This movie arrived just in time. Hayley Mills, the original “Parent Trap” star, played a rebellious, difficult cadet at an all girls’ prep school. Her “scathingly brilliant” ideas wreaked havoc for principal Rosalind Russell.
Of course, as movies played out in the 1960’s, she would be the one to receive the calling. She would become a nun.
On a recent favorite blog, someone was asked when they knew they wanted to be a doctor. She said it was in second grade.
At about that time, I was so immersed in my Catholic school culture. I belonged to a group called the “Handmaids of Mary”, a select group of girls who spent a good deal of time in the adjacent convent.
We arrived hours early, attending the morning mass with the sisters before school. After a light breakfast, we spent the rest of the time cleaning the convent. We were the cheapest of labor as “handmaids”.
I didn’t mind. The convent was peaceful. Intensely quiet.
Coming from a household of noise and chaos, this was the draw. Voices were soft and muted. The chapel and library were special, places of prayer and meditation.
We were invited to visit Villa Maria Academy sometime during 7th grade. I was enchanted.
It was an all girls college prep school, the source of candidates for the IHM convent; Immaculate Heart of Mary, the same order of nuns I had come to love.
The uniforms were crisp dark blazers, grey wool skirts, Buster Brown leather shoes and cotton knee socks. I had no problem dressing like everyone else; it was the equalizer of my childhood.
The tuition was steep, out of my family’s reach, so I applied for the only scholarship to be granted to my school. It went to another student. It was not meant to be.
I moved forward, had some success in public high school.
Puberty happened. I never looked back.