I didn’t give Sister Mary Jude her nickname, but I gave Sister Mary Dominic her nickname, and it stuck like glue.
A little background stuff: Sister Mary Jude was about 170 years old and had been the administrator at the school since roughly the American Civil War.
Sister Mary Hitler was more like 1,700 years old and had been at the school since the Fall of the Roman Empire. She was of German descent, hence the moniker. There was a rumor her dad walked out on her and her mom when she was a little girl, and as a result, she didn’t like men. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know this: she did not like me.
Sister Mary Hitler was the OB/GYN instructor at our school. She had prepared slideshow presentations on various aspects of pregnancy, labor and delivery, infant care and abortion. Before any of her students could step onto the floor for clinical experience, they had to watch her slideshows. It was mandatory! These were stored in the library I had recently saved from destruction…
On our first day of OB/GYN clinicals she asked if we had all watched her very important slideshows. Everyone said, “Yes, Sister!” except me. I said nothing. I could’ve lied, but I didn’t feel comfortable lying to a nun. After all, her boss was God.
SMH noticed my singular lack of response and interrogated me in front of my classmates. And I answered. I already knew where babies came from. I had assisted in the births of dozens of new humans before I ever stepped foot into nursing school, and I had six younger brothers and sisters. I knew how to give a baby a bath, and I had never thrown any of them out with the bath water.
Sister Mary Hitler didn’t care. She was almost screaming! I absolutely had to watch her slideshows or I couldn’t go to the floor!! And she meant it. We stared each other down, and I blinked first.
So I went to the library, which I decided was a stupid place, and vowed I would never try to save another piece of my doomed school, and I watched her goddamn slideshows — just in cases she decided to ask me any trick questions when I got back to the hospital. And she did, but she was satisfied with my answers and my life as a student nurse was allowed to continue. However, it was just the beginning of my trials and tribulations with Sister Mary Hitler.