Roger Ebert looks back on reading, writing, and religion in Catholic school

Roger Ebert posted this really lovely piece about his Catholic school education. From "Mary, we crown thee with flowers today":
I threw myself into the school's annual magazine subscription contest, sponsored by the Curtis Circulation Company. A portion of each subscription went to the school, and the best salesman won a trophy. I won two years in a row, flogging the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Popular Mechanics and dozens of other titles (the nuns neatly crossed off Esquire on every form). A Curtis pitchman arrived to kick off the next year. "Everyone you know is a sales opportunity!" he lectured us in the auditorium. "Your parents, your neighbors, even people you meet! Don't be shy! Sell those subscriptions!"

I raised my hand. "Sir," I asked, "would you like to buy a subscription?" I expected laughter, applause and his congratulations. What I got was total silence and Sister Gilberta ordering me to meet with her in the hall to explain why I had embarrassed my whole school. Then followed conferences with my parents. I felt humiliated and outraged. I thought I'd been outrageously mistreated by people with no imagination or sympathy. I suppose in another sense I was being a little asshole. That pattern has persisted.
Click here to read the rest, and don't hit Netflix without consulting Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2010.

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