What little old Sister Lucy taught us

On a recent visit to India a few close friends sat around reminiscing about our college days; invariably the conversation moved to Sister Lucy, the unforgettable Principal of Loreto College.

Sister Lucy epitomised everything brilliant about parochial education. She was incredibly strict but also unbelievably smart, witty, kind and a beautiful person who strove to make a complete human being out of every student she came in contact with.

Sister would often regale us with real-life stories before beginning the day’s lesson and what she shared the day she came to class, not quite her vivacious self, struck a chord with a room full of young, inexperienced teachers-in-training.

That morning Sister had gone into the teacher’s lounge for her routine cup of coffee. She looked everywhere in the room but could not find the modest cup that she had used every day for the past 10 years to drink out of.

No one ever touched “her” cup – so where could it have disappeared? As she took a disappointed sip out of another cup, she caught a glimpse of a new student-teacher, using it. Sister was relieved but somewhat bothered by this rather innocuous act but the very next minute she felt sadder and angrier than ever before at herself.

She explained to us that at that very moment she felt like a complete failure because 40 years ago when she had decided to become a nun, she had renounced everything worldly and the fact that she felt so attached to an insignificant coffee cup, showed that her life’s work had been tainted and squashed.

The story was a confession of sorts and by sharing it with us Sister was making sure that such a transgression would never occur again. Continue reading

  • Rumni Saha is a newspaper columnist, a Special Education Teacher and lives in Boston.
Additional reading

News category: Analysis and Comment.

Tags: , ,