I went to a Catholic school from first to eighth grade and almost all of the teachers were nuns and all of those nuns were sadists. To say they might have believed in corporal punishment is like saying Tom Cruise might believe in an alien god. For the first half of those years, the nun’s habits went to their ankles, and their wimples covered all of their hair. You never saw them in civilian clothes and you never saw them outside of the church or convent unless they were in a pack. Also, you never saw them smile.
Our school was connected to the convent of an order of teaching nuns. The order was probably called Our Lady of the Ruler Smack because one of their favorite forms of punishment was smacking the hell out of your hand, or ass, or arm with a wooden ruler. It was their favorite, but not their only method of corporal punishment. They had full reign to punish you as they saw fit and there weren’t any lawsuits or parent-teacher conferences when you got, say, busted for talking in class and ended up cold-cocked by an eraser thrown at 2000 mph from the blackboard, your ears ringing for hours after. On any given day there were at least a half-dozen or more kids with big ole’ chalk explosion stains on the sides of their heads.
I was in the fourth grade when the school announced they were admitting *gasp* non-Catholics. Apparently they were hurting for tuition. The non-Catholic kids still had to wear uniforms, still had to take religion class, and still had to go as a class to church, they just wouldn’t participate in confession and communion. The first non-Catholic kid in my class was Matt Mudderman. He was a cute boy and to all us Catholic girls, he was ”exotic” because he was the first non-Catholic boy most of us had ever been around. He was also meaner than dirt.
When we were being lead down the hall by one of our teachers we were always expected to go single-file and keep our mouths shut. One day, I noticed Matt, who was a few kids in front of me, turning and chatting to the kid behind him. I looked up near the front of the line and saw Sister Agnes turn and spy Matt and start to make a bee-line straight for him. I tried to get Matt’s attention by coughing and widening my eyes towards the impending danger that was heading his way, but I was too late. Sister Agnes was on him in a split second and what happened next is forever seared into my memory. Sister Agnes boxed his ear and Matt turned around AND HIT HER and let out a slew of cursing. The whole class stopped and scattered against the walls to watch in shock. The fight was on. Sister Agnes was trying to grab and restrain Matt and he was cussing and swinging and kicking. It was so surreal; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Suddenly in his struggle Matt reached up and grabbed Sister Agnes’ wimple and ripped it from her head! I gasped as I saw the nun’s hair and I think I screamed “LOOK AWAY! LOOK AWAY!” thinking I was about to be turned to a pillar of salt or something. I averted my eyes to the ceiling, half expecting it to open and either a lightning bolt or the hand of God to come down and smite Matt. I heard a commotion down the hall and turned and saw four or five other nuns rushing in for back-up. They all swooped down on Matt and in a matter of seconds he was being carried down the hall, a nun on each arm and each leg as he struggled and cursed at the top of his lungs. We all just stood there, staring at each other in complete disbelief until another nun herded us together and lead us on.
That was the last time anyone ever saw Matt Mudderman. Some of the kids said he was expelled, some said God probably went all Old Testament on his ass and threw him into the bowels of Hell.
All I know for certain is he wasn’t face down in the koi pond in the courtyard next to the convent…because I looked.117 Comments