Catholic School: How Did I End up Here? (The End, aka: finally, this particular narrative has ended)
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
~ Albert Einstein (Theoretical Physicist)
I don't think my parents had hopes of turning me into a religious enthusiast by compelling me to attend private, Catholic school. It's my impression that they were far more inspired by the prospect of me having a better education than producing a better Catholic. I guess I could say the Catholic aspect was a mere fringe benefit of the whole endeavour. And, in reality - did the Catholic conditions scar me for life? Absolutely not. I will say that, overall, it didn't help with matters in the mind of a curiously confused grade 7/8 student. In all honesty, I think my questioning was, in part, an attempt at active defiance - towards the school, towards my parents. In my case, this is what we would call foreshadowing. But, this wasn't entirely it.
As a small child being raised in the Catholic church, I did believe - most kids do. Little ones don't have the ability to critically analyze information, which is why they love unconditionally. I loved my parents unconditionally and, therefore, believed in everything they said. This included Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and God. My parents knew EVERYTHING, right? I mean, if Santa watched me all year round with his rather judgemental eye, it wasn't terribly far fetched to believe that a spirit in the sky did the same. But, it wasn't quite the same. Of course, by my ripe old age of 12-13, long gone were the days of believing in Santa. And, what about that? My parents had, in fact, lied about Santa - and all those other characters who brought candy and toys and financial donations. The time of these discoveries was acutely perplexing and I distinctly remember the day I detected the remarkable similarity between my mom's handwriting and Santa's. At that moment, not only did I know that parents knew EVERYTHING, I also knew they lied. About things of catastrophic importance. To say that this had an impact on my likelihood or ability to believe in my parents word would be a gigantic stretch; however, it did enlighten me to the idea that there were questions begging to be asked about a lot of things that I had been taking for granted.
(I would just like to note that I had a sister that was older than me by five years who never revealed the fact that Santa - or any other fictitious character - was not real out of spite or disdain towards my existence. I've always thought that was pretty incredible).
If I once thought that parents or nuns could answer my questions, these thoughts were quickly dispelled as I got older. Attending Catholic school was the beginning of this realization by simple fact that I had nuns and Jesus's on crosses around me on a daily basis. So, when I look back, I can say with certainty that being educated in a Catholic school environment had zero impact my understanding of the Catholic religion or myself as a Catholic (just in case there are parents reading this who are considering sending their child to Catholic school, purely for the betterment of their understanding of Catholicism). The only (unfortunate) thing my experience in private, Catholic school impressed upon me was a disinclination towards liking and doing well in school.
What a let down.