I was educated in what you could call the old school environment of Catholic education. Alas, today there are Catholic schools that have succumbed to what I call the warm fuzzies.
Personal identifiers of your choice was not a part of my education, with one exception. If you were not achieving then at some point you were called a thief by one or all of the priests who taught you. Sometimes you were called a thief in class. Obviously your self-esteem issues did not receive too much consideration either publicly or privately. You were called a thief because you were stealing from your parents. The same parents who were funding your early retirement at the expense of their own retirement.
These priests were quite experienced when it came to human nature. As one priest who had returned from mission work put it; We taught the beggars their basic sums so they knew exactly how much they had stolen at the end of the day. We weren’t any better than the beggars when we tried to rationalize our behavior.
My university had one-third of the student body enrolled in ROTC, and this is same today as it was in my day during the Vietnam War. We wore our uniforms to class and to meals on Friday; that has not changed either. The commissioning ceremony is still honored on graduation day and those of our alumni who are serving are featured on a regular basis in the alumni magazine.
One of my fondest memories is of the priest who was the head resident of my dorm. We would have some scotch and a cigar and discuss current events, the Church, and our school on Friday nights. None of us were 21. He was in his own way teaching us to engage in a rational discussion, and how to behave as gentlemen outside of the classroom.
I was fortunate because these priests understood that the inmates cannot run the asylum. They also understood that we had to be prepared for a world that is not always fair, and to recognize nonsense when we heard it.Published in