Tag Archives: Graduation

The Private Education

By: Clare

On September 1st as many other children and teens were heading off to start yet another school year, I was moving on to start my high school career, an exciting and daunting event that I had put off thinking about until the last minute. From 1st grade on up I had been going to the very small private Catholic school, Sacred Heart, that had dwindled in number down to about 30 by the time I reached seventh grade. Every year they consider closing it, but the power of Catholic education pulls through for another year every time.

 When I was younger, I got so sick of hearing the eighth graders complain about how Sacred Heart was so boring, and they couldn’t wait to get to high school. I swore I would never be like them, and would savor every moment of that school. Boy, did I not keep that promise. When eighth grade came ’round, I was just like them, whining my head off about how I couldn’t wait to leave. And yet, when the final day at Sacred Heart came, I did feel sad. I had spent all my school days there, experienced so much there, gotten into so much trouble there. But I was so excited for high school. There was going to be new classes, new teachers, a hot lunch program, which had been taken out of Sacred Heart my last year for who knows what reason. And of course, new friends. My best friend  had left Sacred Heart after fifth grade, and many of my friends had graduated before I. By the time I was in eighth grade, I had only one of my friends left with me, who is also my cousin. Of course, she wasn’t  the only person I talked to. I’ve always been one who has no problem talking with boys and messing around with them. This is probably the result of having five brothers and all their friends around the house. And since Sacred Heart is grades Pre-K through 8, and I love little kids, I always made time to play with the younger students. That was one of the great thngs about Sacred Heart, the grade difference. The little kids look up to the older kids like they’re these amazing people. I remember being a first grader and thinking how big and tall and mature the seventh and eighth graders were. But when you get older, you realize they’re really not that mature at all. Not at all. But I loved having all the younger students asking to play games with you, or giving you hugs in the hallway. Especially from this little guy.

Bronson was my little buddy. He made my days with his hugs. And that’s what I loved the most about Sacred Heart. The closeness. There were so few people it was impossible not to know everyone’s name, and ,well, pretty much everything else about them too. That’s what I miss the most. The people.

I was happy to graduate.

 I just didn’t know that the books people write on high schools aren’t completely made up (except for the parts where the dorky girls take off their glasses and turn gorgeous and get the popular guys to fall in love with them, that’s never realistic). It’s quite different out  in the big world…

Felicitations Colleen Rose

 

by Mary

A few weeks ago Colleen asked me why I was laughing as she got into my car after track practice. My honest reply was “I am laughing at you Colleen.” Seeing my sister striding towards my car in her preppy clothes toting a purse with the pattern of an Italian map, (Sidenote* every stitch of clothing and purse came from older sisters) amidst a parking lot full of casually dressed Cashton locals who were getting into their cars or driving off on a tractor (see Clare’s post), made me bubble with laughter. Replaying the scene in my mind makes me realize that I was laughing in part because I love my sister and all of who she is so very much. And in part, I was laughing because I am so glad for her that she is leaving Cashton, Wisconsin.

Colleen has been ready to go since she was, oh, about a freshman in highschool. While in high school she was a more than willing participant, and graduated from her class as a salutatorian. Beyond academic excellence, she excelled at cross country, track, drama, music and choir. Somehow through all this success she has remained refreshingly humble.

Colleen is the 7th child in our family line up. By the time she came along, my parents were pretty tired. Her happy sanguine nature was a God send from the time of birth. Initially, her days were spent sleeping or moving about the world in a happy contented state with a fat little thumb in her mouth. After she was born, Dad was in the middle of a major apple cider making session along with one of his good priest friends and a few other of his buddies. Because of the cider making situation, Mom was able to call her friend Barb, who is an amazing holy consecrated lay woman. Barb ended bringing Mom and Colleen home from the hospital to a dirty house full of excited older siblings and lots of fresh cider. To this day, when busy, we still do have the tendency to forget Colleen at times. When we take note of her though, all are excited by her cheerful company.

 When I think of Colleen nowadays, I think of flowy skirts, gladiator sandals, beat up running shoes, music, milk-coffee, running, NPR, English, French, health food, and France. What I don’t think of when I  think of my beautiful little sister is this:

 That is minus a brief stint last year when our neighbors down the road took in a 15 year old French exchange student named Pierre. During this special period of life, Colleen became very interested in harvesting squash with Pierre.

In all seriousness, I am extremely honored to be this young lady’s big sister. Over the past year, I have loved running, baking, and sharing my secrets with Colleen. Her wisdom and delightful optimism has been an enormous gift to both myself and the entire family. Soon enough she will be able to share these gifts while growing more as a person in Dallas. Felicitations, Miss. Colleen Rose Slattery! My laugh goes to Texas with you. Sundays will not be the same. Nor will long runs without you pushing me, and our conversations of course. As for the harvest though- well, that will surely continue on without you!

 All My Love, Your Big Sister,

 mary