I was in sixth grade. The teacher was Sister Everard. She was a slight but imposing woman. She was ancient beyond measure: 40. If you misbehaved or got lippy or were unprepared in class, she would lower her eyebrows and glare at you and you would feel that glare like a crisp ringing slap. She was stern and somber and orderly and firm and rigorous and organized and blank and unÂemotional. I cannot remember that I ever saw her smile, which is a remarkable thing to say of a person I saw nearly every day for a year, but that is so. I cannot remember that she laughed or cried or lost her temper or sneered or snickered or cracked a joke or offered a sidelong wry remark or skipped or giggled or twirled her rosary for effect or groaned melodramatically at the profligate idiocy of her young charges, as some of the other sisters did. I suspect now that she had learned to manage her class by incarnating the quiet discipline she wished to instill and evoke in us; but that is the present conclusion of a man much older than she was then. Back then we thought her only stern and rigorous and dry as a skittered leaf””until one afternoon in October.
I’m not spoiling it for you by posting any more—go to the link and read it all.