05. June 2013 · Comments Off on Mother Paulinus · Categories: L.. 13 to 15 years

She has taken me under her wing for three years, enough time to set me on a course that soon becomes my own.

As simply as she helped me decide my “race” as being British when filling out a form, she makes sure that I never forget that English is my native language, the one in which I speak to myself, the one in which I dream.   My own mother had thought this and had insisted that we speak only English at home.

Mother Paulinus says that to have depth in language I need solid roots.   From deep roots I will have no fear of branching out as far as I can go.

As for this magnet thing I describe, she says it is a gift, pure and simple.   Just as faith in life is a gift.   It does not come from me.   It is easy to lose the connection and cut myself off.   That will be my own fault.

Yes, it is a sort of demon too.  All gifts are burdens.   They come with obligations in direct proportion to their size.

Reach out to others, she said.   Since you don’t think that you have as much school spirit as students in America, do something about it.

That’s how it came about that I put together a ceremony where we sing and dance together and crown Thelma as Queen of May.  It is so lovely and fun that the nuns allow us to stage a simple play that I wrote.

The play is a total flop even though the audience is trying its best to applaud us.   The actors do not know their lines or cues or where to put their feet.  It is beyond embarrassing.

It is my fault.  I was so afraid of pushing my friends that I managed only two rehearsals.

I assumed that everyone would learn their lines on their own as they promised.   I should have had more rehearsals or canceled the performance.    Mother Paulinus accepts my mea culpa.

I start a school newspaper and name it The Rosette.  It is getting close to final exams.   Schoolmates give short interviews but no one commits to writing anything.  I borrow Titi’s ancient typewriter and peck out all the articles.  I piece everything together on the dining room table.

It is only a scrawny four-page sheet.  The nuns say take it to the printer, negotiate a good price, and the school will pay for it.  I know nothing about printing or bargaining.

My cousin’s friend, magnanimous Fanny, volunteers to help me out.  She takes me to the printer.   She handles everything.  The Rosette is published.

This little school newspaper will play a crucial part in the direction of my life’s journey that has little to do with journalism.


Comments closed.