Friday, May 23, 2008

Ici Attends a State-of-the-Art School Run by Nuns

No question about it, my first school was a very fancy educational institution.

Kato, meanwhile, had to go in the nearby public high school for the first "gymnasium". (Latin based high school). It was meant to only be temporary, until the "Redemptorissen" (the nuns, whose grade school I went to) would build their convent and school. It was finished in two years, and I was transferred there too. (Ici had explained gymnasium many times to us in a way that helped us see it as shown in this graphic- gymnasium is a college prep track for high schoolers. The other track would be vocational. For more information on the Hungarian school system, see

The new school was a huge white building with center portal with columns, and two side entrances, each sporting a story high stairway leading to the first floor. The two lower floors housed all the classrooms and chemistry and physics labs, a large and well equipped gym, and the auditorium.

The third floor held the boarding student dorms and the nuns quarters (the "clausiura"), separated by an iron gate, which the nuns carefully kept locked, and a chapel. In the basement were the kitchen and the dining room, and also a swimming pool.

At the front of the school, in the center of a well groomed formal garden, the statue of Saint Margarete, the school’s patron saint stood. In the backyard was a tennis court, which in the winter doubled as a skating rink, and an outdoor exercising ground. (St. Margarete was a princess who lived in the 13th century and was kept in a convent near these grounds on Margit Island in Budapest).

This was the school my dear father lovingly enrolled his two daughters, hoping the nuns would make us perfect ladies. But he was careful enough to ask for a cut rate tuition on account of his large family and this he was granted.

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