Overheard in the Halls: Part 19

Slinking Senior: He got his costume when?!?

Sulky Senior: September. And no one knows what it is.

SS1: Not. Fair.


I’ve been covering for one of the religion teachers, and graded one of the students’ papers, making a few corrections in the process.

Frazzled Freshman: Miss Red?

Me: Yes?

F.F.: Why did you mark out the “and” on my answer?

Me: Because Protestants are Christians, just like Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are Christians.

Other Freshman: What about Calvinists?

Me: Still Christian.

Voice from the Back of the Room: I am soooooo confused.

She’s not the only one, I can assure you.


A teacher feed has been laid out in the main workroom. One of the staff picks up a bottle of fancy water and reads the label as I gently implore the copier to be nice to me.

Miss Critter [junior high Life Sciences]: Gluten free, non GMO, vegan.

Mr. Fizz: [chemistry teacher] It had better not say “certified organic.”

Miss Critter: If it does, I’m running away.


Sr. Scholastica: We still need ideas for the faculty Halloween costumes.

Fr. Garcia: We could come as clergy.

Those of us who are not priests, nuns, or monks make noises of discontent.

Mrs. Hankie [junior high counselor]: I want to come as a priestess of Pele.

Me: Hmm, what about a votary of Quetzalcoatl?

Sr. Scholastica: No. We will do historic figures. [Casts “Stern Look” toward Brother Vector.] And Roman numerals don’t count.

Half the group groan. Br. Vector tries to look not guilty.


Whrrrrrr thhhpt. Thhhhhpt Thhhhhhpt. KLUNK!

All eyes in the workroom turn to the big copier.

KLUNK! Thhhhpt, thhhhhpt.

Sr. Hygine [school nurse]: Paper shift.

Sighs of relief ensue.


Sister Mary Conjugation: [leafing through a stack of pages] Yes, yes, back-ordered, yes.

Me: Pardon me, ma’am. [She looks over her reading glasses at me. I resist the urge to recite mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa] Are the upperclassmen doing any major written assignments between [date] and [a week later]?

Sr. Mary Conjugation: No, not unless they need one.

Me: Thank you, ma’am. They have a written assignment for me during that week.

Sr. Mary Conjugation: So noted.

I sort of bow and ease out of the secondary work area, careful to make no sound. And I’m not even one of her students!

17 thoughts on “Overheard in the Halls: Part 19

  1. I see SS1, and can’t help but expand it to Super Saiyajin, level one.

    Mormans. Copts. Baptists.

    Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews for Jesus, Liberation Theology… What does your job permit you to say about stuff, strictly speaking, not being Christian? Theosophism is historical, isn’t it?

    WIP is snarly enough just sticking to Catholicism, Presbyterianism, and the Japanese Orthodox* church as examples of Christian religions as practiced outside of Japan. (Okay, of the two big Orthodox characters, both only attend Japanese Orthodox church services while in Japan, one doesn’t believe in the changes to the Orthodox liturgical calendar, and the other’s girlfriend is a junior member of the Shinto clergy.)

    • Depends on which specific definition of Christian is being used– it’s following Jesus’s teaching including that He is divine, and depending on how that’s waggled either Mormons are Christian (as the…first born of creation? I think that’s the term) or they’re not; I am not a theologian, just got curious when someone defined Christian so broadly that Muslims are included, because their Jesus is a prophet. (has little to nothing to do with Jesus the Christ)

    • Bob, it depends on the class. If I am teaching history, then more wiggle room is allowed, and I tend to teach multiple sides when something is controversial*. if I’m substituting for a religion class, I stick with the material I’m provided. I don’t want to cause problems with the students’ grades.

      *The origins of Islam are one place I hold back, and I tell the students that I’m giving them the traditional, Islamic version. I point out that there are other ideas, but also that we don’t have the time for me to explain the evidence, then present the options. That at least plants a seed, and if they come to me later, I can direct them to books and other material. Plus if they are in a non-Christian religion track, it doesn’t cause them problems later in the other class.

  2. Thank you! You have given my retired science teacher sister her daily ration of exercise as she rolled on the floor laughing and reconfirmed my decision to retire from teaching after only eight years

  3. Overheard … is always a fun start to the day. Relating to the teacher spread, I have a picture of a stand used to sell campfire wood, reading “Free Range Wood”. It was always sold down or sold out, that summer.

    Sr. Mary Conjugation is quite real. My one great-aunt was just like that, and it felt like she was stricter on family. You walked very quietly and practiced self-control on periodic visits to her convent.

  4. Sr. Mary Conjugation must have learned that from Mrs. Henderson- She taught English and Speech for at least 30 years, and even the principal walked carefully around her (I think he’d been one of her students)… LOL And the coaches would run and hide when they saw her coming down the hall.

  5. Sr. Scholastica: We still need ideas for the faculty Halloween costumes.

    Right after this line, my browser has an ad for a toenail fungus treatment. At first I didn’t realize that it was an ad and thought it was a photo designed to go with the article. The resulting mental picture of what y’all were going to be wearing on October 31st was…interesting, shall we say.

  6. “historic figure” = “Roman numeral?”

    Wow. I like puns, but that is far beyond my level of skill. Only a truly depraved paronomasiac could come up with that.

    (My greatest achievement in that area of endeavor was the day someone told me of a town that tried to build an artificial ski resort out of garbage, and I asked if that was where the filthy rich went to ski.)

    • Sr. Scholastica isn’t usually that punny, but she was rather stressed because of several big administrative things looming. It is usually one of other math teachers who puns for Halloween, but apparently Br. Vector had made noises…

  7. Overheard by 5th Grade me at the end of recess about half-a-century ago:

    Mrs.** Resonant in her usual bullhorn playground voice: “EVERYONE GET IN A SINGLE FILE LINE! IMMEDIATELY!”

    Mrs. Resonant under her breath as she watches the resulting chaos: “How many single file lines did you say Teacher?”

    **Back when teachers were still Mr., Mrs., or Miss.

  8. The problem with Catholic school is the same as its strength. You get a good strong dose of Catholic identity and knowledge, but then you sometimes have trouble integrating “outside” knowledge in a directed way.

    For some reason, I was extremely clear on what various flavors of pagan/non-Christian believed, but had a deep-seated belief that all flavors of Christian really are Catholics. Hooboy, no. (Okay, maybe theologically in a separated brethren way, but “minor” differences aren’t.)

    I was also extremely unclear on the concept that Mass had changed after Vatican II, in ways beyond just Latin. I had no excuse for this, as we had a pre-Vatican II Mass picture book when I was growing up. I just didn’t read or look at it, much less try to understand it. Hooboy, that was another oversight that bit me. (I think it was deliberate brain avoidance of stress. But the older Rites didn’t bother me. Shrug.)

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