What's going on BPM? Welll........
A sweet nun from a poor parish in the city asked Dr. G and me to teach the 5th and 6th graders the 'facts of life'. Yep....facts of life. After fainting, I knew that I could not say "Are you cra-zee?"
Apparently, the children are using slang for their body parts and have not developed a sense of good physical hygiene. This happens. I remember it from elementary school at St. D's. The older we got, the stinkier the room got. The nuns looked like they were going to pass out as they walked around the room with their yard sticks in their hands. Seemed karma-like since they were looking to use the rulers as a weapon and not measure how tall we had gotten.....
Fade to black......
Yes, I went to grade school, high school and college (for under grad and doctorate) at Catholic schools. For the most part, the education and discipline were excellent, but those nuns scared the poop out of me. Yep, the scariest moments I have had in life were not when my airplane was nose diving over the Gulf of Mexico (more about that later) but when the nuns found out that we had done something wrong, immoral, or just child like. Some of them would use their rings to smack the boys in the head. One kid named Steve had his smashed against the blackboard. Today, they would call it abuse. Back then, I called it a nun-induced concussion.
Anyway, I made it through the educational system by keeping my nose clean and head down. Since I was tall, the sisters put me in a desk in the back of room. Usually short in stature, they did not see what the back row was doing while they taught class. I remember doing my homework, doodling, and eating Good n Plentys that were hidden in my uniform pocket. Once I choked on an orange lifesaver that got lodged in my throat. I did not dare tell the nun since she would kill me for eating them in class. So, I chose death by life saver instead. Fortunately, the life saver melted in my blocked airway before I died. To this day, I cannot eat a life saver without thinking that I almost met St Peter at the pearly gates.
Yep, nuns always got my attention. In first grade, my teacher, Sister V was the scariest son of a gun that I ever met. She scared the *&$)* out all of us. I was so stressed out that I got sick...really sick and was out of school for months. I was even in the hospital for a week. To this day, I believe that I had Sister V-itis...not deadly, but enough to whack you off your feet for a few months.
By the way, a few years ago, I was teaching students at an infirmary for retired nuns. Someone said that Sister V was there. I went white and had sweats again. Sister V-itis was returning to me even as an adult. I looked around to see if I could find her and low and behold....there she was....doing laundry for the sisters. She was now in her 80's and still active. Ironically, the ten feet tall nun was now 4'11"...not so frightening, right?
I introduced myself and she remembered everything from my parents, siblings, to where we lived. This was surreal. Then we took a selfie together. I sent the photo to each sibling who replied:"Thought she was dead!"....."She didn't die yet?" "Watch your knuckles, she might have her yardstick in her pocket...." Sister V was no longer scary as I stood a good foot and a half taller than her.
When people think that I am a bit on the neurotic side, I want to tell them that I went to Catholic school in the 60s and 70s, so I have an excuse for the night terrors, an uncanny knack of cleaning up anything that is on the floor, and standing when priests and nuns enter a room. As kids, when a religious entered the classroom, we stood up and said "Good morning, Father/Sister. How are you today?" Once they answered, we sat down in unison and folded our hands. Looking back on these days, it is no wonder that Dr G and I said "yes" to Sister's request to teach "Our Health, Our Bodies" to her middle school students.
As I got over the fear of teaching the class, I started to do some research on 5th and 6th grade developmental levels, what their bodies are experiencing, and Catholic doctrine. There are a few things that we have to cover besides this is the difference between boys and girls, which they already know and could teach us a thing or two.
So, I went online and ordered two books on growing up, God's way for girls and preparing for adolescence. Once I read the books, not shocked at any content, I started to create my PowerPoint for the presentation. To cover everything...and I do mean...everything.....my slide show has over 40 slides. I added a few You tube videos on conception, body changes, and growing up.
Currently, Dr G has the presentation and will edit it for the boys. Then I want to send it back to the Principal so she can "approve" it. Yep, we are actually going to do this on Thursday...look for an update after class and a few glasses (or box) or Merlot.
Betty had us laughing when he showed us a video from MASH when Henry Blake tried to teach sex education to the doctors and nurses. Very humorous....not humorous in elementary school.
I predict the following:
1. the kids will look horrified as we go through each slide
2. The kids will look bored as we go through each slide.
3. The kids will be embarrassed
4. The kids will laugh
5......they will lose consciousness because I am quite boring when it comes to the facts of life.
There is no way to sugar coat this one and have a lighthearted discussion. We can't laugh because it will seem like we do not respect the bodies that God has given us. It will almost like being in church...I think.....
Ah, I don't know how this is going to go. My plan is:
1. Smile...a lot....probably too much. It will look like a fake smile, although anyone who knows me will think that it is a horrified smile....
2. I will perspire....a great deal....there will probably be a pool of sweat on the floor.
3. My face will be red as I smile and perspire....and wish, yes, really wish, that I was on a beach in Siberia or a lagoon filled with man eating crocodiles....
4. I will have my laser pen pointing at various body parts on the screen and practice saying "Fallopian tubes...."
5. When I see their eyes roll to the back of their heads, I will dive into personal hygiene, soap, and deodorant.
6. Once I hit the 40th slide, I will say "Any questions?.....no?....Great....have a super day....."
Daisy says I got this one covered, but I am a bundle of BPM nerves....you know, it's the bottom of the 9th in the 7th game of the World Series.....we are up by one run...bases are loaded with 2 outs. I have a 3-2 count on Babe Ruth and do not...repeat....do not want to throw a fast ball....so I give in to my catcher who calls a curve ball....I take a big breath....focus on the catcher's glove...and let the ball fly.....what happens?
Stay tuned for an update later this week.