In the picture above, you’re standing on the southeast corner of Lakewood and Loyola Avenues, looking at what was at the time St. Ignatius Grammar School. Sometime in the 1990’s the decision was made to join with the other Catholic schools in the area and form the Northside Catholic Academy, closing the school. The parish then rented the school to The Chicago Waldorf School, which now I understand is relocating. I’ve asked the group if anyone’s heard what’s to become of the school building. I hope they don’t tear it down…
Which is kind of different than I felt 50 years ago, when I was in sixth grade. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, and in retrospect they were happy times. Just didn’t seem that way at the time.
My 6th grade nun (okay, teacher, but we always referred to them as “the nuns” or singular “the nun”) was Mother Ann Catherine, who taught me two years before when she was Sister Ann Catherine. Guess she was promoted… anyway, she seemed pretty young, but with all the yards of black material she was swathed in, it was hard to tell.
One Friday, we got a mimeographed letter to take home that said the Sisters would be adopting modern dress over the weekend, and that when we returned on Monday they would be dressed differently and would be using their civilian names with “Sister” appended to the front. I guess this was to prepare us for the shock that would accompany our seeing our nuns dressed like our moms, which, in comparison to how they had dressed up to that point, would be practically naked.
I took the letter home and gave it to Mom, who read it over and showed it to Jim and Kip. They read it, shrugged and said “OK.” In the grand scheme of things, this was no big deal. I didn’t give it any thought, really.
It was a good thing they had warned us about it, though. Sister Ann, who we all pretty much knew was young and kind of pretty anyway, now looked young and pretty. In fact, she was really attractive, and when she said “good morning” I was kind of stuck for an answer. All of us were at first, but as the day went on we got used to the new look, and soon all was back to normal.
I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall at the convent during lunch, just to hear the conversation…