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Thursday, July 21, 2016

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Those Places Thursday: St. Francis Academy

I spent my four years of high school at St. Francis Academy. If you tried to find it today, you would not because the name was changed years ago to Joliet Catholic Academy when the diocese combined the two Catholic high schools in Joliet.

Boys attended Joliet Catholic High School and girls attended St. Francis Academy in my day. I was against being sent here in the beginning because I had always attended school with boys. I felt rather odd at first having only girls in classes.

After the first few months, however, I started noticing how much easier it was to learn without boys interrupting or showing off for the girls in the room. The girls did not feel the need to compete for attention from boys. I felt we were able to concentrate better, and we definitely got a lot of serious work done. We also were able to discuss sensitive topics which we could not have around boys.

Sister Marie Grunloh

It seemed that I had more opportunities for leadership positions, and my ambition to express myself through writing began freshmen year when I joined the school newspaper, "The Focus."  My teacher was Sister Marie Grunloh, which was pronounced Greenlow. The first thing that she taught me was, "You need to have a nose for news." She would click her nails together when she said that. 
                                                                Marie Grunloh

I was prompted to search for a photo of her on the internet so that you can if possible capture her eagerness to serve and sweetness.  At the same time that she was moderator for the school newspaper, she taught GED classes to prisoners in the local correctional facility.   I was her student for three of the four years that I took Journalism at St. Francis Academy, and I know I developed the ability to write in a way that is interesting and informative. I also had four years of grammar and literature.

We would create a sample layout of each page of the newspaper monthly. 
Sample page layout

By my junior year, I was the editor of "The Focus." She taught me how to submit all the articles to the printer and take the copy that came from the printer and stick each pre-cut element (photo, ads, headlines, captions, etc.) onto each respective page. Many deadlines often found me sprawled across my bedroom floor preparing each page to be submitted for printing the next day. 

I had such a great passion to write.  It was a desire that my father could not quench even though he wanted me to love math or sciences more. I am grateful for Sister Marie and this wonderful experience at St. Francis Academy.


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