A Foundation for Life

A Foundation for Life

Kaileigh Strong (she/her), Writer

Pray every morning and afternoon. No

makeup. Hands out of your hair. This isn’t a

hair salon. No talking in line. Pay attention

to your teacher. Even if Jesus is standing in

the doorway. Picture day is a formal dress

day, NOT a dress down day. Even if the

picture only shows your shoulders and

above. Don’t wear shorts to gym class until

it’s March or else you will get dress coded.

Stand up and greet your teachers if they

walk in and disturb your class. Do not wear

earrings bigger than a dime. If you go to

church on Sunday, we will reward you with

a pancake breakfast on Monday, because

God only wants you to love him for the

reward. Similarly, if you behave, you will be

awarded the title of Student of the Month.

The best behaved children are motivated by

the praise. We will assign a coloring page

for homework to alleviate your stress instead

of lowering your overbearing workload which

is keeping you, a middle schooler, up

until midnight. The project isn’t due until

Friday but if you finish early, feel free to

turn it in early as well. If you turn it in early,

you will be commended and anyone who

turns it in on Friday, the due date, will be

frowned upon. You can’t eat during class,

but if you’re lucky you’ll get to watch your

teachers eating during class.


Author’s statement:

The goal of this piece was to call out, or criticize something we were taught. I chose to target my Catholic school education. I intended to use sarcasm to chastise many of the morals I was taught in elementary school and middle school. There are many teachings that exist just for the sake of tradition, and not because they have any value. The motivation behind them is usually there for an ethical reason, but the execution is not the best. I used irony in the line “If you go to church on Sunday, we will reward you with a pancake breakfast on Monday, because God only wants you to love him for the reward.” This is ironic because they teach you in Catholic school that God does not want us to be motivated by the reward to love him. Throughout this piece I made sure I framed it in a way that illustrated how the practices of Catholic school were contradictory. I give an example of this in the piece when I call out the coloring page homework. Teachers constantly told me that I should not be staying up until midnight completing homework, but they never changed anything of what was actually keeping me up until midnight. Their solution was to assign coloring pages to alleviate the stress. By doing this, I became more stressed about completing, in my opinion, useless coloring pages. In a way, my teachers’ solution to having too much work was to give me more work (in the form of coloring). Through writing this piece, my goal was to free myself of everything I had been taught.