If the game of life had played out differently I probably would have gone to an all girls catholic high school by the name of Mother McAuley or perhaps even Oakland Catholic High School. Seeing as that is not the way life played out I ended up at K-12 charter school in Denver Colorado. Since coming to college I have learned vast amounts of information about the Catholic schools of St. Louis and what they all really mean. The most common/ some of my favorite people attended Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis.
A brief history of the place. It is run by the Apostles of The Sacred Heart, an order of sisters who are just awesome women and teach women to be awesome. It officially opened its doors on September 6, 1956 and has since been cranking out students. The school has moved locations once in its time and currently sits near the good ole’ Grants Farm. Buildings have been added as well as unusual amounts of exits, with their newest building just starting construction. Claire took me around this monstrosity of a school when it was empty and I was amazed but when we went back while it was in session I was overwhelmed.
First of all, there are so many hallways and classrooms. My high school was one hallway up and one hallway down with a locker bay next to the said hallway. Claire weaved through various buildings and hallways nonchalantly pointing at different things trying in vain to help me remember at least one marker from the first time we were there. I was proud of myself when I could recognize the locker bay and gym.
Second of all, the students that were currently attending school had so many bags. They had backpacks, lunch bags, computer cases and who knows what else. It blew my mind and they are allowed to leave the building whenever they feel. I asked Claire if that was okay, she shrugged and said not technically but they trust them. We used to have teachers stand at every exit during passing periods just to make sure students didn’t run. Which brings me to my other point, as much as I love catholic schools I don’t think I could wear your uniform every day. To which Claire replied, you get used to it and it basically becomes a symbol of pride after a while.
Thirdly, you have a freakin’ dog. It’s an incredibly cute dog but a freakin’ dog.
Fourth of all, I have known lots of women who graduated from this school. They tell me about how they were pushed and the expectations were high. These women are some of the best people I know and they look back on school with a fondness that I can never muster. If you attend/attended Cor Jesu Academy you are one lucky duck.
We left after I was awkwardly introduced to different administrators, the President remembering me from my previous visit and I was in awe at just how different it was from my school. I stumbled over the sidewalk and then my words as I tried to tell Claire that it simply was not possible for a school like that to exist. She laughed and we drove away.