Catholic Church · Child Abuse · Education · Human behavior · Personal memoirs · Religion · Uncategorized

Hell’s Belle, Sister Angeline

It was late 1962 and time for me to start school for the first time ever. Just my luck, I got put in Sister Angeline’s first-grade class. This Catholic nun was a real terror, a diminutive, plump woman fully robed in black and a bit of white with a sharply winged white cornette that made her appear to be over five feet tall, although her real height was more like 4’6”. The only time she wasn’t angry was when she’d successfully humiliated and/or hurt some six-year-old child for some crime like talking out of turn or peeing in one’s chair for fear of raising one’s hand to be excused to the bathroom. Humiliating and terrorizing children always put a little closed-mouth grin of satisfaction on her face, for a moment anyways.

She was perhaps 60 years old at the time, hard to be certain because we never saw anything but her face and her hands. Her hair color was a mystery, always fully covered by headdresses, usually the severest of cornettes. I imagined her hair was grayish. She strongly resembled the actress Zelda Rubinstein, but was not as fleshy or double-chinned, as Angeline was chubby, not fat. And Angeline’s big eyes were a piercing icy blue, not brown. Rubinstein played the eccentric medium, Tangina Barrons, in the early Poltergeist movies.

Church and school today, with Sister Angeline’s same old classroom obscured by cars in the background.

Sister Angeline was infamous for her clicker, which I believe she called a frog, a hand-held metal object with a springy thumb tab that made a loud clicking noise when she’d furiously press it, rapid fire when needed. It was a sound that struck alarm and fear in the more timid of her flock of little children, and induced more of a snicker of defiance in the bolder among us, who were yet also fearful of the demonic nun once they’d gone too far or got caught committing some sin.

Fear urination and vomiting were a regular part of the day in the holy Sister’s classroom.

QUIET was the rule for Sister Angeline’s class, including in the lunch area. Only speak when called upon to speak, by her, and you’d better have the right answer. At lunchtime, while other classes sat straddling their benches talking a bit or otherwise being insolent (a testament to the contemptible laxity of other teachers), our class was dead silent, eating every speck of our lunches in the proper order, often without tasting anything, chewing thoroughly and swallowing each lump of less than wanted nourishment in fear, looking straight ahead. (Ah, a touch of home though, those lunches, made by our moms, and how we longed to be home!) It was very hard to work up an appetite when one felt nauseous most of the time, from a mixture of fear and loathing of the short woman with the hateful glare. Those light blue eyes felt like daggers when they’d bore into you, so you’d do anything to avoid attracting her attention.

But then, lo and behold, that obedient silence and rigidness would attract her attention! I sat in her classroom once, concentrating on the alphabet or something and suddenly she loomed over me, seething eyes penetrating my soul, and she roared, “You think all you have to do is sit there and look pretty?!!” “No, Sister, I’m paying attention,” I replied, or something similar. She bristled and huffed and walked away, seemingly satisfied with the abject fear on my face and in my trembling voice.

She reduced me and others to feeling like bawling infants who didn’t dare let it out. Image source: sisterwolf.tumblr.com

I had several instances of vomiting and peeing in class and so did several other kids. If one dared to raise one’s hand and ask to go to the restroom, she’d always shout something humiliating like, “You should’ve thought of that before class! You’ll wait till recess, dodo bird!” Needless to say, with the urgent need to urinate combined with the terror, the urine flowed in that classroom. Vomiting usually occurred after lunch, with food struggling to be digested in extremely nervous stomachs, and failing and spewing out onto the floor. The smell of vomit is a prominent memory from those days. At the vomiting she was really furious, embarrassed to be calling on the janitor every day to throw sawdust onto yet another puddle of puke from some “insolent” child. The janitor calmly took it all in stride as if he’d been doing same with this crazy woman and her first-graders for some time.

Filthy sinner child, confess and do penance!

