Sometime during my senior year of high school, for reasons beyond all imagining, I was asked to help teach a Sunday school class of small children at the church I was a part of in downtown Corpus Christi, Texas. My being recruited into this role can only be interpreted as a sign of complete desperation on the part of the person responsible for staffing teachers. Another high school friend, vastly more competent than I, teamed up with me for this assignment. My memory is vague on the details - I think I may have repressed some things - but I don't believe our tenure was very long.

The church where my family was involved at that time was engaged in a practice that, in hindsight, seems rather surprising. We made a habit of driving buses, willy nilly, around the downtown neighborhoods, gathering up unaccompanied children and transporting them to church. This influx of neighborhood kids made for a rather lively Sunday school experience since, as it happened, the imported children were NOT riding the bus to engage in quiet contemplation.

Pandemonium reigned supreme.

Into the fray charged my friend and I, but quickly we discovered that "teaching" was not really the word for what we were doing in that room on Sundays. The role we played turned out to be equal parts security guard and livestock wrangler.

I remember one particular Sunday, as my friend and I tried (in vain) to keep a lid on the anarchy, there was a little girl sitting in a chair against the wall with a stern, disapproving look upon her face. As the general, weekly free-for-all took place in the middle of the room, the little girl sat there, clearly disgusted, with her arms folded and her eyebrows furrowed.

It was just then that one of the neighborhood kids came trotting by (on his way to commit some act of childish depravity no doubt) with a face that was the absolute picture of maniacal glee. Glancing up at me as he trotted by, he volunteered that he was "sure glad we don't have report cards in here."

"GOD has report cards!", thundered the stern little girl from her chair against the wall.

Alas, I have ever since been plagued by the suspicion that the entire class would have been better off had that little girl been put in charge and this hapless high school senior been relieved of his duties.

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