Written by Smitty-boy

For some unknown reason the Catholic Church still trusts me. So much in fact that they put me in charge of a 6th grade CCD class. I don't even know what CCD stands for, but that don't mean I can't teach 'dem kids no religion.

The reason I was volunteered to do this most wonderful of tasks was because A) I need 30 or so hours of community service for Confirmation class, B) they needed teachers, and C) the lady who runs this thing hates me very much.

At first I thought it'd be kind of fun. I could either corrupt them all and turn them into little heathens to bring down the church from the inside OR regurgitate everything my religion teacher said throughout the week only slightly condensed and maybe more coherent so that there is practically no work involved for me.

I was wrong though. They were already heathens and apparently some were klepto. I can only hope some will show their pyroness (is that a word?). The week before Christmas we had to do a crafts project where we made doves, but all of the googely eyes went missing somehow. I know for a fact it was one of my kids because I saw him do it. I might have said something to the head lady, but I much preferred her running around trying to find them instead of checking in on my class every 5 minutes making sure I wasn't holding a Voodoo ritual or starting a fire or teaching the kids something they shouldn't be taught (like the *proper* way to sacrifice a goat to SATAN!). After the class' end we all had blind doves completely covered with glitter and whose wings were crooked and beaks in the wrong places.

I still have to take an abuse training class (Oh... you DON'T hit the kids) that will take up the better part of a day, and there's still twenty classes left in the CCD year. Did you know I could go to jail if one of those kids is abused? Even if it's not me who does it. If a parent is abusive to one of my "students", I go to jail for not knowing it.

We teachers have very few teaching tools left. The two things I was counting on to keep the kids sane were to give them food and play hangman. Guess what two things I can't do.

No food because the church devised this clever little ploy to get attendance up. Church doctrine states that "no food shalt be consumed an hour before communion" or something like that. Classes are from 8:30 to 9:30 and 10:30 to 11:30. The 8:30 class ends halfway into the 9 o'clock mass where the kids go out and sit with their parents in the pews after the class in time for communion and whatnot. The same for the 10:30 class going into the 11 o'clock mass. If the parents want their kids back, they have to go to mass. Clever, huh? No fun because they think a game in which a hanging takes place promotes violence towards stick figures.

There is just one more small thing about this whole arrangement that bothers me. I was supposed to teach a 10:30 class so I could at lest sleep until 10:15,but the head lady "accidentally" scheduled me for the 8:30 class. This means I need a more-than-usual dosage of coffee in the mornings otherwise I'll fall asleep in class and be drawn on with permanent markers. Unfortunately, not a week has gone by that I haven't spilled my large Dunkin' Donuts coffee and dropped my doughnut. I guess God's too lazy to make me burst into flames upon entering the church and just tips the chair with my food instead. I have yet to fall asleep but there were some close calls.

Now, the kids. They were, how shall I say, evil. I have two klepto's (see googely eyes), one has ADHD and is addicted to cinnamon, another has ADHD and kicks, one is really quiet and kind of creepy and will probably be either a Goth or emo chick, and the other 13 are just weird. One of them is always talking; I got bit twice; kicked countless times; and every class I get a headache. That was all at the beginning of the year though.

The one thing they give us is these little booklets with corny, clich? stories about how great God is, and why we worship Jesus, and what he taught us, etc. None of us can sit through those stories so one day I asked if they wanted to forget about the books and just talk.

To my surprise, and theirs, they were attentive (even the ADHD kids). They asked me all kids of questions and I had answers. After 2.5 years of this stuff jammed down my throat everyday in school, I should know it all. I didn't even know I knew the stuff I know. It is very interesting sometimes, and I found ways around that "no food no fun" policy that was put in place by el nazi-lady. We have it timed to the second when she's going to come into the class for a check-up (Do I smell burning goat? better check) and can get in a quick game of hangman and then open the books and start reading some random page five seconds before she comes in so we all look like angels to her.

CCD is only fun if you make it fun.