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The Nuns at Rosary School

When I was a kid at Rosary School in near north Oklahoma City in the 1970’s, we were fortunate enough to be taught by who were for the most part not the sadistic nuns (due invariably to sexual repression) that you see in movies and occasionally hear about in real life.

Some were very good, some were indifferent, but maybe only one or two genuinely evil, from a kid’s perspective. Mr Hartridge, our intimidating big black gym teacher, he bordered on cruel, but I think we deserved it. “Six inches!” said of interminable leg lifts.

But anyway sometime in the early 70’s our nuns were sprung from the decree of having to wear their habits, and that was followed by a run on JC Penney black-and-white polyester pants suits, which from my perspective diminished their authority a great deal. They turned into therapists.

I could talk about my Alegbra teacher Sr Cathal and the “math contracts” in which we students supposedly negotiated a binding deal to complete X amount of units in Y amount of time, and the inherent weaknesses of that arrangement, but I will save that cul-de-sac for another time.

Rosary wasn’t anything like a prep school back then, and most of us kids were lower middle class to lower class, and even the kids who thought they were upper class barely pushed the meter past middle middle class. It was a core Catholic school.

My favorite nun was Sister Malachy, because she reminded me of Laverne from Laverne from “Laverne and Shirley” and she looked out for me because I was a small, skinny, shy runt. Once in the cafeteria she came up beside me and said, “Eat your spinach, handsome, it’ll put hair on yer chest.” RIP to the good souls of lost causes. Tough and nice and savvy. A harbor chick. RIP Sister Malachy - you were one of the good ones.


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