Every morning we recited all four: the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Until third grade I thought “Lead us not into temptation” was “Lead us, snot, into temptation.” I took it to mean that before God, we are but snot, and deserve all the temptation we get.
I never knew who was rich or who was poor; boys wore sky blue shirts and navy blue pants, girls wore short plaid skirts, and that was all there was to it.
I was fascinated by the girls’ legs for two reasons: first of all because they were Second, because they showed that in spite of the profound psychological and emotional differences between the sexes, little girls are just as physically tough as little boys.
I have searched my memory for history, literature, or science learned in those years, and in spite all the “fun facts”, written assignments, and pop quizzes, I can only recall three things, and these may or may not be true: You can pick up an education just as good, and for free, in any non-urban public school outside of the State of California, but my parents saw fit to shell out a grand a year for me to go to Jasna Gora, because there are things you learn in Catholic school that you cannot get in public school.
At Jasna Gora I learned my prayers, and sometimes still use them.
If a girl fell playing Red Rover, it was on bare legs.
Joe Shwarch, and then the whole school together during last period for Mass.
To most people the modern interior of the church was fantastically ugly, but since it had lots of stained glass, we kids thought it beautiful.
It had a towering, cross-shaped window in the back that would turn the whole interior Mary-blue when the afternoon sun passed behind it. Every Friday in Lent we prayed the Stations of the Cross in that church.
Years later I was surprised to meet another graduate of Jasna Gora who had believed exactly the same thing about the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer.
God ignored my prayer, never leading me into the temptation I was so fervently requesting.