HARASSING THE RAT
(Courtesy of spending so much time in the Clarksville Public Library)
One time at Catholic High School, the library was run, maintained and policed by a Nun who went by the nickname of The Rat. My class was not only the largest ever to attend the school, (class of 120+ depending on who was expelled from Catholic or who was expelled from one of the surrounding public schools and had to attend Catholic as the only viable alternative because the other private school was just "too private" ie: expensive)we were also the smartest of any previous or succeeding! This enabled us to come up with very amusing and cunning nicknames for our teachers and staff.
We were a wicked class. Catholic was a coed school but the sexes were separated. It was for our own good, or so we were told. We were able to concentrate on our studies and not on the opposite sex. Or so the theory went. We were mixed for our language classes. French, Spanish and Latin. And my class was the very first ever in the schools history to have a coed home room. Little did we know, we were an experiment. They had decided to separate the classes into the Smart Group and the Dumb Group (I sweat to God, it went on for years) (my brother T. was just reminiscing about it last week, how he was mistakenly put into the dumb class). As I was saying, my homeroom was the smartest of the smart!
And the most wicked of the wicked.
Back to The Rat......
To enter the library you went through two swinging doors that opened out into the hallway. Our high school was built in the shape of the letter E the opened end of the E faced the parking lot and the baseball fields (it's all changed now, with the million dollar donations, the addition of a highly successful football program, the multiple Basketball State Titles and the accusations of recruiting!!). The library was one of the corners of the E. Our Homeroom was next to the library and we liked nothing better to harass The Rat.
And the Rat did not take it laying down. We had something called Conduct Cards (I sweat to God, I may still have one stashed) and she would ask and you would hand over and she would slash away points. Your conduct grade would be what was left over at the end of the quarter.
The students would race by the library door and bang on it. Rat would rush and throw open the door trying to figure out which one of the innocent faces looking back at her was the culprit.
But the major coup was when some genius stuck the broom between the two door handles and banged loudly.
We were doubled over laughing as the Rat's face appeared in the tiny windows trying to see what was holding the doors locked tight! She was red faced angry.
I have many tiny snap shots of those four years spent at Catholic, terrorizing the Nuns, being whipped into shape by the faculty and smoking in the bathrooms, skipping school and having a major crush that lingers slightly today.