Sister Mary Jude

Yep, the SCHSoN was run by nuns. Sister Mary Jude was the administrator. She scared the pissed out of all of us. Her nickname was Sister Mary God.

My first serious encounter with her came at the end of our first year. She came into one of our nursing classes to inform everyone that our class would be the last graduating class at the school. Ever. However, we could rest assured that there would be no drop off in the quality of our education. The stellar instructors would remain on staff. We would have access to all the classrooms, labs, and other resources that had been available to every other class that had studied and excelled at the school. And it was a really great school. It really was.

Then she asked if we were willing to give up the school library. The hospital wanted to expand the Outpatient Services Department, and they wanted to repurpose the library in order to achieve this. In all honesty, I doubt the library was ever used by many of us, so if it disappeared it would hardly have been a devastating loss. But Sister Mary Jude asked if anyone had any objections. We looked around at each other, and… I objected.

“You just said we’d have no change in the quality of our education, and the next thing you do is take the library away. I don’t think that’s fair.”

“Well, let’s vote on it.” she said. “Whoever thinks we should give the hospital your library so they can expand their services–and this is the hospital that will likely become the employer to many of you that graduate from this class, so you may want to take that into consideration–all of you that want to make this possible, raise your hands.”

Zero hands went up.

“Those of you that want to keep the library…” Everyone raised their hands. Sister Mary Jude turned, and silently left the room. My class applauded. The instructor said something like, “Damn, you’ve got some balls, son. But I wouldn’t make a habit of making her mad.”

It was the first home run of my nursing career.

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