Sister Julia

Fourth grade In Immaculate Conception grammar school was better than any other school year for all the wrong reasons.

Our classroom was in the new wing of the 4-story brick building. It had windows on 2 sides, making it daytime for hours. The older part of our school were lit by yellow overheads that gave our chubby faces a pallor reminiscent of a Charles Dickens’ story. Our new desks had pastel formica tops and a separate pastel chair. The older part of our school had oak onesies built from forest primeval lumber at a time when people thought the inkwell in the top was for ink.

Our teacher was Sister Julia. She truly was the quietest, prettiest, youngest teacher I ever had. She was new, too.

Our behavior matched our surroundings. We acted like the children of privilege we had become. We looked down at the students in the old section of the building. We believed we were better than them. We were snippy smartypants in ways that being nine years old was not enough to excuse.

In fifth grade, I was back in the older section of the school and had to come up with other ways to appear significant.

About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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