Public speaking is certainly not my cup of ginger tea, but my conclusion? “I must overcome this giant!”
Let’s face it. How will I commit myself to read my future book before my fans, if I keep on using the word “but” whenever I have a chance to express myself in public?
Although, it’s really not my fault. Sometimes, my tongue feels more comfortable when my lips remain sealed, even among friends.
So, to defy this gigantic monster, guess what I did Saturday during my paralegal club meeting?
When the professor asked, “Who would like to be the North Campus President?”
“Well!” I reasoned with a “but” excuse. I thought it best to learn how to crawl first, before I start walking. I wouldn’t want to fall and bust my lips on my first attempt.
Yes, you guessed right. I did not raised my hands.
Turned out, I had a few “but” remaining inside my excuse box. So I ignored the call for the Vice President for both North and South Campus.
But, guess what? I finally raised my hands for the South campus secretary! Ho-ray!!!
But, do you know who beat me to it?
One of my daughter’s friend, who grew up in MY neighborhood, EATING MY FOOD. In fact, she calls me Tatie, which mean aunt, I considered her as my nice.
Wow! That gives a whole new definition of the term, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Yap!
Can you believe I contributed to her success! All along, I was pulling her shirt while whispering to her:”vote, vote!” But, confidently, we both raised our hands together, for the same position. Hilarious!
Of course I was proud of her!
But, loosing turned out to be my force of motivation. Like a form of training.
So when I heard the next: “Who would like to vote for…?”
My box of “but” was suddenly empty. I found myself raising my hand so high, I almost stood up. Because, all my fears had just flown away.
Yes, I was elected to be one of the officers of the Paralegal Eagles. I”m the Student Governing Rep.!
To keep us motivated, our professor told us “All you have to do is show up!” Which, I have no problem doing.
But, when I finally grabbed my box of ‘but” which I presumed was empty, there I discovered one more ‘BUT” was stuck inside of it.
So I had to swallow my saliva before I read “Algebra class!”
“Dawn it!” I screamed.
“This class still exist?”
The first day Sister Marie and I met for the play rehearsal, she sat down and repeated the same scripture over and over.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” Though I speak……”
She continued with this charade during the whole hour. In fact, that’s when I realized could never be a nun. I foresaw myself snoring during the early morning, and evening prayers. I would be such a pain in the convent, just like Floriane Maria in the movie, “The Sound of Music,” Mother Superior wouldn’t know what to do with me.
Finall, I thought “I have to find a way to maintain my sanity,” so I started drawing. First, I drew a picture of myself snoring, and of Sister Maria holding a ruler with a furious face. Then I drew a new portrait of her being carried to heaven by the angels. I also kept count of her repetitions. But while I drew little circles, I whispered “Sister Marie is going craaa-zy!!!! I’m sure she heard me, but she still did not show any sign of annoyance.
Furthermore, to test her endurance, I dropped myself on the floor, rolled over a couple times. Then, I placed my school bag under my chin, while I laid flat on my stomach, with my arms wide open. Still not a zilch from her.
So I got up, while standing next to her, started hopping on one leg; knew she hated that. Still not a sign from her.
So I finally concluded: “Sister Marie went to heaven and left her body behind.” In fact, I started singing the same sentence, over and over, and I danced all the latest dance I knew, even did the twist. Not a zilch from Sister Marie.
When my brother came to pick me up, I grabbed my school bag, and as I started running toward the door. I heard: “See you Friday Angel!”
“I suddenly stopped running, just to turn and look at her. She was smiling.
“Oh My God! You are back from heaven Sister Marie?”
She shook her head, laughed, then said “Yes Angel, I came back to take you with me.”
“Oh no, sister Marie. Today I realized I could never be a nun like you. I would be bored to death. “
“Why would you be bored?”
“Because you were repeating the same prayer over and over for a whole hour. That’s too boring!”
“ I was not really praying, I was merely meditating on the word.”
“Well, “I can’t merely meditate on the word” for so long either Sister Marie. I would start snoring, all the angels and demons would start running inside the church.”
“ You have a great gift if you can cause even the demons to run back to church.”
“Sister Marie, my grandma used to tell me, “I snore so loud, that I will cause both angels and demons to wake up from their sleep and run to church.”
“But why would she think they would rush to church?”
“Because my snore sound just like thunder, they would think it’s God’s voice rebuking them!”
