Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge: You Throw Like a Girl

This post is in response to Trifecta's weekly challenge. The challenge asks you to write a story 33-333 words long using the third definition of the given word. This week's word came from the blogger ODNT and is: 

ob·serve verb \əb-ˈzərv\
1: to conform one's action or practice to (as a law, rite, or condition) : comply with
2: to inspect or take note of as an augury, omen, or presage



When I  saw this week's word, this is the first memory that popped into my head. I went to Catholic School for 13 years. I had the honor of being taught by many inspiring teachers in that time. However, there were a few teachers that were burned out and just needed to retire to the convent. My piece is based on a true story. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent. :)

You Throw Like a Girl

“Who can tell me why November 1st  is considered a Holy Day of Obligation? Miss Connolly?”

Meg snapped out of her trance and looked into the stern eyes of Sr. Henrietta. The seventh grader instinctively smoothed out her tartan plaid, pleated, uniform skirt and gave one quick tug to each of her green, wool knee socks. Her back straightened stiff like a flag pole as she took a deep breath in.

“I’m sorry, Sister, could you please repeat the question?”

Insulted, the nun slammed the blue book marked “Religious Studies” down on her desk . It startled the class and all the students jumped in unison as if rehearsed. Meg looked down at her desk shamefully.

“No. I cannot. If you cannot be bothered to listen when I speak, then I cannot be bothered to waste my time repeating my question to you. Now, Class, who would like to tell me why we observe November 1st as a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church?”

Meg could feel her face becoming flushed with anger. She felt an overwhelming urge to speak up for herself. She knew she’d be sent to the principal’s office again. At least there she’d get a break. Before she knew it she was standing next to her desk tall and strong. She belted out, 
“All Saints Day is a day where we...”  
Her words were cut short by  the whir of pages inches away from her ear. It was the thump that made her realize the blue book lay on the floor behind her. Sr. Henrietta’s arm was still  outstretched.

Stunned, Meg quietly collected her backpack and made her way to the office. Sitting across from the principal they smiled at one another. Meg broke the silence.

“I’m sorry for being disrespectful. I guess I should be thankful the book missed me.”


“It sounds as if there was disrespect on both ends, my child. In fact, Sr. Henrietta’s the one who should be thankful. Thankful for such poor aim.”


32 comments:

  1. Yikes! What a story! A true one at that! Interesting that it was the first memory that popped up for this prompt.

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    1. I know. I couldn't get it out of my head either, so I had to write it out.

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  2. Wow! Now that I'm done reading, my favorite thing about it is the title. :) Was the principal a member of the clergy, too?

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    1. Yes. Her name was Sr. Winifred. She rocked!

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  3. Holy CRAP! I love your writing, and congrats on winning the last Trifecta!

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  4. Good Story Telling

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  5. Great!
    Would have loved to hear the Principal's conversation with the Sister!

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    1. That particular Sister resigned a few years later.

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    2. This is a true story?
      And were you branded by all the nuns as a troublemaker? :D

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    3. True story. I was well loved by all the nuns, except her. She hated EVERYONE. She hated me especially for trying so damn hard to please her. I got on her nerves. :)

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  6. 4th grade - Sister Anastasia repaid me for talking out of turn with a math book on top of my head. Never will forget her. :)

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    1. It sticks with you.

      ON the flip side, I also had a nun named Sr. Teresa. She was in her 50's when I had her in 1st grade. She saw me a few years ago at a funeral and knew exactly who I was. She was so awesome. It's just luck of the draw.

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  7. As always beautiful write up.

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  8. Ah, those nuns. There are some doozies out there...

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  9. I went to Catholic school too. We had a nun that be called the "bubble machine" because when she was upset she'd grab you by the shoulders and shake you really hard.

    Great story.

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    1. OH man. I know. The things they used to get away with. Someone was always getting beamed off the head.

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  10. yep..i remember those days well....

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    1. *Sigh* To be fair, there were some AWESOME ones!

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  11. In the tenth grade, same grade my teenage daughter's in now, I had a social studies teacher who was also a baseball coach. he had been a college baseball player. He hated his job. one of my buddies smarted off to him and he threw a book. it missed him, and hit this sweet little girl who never said a word. by the following semester, we had anew teacher and he moved to another school.

    I like how the tension was broken. you write from the heart every time. I dig it so.

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    1. Oh man. That is horrible! That poor girl.

      Thanks so much for digging it. :)

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  12. Seriously??? I only attended Catholic school through the eighth grade and the worst I remember was having my legs slapped uncrossed by Sr. Mary David. Yes, that's her REAL name. Screw it. Take me down, sister!

    Poor you, Mel. To quote, well, YOU recently ... Go on with your bad self!

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    1. Yes. Dead serious. I wouldn't tell a lie because I was told for 13 years where I was gonna go if I did. :) That was an insane year for my whole class. That woman was OFF HER ROCKER!

      Sr. Mary David. Great name for a nun!

      Oh and when I told my mom when I got home, she used profanity, grabbed her keys and flew out the door to go tell Sr. Henrietta where to go...in the hall...in the middle of the school...at the TOP of her lungs. The principal had to come get my mom and bring her to the office to calm down. To this day I still have never seen my mom get that angry.

      I was a quiet little thing who did what I was told. No reason for book throwing. :)

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  13. Yow! I wonder, did they throw the books at an angle to hit you corner first?
    Thanks for sharing this! Still I wonder what the correct answer was...

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    1. HAHAHA! All Saints Day: http://catholicism.about.com/od/holydaysandholidays/p/All_Saints_Day.htm
      Enjoy!

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  14. I loved the principal!! What a great sense of humor. I also love that in your shame, you WANTED to give the right answer and knew the teacher wouldn't allow it after you'd been unable to produce it on the first shot.

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  15. This is why I would not have survived Catholic school. Either the Sister or I would be dead. I did have a teacher smack with me a ruler once. My dad had a 'chat' with her and never had any more discipline problems after that.

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  16. Good heavens! I think I'm glad I went to public school... It took me a second to figure out the Sr. abbreviation; I've never seen that one before!

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  17. Thanks for linking up again this week. I love stories like these, actually. Where one adult is kind of ratting out another in order to do what's right for a child. I really, really liked your title. Perfect. Hope to see you back for the weekend challenge.

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