Sister would pick some boys up out of their seats by an ear and drag them across the room to be shut in the closet, or under her desk, or to face the Virgin Mary statue in the corner for an hour or so, for some crime like uttering a word or two without permission, perhaps to ask a question, or for not paying strict attention to her. How dare they! One raised one’s hand and waited patiently for the good Sister to call on one if one had a question or statement. If not, expect possibly to be slapped hard upside your head. Hard enough to hurt badly and shock you, not hard enough to do actual injury, mind you. Even Angeline had rules to follow. The church and school frowned upon lawsuits, naturally.

My mischievous friend Coleen often got in trouble with Sister Angeline, since Coleen was loud and assertive and liked to clown around. Even though her natural ways were severely constricted under Angeline’s rule, Coleen would occasionally laugh out loud at something or commit some other crime, and she was grabbed and led by ear to sit under Angeline’s desk. When teacher sat down at her desk with Coleen under it, Coleen peaked out through the gap at the bottom of the desk to face the class and made the “stinky” symbol by holding her nose and grimacing. Several kids saw that and burst out laughing.

Strictly disallowed!

“Is something so funny?!” the little nun growled. “Someone tell me what’s so funny or you’ll all get ten demerits and stay after school for detention!” No one spoke up; Coleen’s face was no longer visible as even she was scared then, and I believe we all did get the punishment promised, since Angeline wasn’t one to not follow through on her threats.

The old standby, the famous nuns’ ruler smack across a kid’s little knuckles.

Angeline also wielded the wooden ruler and used it with a demented sort of enjoyment I’d never witnessed before. She’d whack kids’ knuckles with a flourish and it was so loud an impact that I’d jump at each lashing, until I became accustomed to it anyways. I don’t remember her ever doing that to girls, just boys, although with Coleen there may have been an exception.

It appeared that the good Sister took the lyrics to the old song, “School Days,” to heart:

Reading and writing and ‘rithmetic

Taught to the tune of the hickory stick

The main thing you’d better have done in Angeline’s classroom was to learn her lessons and learn them well, so the alphabet, basic reading and writing, basic math, and the introductory religious dogma, we were all really good at, due to fear. Only the truly learning impaired kids failed to pick up on and grasp everything this evil little woman taught us. But we’d have all learned just as well with a teacher who wasn’t a tiny monster, who didn’t terrorize us into learning.

Imagine; this was my first school experience. I’d never gone to kindergarten or nursery school and started first grade when I was still five, nearing age six. So I think I may have been even more traumatized by the Angeline experience than the other kids, but I don’t know their stories so cannot be sure. It was an awful experience for a six-year-old girl or any child, and it shouldn’t have even been possible for such a crazy, mean, vicious woman to be put in charge of children of any age. But it was possible, because of the way the religion works and the way Christianity in general casts us all as sinners merely for being born, and having Christ’s crucifixion held over our guilty little heads as the reason we must confess our guilt and do continual penance for being so very rotten. The love for Jesus was paramount, even more than the guilty self-loathing. I assume all that sort of training played a big role in the dementia and cruelty of Sister Angeline. In later years, every teacher I had at that school, whether a nun or not, seemed absolutely angelic in comparison with The One.

Snitching on the holy woman was also terroristically advised against.

Sister Angeline conveyed to us all by some mysterious means that we were not to get her in trouble for her “strictness.” So it seems we were all hesitant to let our parents know exactly what was going on, or at least I was afraid to do so. But when things got bad enough and I would be extremely sick and nauseous before heading off to school and begging to stay home, tales of Angeline terror could be coaxed from me by my mom. She was saddened and horrified, but my dad, mainly at the urging of his devoutly religious Catholic sister-in-law, would convince me to hush up, that it was just the teacher’s being strict, and for me to not be so upset by it. Just laugh it off, he seemed to say. Oh how I tried, but no go. Both my parents did once have a meeting with Sister Angeline and school officials, but were dismissed with pretty much the same advice my dad gave me. Shocking to me then, but not at all now, after all I’ve learned about that church’s policies regarding pedophile priests.

Anyhow, that’s one standout life experience that formed who I became and who I am today, for whatever that’s worth. I never wanted to be anything even remotely similar to that little terror of a nun. Although I never could figure out exactly what she was. Except for evil, and extremely, devoutly Catholic.