I love Catholic schools. I think their academic standards are excellent, although I still question some of their religious beliefs. Yes, I respect their worldwide excellence in contributing not only on an academic level, but charitable as well. Furthermore, I have to admit, while my siblings went to Catholic school during most of their academic training, I on the other hands went there, during some of my academic years. Honestly, one day I could not stop myself. I felt obliged to squeeze the wrath out of one particular nun. That’s when I asked her the following question:
“Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”
Yap! She was one of my elementary school teacher. Her name Was Sister Marie, but I called her “Sister Morte,” which meant in French “Sister Dead”
“What did you say?” She answered me. So I repeated:
“Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed THIS MORNING?”
“Venez ici – Petite impertinente!” Meaning “Come here you little impertinent!”
I did not budge. “Come here – I said!” As she slightly raised her voice.
“Not with that ruler in your hand Sister! Remember, last time you hit me so hard, the palm of my hand turned as red as a plum tomatoe. Yes, it was swollen for two days, just because I wore a blue SOCK instead of WHITE!”
So, as she proudly raised her chin, she said: “The prowwww-per uniform code is “Whittt’e shirt. Naaaa-vy blue skirt. AND “white,” Yes “WHITTT’E Sock!” But, you were wearing BLUE sock, and today, you are still wearing a BLUE SOCK!”
So I answered her in the same tone: “Well Sister MORTE, do you remember that I Aaaaaam a chiiiiiiii-ld and, this is what the sorcière (meaning witch) caring for ME, gave ME to wear this morning? For all I know, you both are probably sisters!”
“Young lady, you must not call your mother a witch.” By then she was trying to grab me by my ear.
So I started playing jump rope between the chairs, so she could not catch me, while I answered her: “For your information, I was not referring to my mother, because she lives in New York, while Im here in Haïti, with another hateful woman. I BET you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? “Since you are stuck between these four walls, like you were in jail, where you deserve to be!”
“Ok young lady, I’m taking you to the principal office!”
“Good! Because I don’t want to be in your class anyway!” Then, I ran out of the class before she could catch me.
She took a short cut and met with me near the garden where I was standing admiring the flowers. As soon as she saw me, she straightened her posture, raised her chin in the air, made her look like a flat iron board, as she walked passed me. She occasionally turned back to stare at me, by then I was hoping on one leg, while I held the other leg with my hand. By the look she gave me, I could read in her mind; “as if she thought of me as the child from hell. But couldn’t bring herself to say it, for fear she would see a reflection of herself.” So I kept on hopping. Annoyed, she finally turned toward me to say in a calm voice:
“Young girls must not hop like this, so walk properly!”
So I replied “And dead nun should not walk with their chin up, a fly may come and hide inside their nose!”
So I kept on hoping. Then I saw another bush of pink roses. They were so beautiful, I felt compelled to at least touch them. While I admired them, I also cut a handful to make a bouquet for Sister Claire. She was my favorite nun, and she was not only beautiful but pleasant as well. But when sister Morte noticed I was cutting the flowers, she yelled, “Leave the flowers alone!” So I turned to her and said:
“Because they are not here for you to cut, but to beautify the school yard – Petite impertinente!”
“Excuse me Sister Morte, but If you were a true nun, you would understand that God created these gorgeous flowers not only to beautify the schoolyard, but for me to give them to my favorite sister, and it’s not for you either! And I bet you will never get some flowers because you are too mean!”
Just as I was shaking my little head, with my butt pointing behind, I sensed a presence. When I turned, it was my favorite priest, standing with his arm crossed over his fat stomach. Then he said: “Another feud between you two?”
“Good morning Father Bald head!” I shouted with a smile.
But she greeted him without a smile “Good morning father Pierre.”
Father Pierre pleasantly answered, “Good morning! And good morning to you both! But what is going on between you two again?”
As she held both of her hands together, as if she was about to say a prayer, she promptly answered, “Father, I highly recommend we transfer this troubled child to a more suitable school.” Furthermore, I strongly recommend some major penance for her as well, or I’m afraid she will be a lost case.”
Father Pierre turned to me with a questionable stare, awaiting an answer. Thankfully I had just watched the movie Dracula for the first time, so I had a whole bucket full of new expression. I held both of my hands together just as she did, like I was about to saymy prayer. Then I answered him:
“Father Bald head, I think you should return Dracula’s wife back to him. If not, Sister Morte will suck all the children blood from this school!”
To be continued