At my women’s college in Winona, Minnesota, I had Sister Bernetta for several classes, although now I cannot remember how many there were or what specific classes they were. I know I always looked forward to the time in her classroom. There were usually only ten or twelve students in the class. How lucky I was to have such an intimate setting in my academic life. Sister had a steady quiet voice, a smile, and a twinkle in her eye. I loved it when she would read. Sometimes she had us reading or reciting memorized works like ee cummings’ “i thank You God for most this amazing day.” Other times she lectured. She did not talk of her travels her acquaintances or her accomplishments.
I was not a disciplined student but I did complete assignments - sometimes with more commitment than others. In her classes we frequently turned in work; a short story, a critique, or a poem. Sometimes the work came easily and sometimes it seemed impossible to accomplish, I was often unprepared for the grade I would receive. At times I was pleasantly surprised and other times not so much, but I always appreciated and learned from the comments she made on my papers. She had clearly spent time on each one.