Ok, so I better take a moment to explain. I am in a prison that allows us a wonderful opportunity to take college classes, having professors that come to the prison and teach. I can disticntly remember each professor that has assisted me along my educational journey, some leaving a deeper impression than others. By far, the teacher that has left the deepest impression, one that will surely stay with me the rest of my life, is a women less than 5 foot tall, no more that 90 pounds, a wonderfully positive women named Sister Marry.
Sister Marry has dedicated her life to education and teaching. She had an extreamly impressive background and aquired her Ph.D in chemistry. The class she was teaching this semester (about 3 years ago) was Phisical Science. This class included a section on the laws of physics, and a second section on chemistry. Although I’ve been called an amature chemist by many inmates, as I’m inprisoned for manufacturing methamphetamines along with several more serious charges, things that I am not proud of nor want to be labeled, let me assure you, I knew little to nothing about chemistry before this 80 year old nun shared her knowledge base with me. I learned how atoms and moliquels bonded, how some outer shells are stabel and others, like lithium metal are hightly unstable.
One day, after class, I told sister Marry, “you know, you are the smartest women I’ve ever met in my entire life.” I whole heartedly meant this, as every question I had about science she has a reasonable and correct answer to at the tip of her tongue, often times without hesitation. When I told her this, she patted me on the back and said “oww, come on, go on now,” as if it was no big deal. This may have been one of the biggest complements I’ve ever given to anyone in my entire life, and sister Marry accepted it with the most grace.
Other things I will never forget about this women include her style in confortable shoes. One day, she came in wearing a bit of odd looking footwear. I asked her about her perquilar looking shoes, and she went into telling me that these were the same shoes that the space men wore abourd the International Space Station, she actually took one off and asked me to examine it. It was extreamly soft… I imagine confortable too, (although I wonder how much of a difference it makes with the lack of gravity in space… for the austraunats of course) oww yes, and something else I remember, an 80 year old nuns shoes don’t smell bad… no smell at all actually… that must be a blessing from God, because I know others feet in prison aren’t quite as lucky.
Sister Mary was what you call a “Wiz Kid,” when it came to chemistry formulas. I don’t know how she did it, but she wrote these bonding formulas on the board as if she memorized them yesterday. It truely amazed me. So another thing that I may mention, you don’t want to be talking in class as Sister Marry is explaining formulas on the board. She may be a small women, but things get pretty loud pretty quick if someone is talking when she is trying to teach. This little women has a loud voice when she wants to get your attention… so it’s best to stay quiet and keep the side talking to a minimun… a bare minimun if you know whats best for you.
This women has has a lasting impact on my. Several months ago, I askes some of the Catholic volunteers who come in if they know Sister Mary and how she was doing. I found out she had a stroke many months ago and is living in a care home. One of the volunteers said they take food to her each week. I asked that they pass along my good wishes to her, telling them she may remember me as the inmate that complemented her as the smartest women I’ve ever met. While this complemet stood out in my mind, I wouldn’t be suprised if sister Mary accepted this with such grace as not sticking out in her mind. Either way, I wanted her to know she left a lasting impression of love, care, education, and a lesson in grace I will forever carry with me in life.
Categories: Paul Stotts