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Diet wars · Education · Food · Health · How to go vegan · Longevity Diets · Nutrition · Raising vegan children · Shopping · Uncategorized · Vegan diet

Taking the Terror out of the Whole Vegan Thing

UPDATED 8/15/18, added a few minor details.

A lot of people like to complain about how complicated, expensive and just plain impossible “The Vegan Diet” is, as their excuse for never trying, or for quitting and fitting back in with the corpse-eating animal lovers who fund all sorts of unspeakable animal abuse. Well, I decided to prove them to be mistaken in very basic terms, with an actual boilerplate, one-size-fits-most “Vegan Diet.”

Think as if we only had 12 basic foods to consume, including just one fortified processed food item, and a maximum of one supplement in pill form*, with the rest being whole plant foods with only a couple being milled or otherwise minimally processed. So for now, forget about the vast array of delicious foods and treats available to vegans just about everywhere, and think “simplest possible.”

So, just how simple can one’s vegan diet be to have full needed nutrition in a day?

If I had to choose, strictly for nutrition, one group of foods for the rest of my life, here they are in alphabetical order (see underneath Cronometer charts for notes). Keep in mind that this is not for taste or “excitement,” it’s just to show the ample nutrition in basic everyday plant foods:

1. Asparagus
2. Avocados
3. Broccoli
4. Carrots
5. Chickpeas
6. Figs**
7. Flaxseed Meal
8. Oranges
9. Peanut Butter (natural unsalted)
10. Sesame Seeds
11. Soy Milk – unsweetened, fortified w/calcium, vit. D, B12, etc. (counts as the one fortified item)
12. Whole Wheat Hot Cereal

*The one pill supplement is zinc at 1/2 of a 10 mg tablet or .5 mg.

**Figs are seasonal but dried figs are available year-round, or they can be picked from trees during their season, July–September in CA, or bought fresh, and frozen for out-of-season use such as in smoothies. Fig trees are actual treasures.

The “how” and details of it all from Cronometer.com (click to enlarge, chart is in two parts):

Continued…

NOTES…

“Special concerns” for vegans (but not only vegans):

The VITAMIN B12 is all from the fortified soy milk.

The CALCIUM is primarily from the fortified soy milk, then from the broccoli, figs, and oranges.

The ZINC is mainly from the 1/2 tablet (or 5 mg) supplement, then the broccoli and chickpeas.

The COPPER is a bit high at 2.8 mg, as the recommended is 2.0 mg, but the high zinc intake levels that out.

The VITAMIN D is all from the soy milk; any additional needed can be gotten from sunshine.

The great PROTEIN profile is mainly from the soy milk, broccoli, chickpeas, peanut butter, asparagus, wheat cereal, avocado, and carrots.

The VITAMIN K is primarily from the broccoli, then the asparagus and avocado. 801% is good because it’s said vit. K2 (as opposed to K1) need is total K multiplied by 15%, so that would equal 120% of needed K2.

The SELENIUM is primarily from the wheat cereal, then the asparagus, broccoli, and chickpeas.

The IRON is primarily from the broccoli, chickpeas and soy milk, then from the asparagus, wheat cereal, avocado, figs, and flaxseed meal.

The great VITAMIN C intake enhances the absorption of non-heme iron from plants.

The OMEGA-3 is primarily from the flaxseed meal, then the broccoli and avocado.

The low OMEGA-6 number is said to be a good thing, that we need far more omega-3 than -6.

The VITAMIN A is where it should be at 1202% because the vit. A need from plants is said to be 12 times more than from animal products.

IODINE isn’t tracked on Cronometer, but the 1/2 tsp. of iodized salt in my list takes care of iodine need for the day, although it does make the sodium a bit high…but still lower than most people get in a day.

For the SOY phobic, the soy milk can be replaced by any similarly fortified plant milk.

Of course, anyone with ALLERGIES or other problems with particular foods should replace them with harmless foods with similar nutrition.

