I went to an Irish Catholic School. It was called The Irish Institute. It was and is still run by the Legionaries of Christ. They have several schools in major Mexican Cities and are based in Dublin Ireland with an office in Rome. Most subjects were taught in English. Mexican History was taught in English but Civics in Spanish. Religious instruction in schools though illegal in Mexico was still taught in Spanish. It’d been clearly pointed out in civics class. We were breaking the law. The priests and brothers had to wear suits. It is not allowed in Mexico for priests to wear their religious cassocks in schools, though it was done anyway on the weekends because technically, school was out.
School started at 7:50 am and ended at 2:15 pm. We had two recesses, one at 10:00 am and the other at 12:00 pm for lunch. We didn’t have homework. That was the justification for the early start. We did our homework at school. We had a uniform; it didn’t change in the 9 years I attended the Institute. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we would wear gray pants and a white button-down shirt. We had a beige v neck pullover that went along with it. If you had to wear a warm jacket, the sweater had to be underneath, that was the code. On Wednesday we wore white pants, white tee-shirt with The Irish Institute printed in clover leaf green. This was our gymnastics uniform. On Fridays we would wear sports shorts underneath the gray pants, with a green white trimmed v neck jersey and a white clover emblem on the chest. On the First Friday of every month we would wear our dress uniform for mass at 10:00 am. We would still have our sports shorts underneath the dress pants. We wore a green felt jacket with the school emblem on the chest pocket. This was the dress code and if you didn’t get it right, you got sent home to redress.
At the Institute I remember an emphasis on sports and public speaking. I won the public speaking award 5 years in a row, but I was never in the Honor Roll. Sports were a challenge because I didn’t play team sports. By High-school I’d summited the Popocatepetl (17,802’) in Mexico but I still got a low grade in school sports. My mother wouldn’t have it and she took my pictures and achievements to the Dean. He still said, “well, he doesn’t play team sports.”
I learned how to “write” late in life. Writing as a hobby, not as a necessity. I’ve been taking notes for what seems like forever. I’ve kept journals. I’ve written in logbooks and made summaries. But writing for me and for an audience is new. If I needed to list the number one book or text that helped me along the most, it would be “The Artists Way” By Julia Cameron. If further I had to pull out the one most valuable piece of advice, it would be “it is more painful to be a frustrated writer, than a bad writer.” That made me get started. What gave me fuel and topics was the second suggestion I got from the book. The morning pages. I do these religiously. Every morning I write at least 300 stream-of-thought words. These when I look at them in bulk, can point out recurring thoughts worth exploring.
I welcome you to the adventure of writing; it involves the whole of you. Your hands and touch, to hold the pen or type. Your ears; we listen to our inner voice as we write. And our eyes to proofread and enjoy. We are aware of our coffee’s aroma. We are totally engaged. Cheers!
Article 3 (of the Mexican Constitution) likewise prohibited ministers or religious groups from aiding the poor, engaging in scientific research, and spreading their teachings. The constitution prohibited churches to own property and transferred all church property to the state, thus making all houses of worship state property.
(1) The education imparted by the Federal State shall be designed to develop harmoniously all the faculties of the human being and shall foster in him at the same time a love of country and a consciousness of international solidarity, in independence and justice.
I. Freedom of religious beliefs being guaranteed by Article 24, the standard which shall guide such education shall be maintained entirely apart from any religious doctrine and, based on the results of scientific progress, shall strive against ignorance and its effects, servitudes, fanaticism, and prejudices. Moreover:
a. It shall be democratic, considering democracy not only as a legal structure and a political regimen, but as a system of life founded on a constant economic, social, and cultural betterment of the people;
b. It shall be national insofar as — without hostility or exclusiveness -it shall achieve the understanding of our problems, the utilization of our resources, the defense of our political independence, the assurance of our economic independence, and the continuity and growth of our culture; and
c. It shall contribute to better human relationships, not only with the elements which it contributes toward strengthening and at the same time inculcating, together with respect for the dignity of the person and the integrity of the family, the conviction of the general interest of society, but also by the care which it devotes to the ideals of brotherhood and equality of rights of all men, avoiding privileges of race, creed, class, sex, or persons.
II. Private persons may engage in education of all kinds and grades. But as regards elementary, secondary, and normal education (and that of any kind or grade designed for laborers and farm workers) they must previously obtain, in every case, the express authorization of the public power. Such authorization may be refused or revoked by decisions against which there can be no judicial proceedings or recourse.
III. Private institutions devoted to education of the kinds and grades specified in the preceding section must be without exception in conformity with the provisions of sections I and II of the first paragraph of this article and must also be in harmony with official plans and programs.
IV. Religious corporations, ministers of religion, stock companies which exclusively or predominantly engage in educational activities, and associations or companies devoted to propagation of any religious creed shall not in any way participate in institutions giving elementary, secondary and normal education and education for laborers or field workers.
V. The State may in its discretion withdraw at any time the recognition of official validity of studies conducted in private institutions.
VI. Elementary education shall be compulsory.
VII. All education given by the State shall be free.
VIII. The Congress of the Union, with a view to unifying and coordinating education throughout the Republic, shall issue the necessary laws for dividing the social function of education among the Federation, the States and the Municipalities, for fixing the appropriate financial allocations for this public service and for establishing the penalties applicable to officials who do not comply with or enforce the pertinent provisions, as well as the penalties applicable to all those who infringe such provisions.
Author/Editor: Eugenio Zorrilla.