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So you tried to get away from Father Geidman by leaving the Catholic School. Were you successful?

I notified my friends about what had happened and told them that I would not be permitted to return to the Catholic school for my sophomore year unless I attended summer school and that I had no intention of attending summer school, therefore I would just go to the public- school for my sophomore year. My friends were devastated. They insisted I stay at the Catholic high school with them and encouraged me to attend summer school. We had been friends ever since grade school and we were bonded. They did not want to see that bond broken. We discussed it for awhile, and even though I had my mind made up that I would go to the public school next year, my friends talked me into going to summer school so that we could still be together next year. It was for my friends that I made the decision to attend summer school so that we could still be together the following school year at the Catholic school. I was torn. By making this decision I not only had to attend summer school, but I had to be in the presence of Father Geidman, whom I was trying to avoid.

I read the letter again and again. I had to contact him by the week of June ninth. So, I finally called him and made arrangements to meet with him to discuss my summer classes. We met at 6 p.m. one evening at the rectory in one of the offices. He asked me if I thought it was unfair of him to have failed me. Immediately I answered, “Yes!” He then wanted to know why I felt that way. I told him because I knew for a fact that there were others in the class who had grades lower than mine and that he did not fail them. He then wanted names. So, I provided him with those names. He told me I was correct. There were students in the class that had grades lower than mine. He said he did not fail them because they would never “CATCH ON”, (Catch on to what?) and that I would “CATCH ON”. (Again, I ask, catch on to what?).  He then said, “I’m going to ‘TEACH YOU TO LEARN’”. (Teach me to learn? Who talks like that? What kind of vocabulary is that?). He said we would meet once a week for the summer until I had made up the course. I agreed to that. We set our appointment for the following week and I left the rectory and walked home.

I had not yet told my mother that I decided to go to summer school so that I could return to the Catholic high school for my sophomore year. When I finally did tell her the whole story, she said that the reason Father Geidman had actually failed me was because he wanted to see me during the summer months. She believed he was physically attracted to me and said that he had “a thing” for me and that there was nothing she could do about that. And that if I really wanted to return to the Catholic school next year, I had no choice but to go to summer school under his guidance. She said I could go to the public school if that was what I wanted. She left that choice up to me. I was confused. First, Father Geidman threw phrases at me that I did not understand, and then my mother told me he had "a thing" for me, that I also did not understand. All I understood was that I had to go to summer school if I wanted to return to the Catholic high school. And that is what I did.

Losing My Religion
REM - 1991

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