ruler in the office supply store I ALWAYS think of that!

    God...don't we ALL have such wonderful memories of our school days???

    Thanks so much for sharing yours, dear Gypsy!

    OMG...I hope you don't have a nightmare of Mrs. Baird chasing you with a handful of WEEDS!

    tee, hee!

    Love ya!

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