Hands Folded

Kindergarten through 8th grade. This is how the students maintained themselves in each grade level. It was a Catholic school in Vallejo, CA. I was there for just the day on assignment as substitute Spanish teacher.

I had taught in elementary schools, after school enrichment programs. Additionally, I had tutored both child and adult in ESL. Of course all of this came on the heels of my work in a middle school as well as a high school located in a tiny fishing village. Compulsory education sets the tone. Students either add or subtract. In eleven years I never found any folded hands among the student body.

Well trained students in the Catholic school outshone the rest. Not only did I walk into each classroom (remember, this includes 5 year olds and 13 year olds) to find strict adherence to school rules (hands folded upon desktop) but there was not a sound coming from any student. Somewhat eerie…foreign…refreshing.

Only because I led the 8th graders in a competitive Spanish vocabulary game, two teams vying for the prize, did I hear revelry, boisterous revelry, in the group.

I am not Catholic but I am gearing up for my first Holy Communion. It should prove to be a record breaker. The first 63 year old to take the ceremony. If my experience is representative of Catholic schools exclusively, pass the Communion Wafers. I will fold my hands.

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