When our family moved to Florida, I was just turning eight and entering the third grade--this was August of 1967. Yes, I know I just dated myself, but I really don't mind broadcasting my age (hey! I've made it this far so I should be happy!!) At the time, the public school system down there was having some problems, so, even though we were not Catholic, my parents decided to enroll me in the local Catholic school--St. Mary's...complete with Irish nuns.
From third through the eighth grade I was taught by Irish nuns. Some of them were quite stern, but most of them had a funny side to them. I can remember going to the Fall Festival and seeing one of the nuns driving around the tractor for the hayride. During recess or P.E. some of them would get involved playing some of our games. I also learned later on that the ones I thought were so stern, had a soft side to them too.
I grew up with a mixture of accents--Irish, southern, and because a lot of people came from the Northeastern part of the U.S. we had the New York accent as well. It was really funny to listen to many of my friends, as they would have an accent with a mixture of all of the above. You never could tell where people were from. As far as my sisters and I, we had a mixture of Southern and Western. Even though we spent all of our lives in the South, our parents were from Colorado, and that is where the Western accent came in.
I'll have to say, I have mixed feelings about going to a Catholic school when we were not Catholic, but for the most part it was o.k. and I do have fond memories of hearing the Irish accent on a daily basis. It made life interesting, and maybe that is why I have a special place in my heart for St. Patrick's Day.