No, you could not live “in the wild” like that…

…not without omitting the few processed items and being in a place where those whole foods are growing. But even without the processed items, one could get by for some time with a few other “wild” foods added. But think, could 7 billion+ people live “in the wild” at all without all sorts of technology and products? No, they could not. Everyone, even “wild man” survivalists, depends on manmade products every day. Vegans are not weird or deficient in that way, as is popularly claimed.

So, any new or struggling vegans out there needing a simple diet plan, the above would be a great basic outline for one. On top of everything else, it’s fairly inexpensive. So there really are no excuses for not being vegan. Please pass this along to any anti-vegan skeptics in your life.

Come on now, let’s get this thing done!

Do realize that as long as there’s even one slaughterhouse (or any other such place of bloody horrors) lurking behind our “civilizations,” there will be continuing violence and bloodshed among humanity.

Disclaimer

This article provides information that should not take the place of professional advice. I am not a nutrition or health professional but am sharing what I’ve learned through experience and from what I trust are good sources in regard to my own nutrition. If you have concerns, I encourage you to talk to a (vegan friendly) registered dietitian or other trusted professional about your dietary needs.

Images, aside from charts, are free from Pixabay.com.

Bogus arguments against veganism · Diet wars · Education · Food · Health · How to go vegan · Low-carb diets · Nutrition · Paleo diet · Uncategorized · Vegan diet

Yet Another Anti-Vegan Lie, Dismantled Step by Step

SELENIUM – Easy to get as a vegan, a fact that’s very hard for anti-vegan crusaders to wrap their cute little “brains” around.

Brazil Nuts

This 2012 article by a Jack Harrison https://jacksdailydose.com/2012/01/18/meaty-mineral-slash-cancer-risk/ is a “customer favorite” (as they all seem to be) at Jack’s Daily Dose (of what, exactly?). The site is a production of a company called New Market Health, a publisher and supplement seller, said to provide natural cures and health solutions: https://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/business-reviews/publishers-periodical/new-market-health-publishing-in-frederick-md-90207875/reviews-and-complaints

First, the article’s title. Oh my! Vegans feeling alienated by society and looking for an excuse to quit and get back to fitting in can stop at the title and look no further…

1) “Can veganism cause pancreatic cancer?”

Scary! Clever Jack can’t get himself in trouble there, since he’s only asking a question. Sweet.

Still not frightened into eating animal corpses, milk and eggs? Well then, look at the bold subheading:

2) “The meaty mineral that can slash your cancer risk”

Wow, sounds like there’s great hope to save one’s life with some animal products… oh boy, we’re cookin’ now!

So the teetering vegan reads on…

3) Harrison goes on to “wonder if” Steve Jobs got pancreatic cancer due to his supposed vegan lifestyle, due to his “bunny chow” diet and severe lack of this vital nutrient.

Pancreatic Cancer – Source: scientificanimations.com

The frightened vegan thinks, Yeah, pancreatic cancer is bad news, and wow, what? Jobs was a vegan, eating bunny chow? And those plant products gave him pancreas cancer and killed him, even with all his money!? Oh holy hell, I must read on and find this lifesaving nutrient I’m missing…

4) Jack then claims to be the one who discovered the cancer-fighting powers of this nutrient…selenium. Now his wisdom has caught on, he says, and a recent study found that selenium can slash pancreatic cancer risk to almost nil.

Soon-to-be-ex-vegan now says to his/herself: OMG! There must be no selenium in plant foods, only in animal protein… what a fool I’ve been to be doing this vegan thing! Curses on all those vegan cultists who put me at risk of dying from pancreatic cancer! Teach me more, Jack, please…

5) Jack then warns that you have to be a Brazil nut scarfing weirdo to survive and not get cancer if you’re a vegan, since, as everyone should know, we get proper selenium only from animal protein.

McNugget-craving reader thinks, Hah, there it is! The proof’s in the blood pudding… animal products are absolutely necessary for human health, for our very survival. And when’s the last time I saw a Brazil nut? Those big honking off-white crunchy things with the brown skins…who eats those? Not me! This Jack guy is awesome, must be a doctor or nutritionist. Learn me some more, Jacko…

6) Then he types some drivel about our need for nickel and makes a joke about it not being the coins, and says nickel can cut your pancreas cancer risk by another third.

