I share a unique experience with many women across the world, an experience that we pride ourselves upon and that other people rarely understand: attending an all-girl’s catholic high school.
I was completely inspired by this article, which says “… people [at all girl’s schools] that worked hard, were passionate about their interests and excelled. They gained genuine popularity by being Bad Ass Chicks.” And I think that was true for my school.
I felt valued for being exactly who I was. I could focus on my academics and allow my creativity to flourish without feeling judged or that I would fail at all. We weren’t just a part of some system trying to get us to graduate; we were a part of a “circle” (a “circle of mercy” as the teachers drilled into our minds).
We were a part of a circle, not a system.
How was the “circle” different from the system? It made us feel like we had a purpose. We each had skills, talents, and strengths that we could use to help others in the “circle.” It wasn’t about getting the most people possible to pass the regents exams each year, but about getting all of us to discover our full potential.
This is how that happened each and every day:
- Yes, we wore uniforms. And we built our creativity each and every day as we tried to break dress code in new and innovative ways.
- We built strong, and sometimes weird, relationships with our teachers. Anonymous love notes (with a somewhat joking tone) were the norm.
- We didn’t subscribe to the idea of concealing our womanhood. And, by that, I mean there were tampons flying in the halls.
- We said a lot of “Hail Mary’s.” I mean a lot.
- We knew everyone’s business. And we were able to be more understanding because of it.
- People with really strange talents got a lot of attention.
- There were deep questions that plagued us every day, like the “Mystery of the Cat Pictures in Locker.”
- We got in trouble primarily for backless shoes, but man, did we learn how to organize a rebellion.
- The allcool kids could be found doing their homework at the local coffee shop.
- Our senior prank was really just an excuse to get together and enjoy each other’s company.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29069717@N02/9824894753/”>classic_film</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>