Sausage-jonesing vegan chortles, Hehehe, he’s smart, informative, and funny! We all like a little humor with our education… I’m loving this guy! I read on with relish…

7) Next and lastly, Jackie espouses the importance of drinking clean, contaminant-free water to prevent pancreas problems… keeping out things like lead, cadmium, etc.

Who can argue with that? So the now ex-vegan says to him/herself: Such profound wisdom and caring! Ima make me up a shopping list and visit the butcher, dairy and egg sections of the market for the first time in years. I’m gonna quit being vegan and save my life, unless it’s already too late. Wish me luck everyone, I’m back with y’all in the normal way of eating. Hallelujah!

Now, what wipes all of that claptrap out thoroughly and with a flourish? …FACTS, and nothing more:

1) No, veganism cannot cause pancreatic cancer. Genes, cigarette smoking, obesity, and working with certain chemicals such as in dry-cleaning and metal works (and the early computer industry a la Steve Jobs) are primary causes of pancreas cancer.

>>> Other pancreas problems, like pancreatitis, which can lead to cancer are caused by high-fat diets like keto, see here: https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/comments/7nxa32/pancreatitis_and_keto_anyone_else/ and here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11575609

2) Selenium is not a “meaty mineral,” since Brazil nuts are by far the highest in selenium of ALL foods of any kind. Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and all the plant protein foods contain selenium and it’s easy to meet your need of about 55mcg for adults on all plant foods. See here and scroll down to “sources”: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/

Steve Jobs

3) Steve Jobs either was or wasn’t a vegan (depending on who you listen to) and it makes no difference in this case. His possible genetic makeup and/or long history in the early days of computers…his hands-on building of them, etc…. were far more likely involved in his developing the cancer. He was closer to a pescatarian/fruitarian than a vegan. He apparently ate more fish near the end of his life under pressure from loved ones to try to save his life. It failed. If he was deficient in selenium it was due to his possibly eating all or primarily fruit for so long, since sweet fruits have almost no selenium. Foods higher in protein have selenium. Interestingly, just ONE brazil nut has all the selenium you need in a day.

4) This Jack person sure claims a lot of credit, and I’ve not yet seen any real evidence of selenium slashing risk of pancreatic cancer by 95%, as he also claims. I’ve only seen how proof of selenium’s protectiveness against pancreatic cancer is inconclusive. I wonder if this supplement company manufactures selenium supplement. It’s quite dangerous to take selenium supplement, since it is dangerously toxic in large amounts.

IMPORTANT: People are warned even to limit their number of tasty Brazil nuts. (I like them in lightly roasted nut mixes, but don’t often get them.)

Here are the top sources of selenium for vegans:

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/best-vegetarian-foods-selenium/ So getting selenium is not a problem, but look how that Jack person tried to instill all this cancer terror in readers, leading them only to animal products as their salvation. That is reprehensible!

5) And yet more lies compounding the rest of the lies. You have to really love Brazil nuts to be vegan and get selenium? Where does this guy pull his information out from?! Again, just ONE Brazil nut and you’re all set for your selenium in a day. Can those people get any more deceitful?

6) The nickel thing is neutral; all the plant foods, especially higher protein ones, contain plenty of nickel.

7) The tap water issue is neutral too; we all should use a good water filter for consuming tap water, or use good bottled water. The reverse osmosis thing he seems to require probably has something to do with their company selling them, although I don’t know that. The charcoal filtration systems like Pur and Brita do just fine for filtering out lead and other harmful things like chlorine.

Here’s a good article about pancreas health for additional information which also proves the Daily Dose article as absolute nonsense: https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/exocrine-pancreatic-insufficiency/prevent-pancreatitis-and-epi/

What all of the above says, needlessly, is that if you’re vegan and eating a normal, balanced, non-animal diet low on any junk and high on real foods, you’ve not one thing to worry about with selenium or pancreatic cancer due to your rejecting all animal products. Those fear tactics are absolute nonsense, and as usual only serve to protect and bolster the meat/egg/dairy industries. Which is despicable. But, what else is new?