So, what you are saying is that Father Geidman was physically attracted to you and the principal and your mother were aware of that. Okay, I get all that. But what does He have to do with The Second Coming, and how does Rock and Roll fit into all of this?
When I returned to the Catholic high school for my sophomore year, my friends were not there to greet me. I called them and asked them where they were. They had all transferred to the public high school and they all had legitimate reasons. The very ones who had talked me into going to summer school were now enrolled in the public-school system. Now, I was devastated. I had sacrificed my summer for them, and they were not there for me. I now had no friends at school, but I soon made new ones.
For the next three years of my high school life, my episodes with Father Geidman continued. One day in class, I had the first seat directly in front of him. He began to talk about Communism. He stated that Communism was not such a bad idea. He wrote the word Communism on the chalkboard and began to talk about it even more. I became very upset and began to shake my head in a negative fashion. He looked directly at me and said, “Don’t you want to learn about Communism?” I shook my head ‘No’. He then erased the word from the board and went on to talk about something else and never brought it up again. Now I did not know the first thing about Communism. I only knew that my mother used to tell me that it was a very bad thing, and that if it ever came to the United States, we were in trouble. It scared me when he began to talk about it, and I did not want to know anymore about it.
During another social ethics class, one of the students asked Father Geidman to explain Apocalypse 13:18 (Catholic Bible) (Revelation 13:18 Protestant Bible). She wanted to know how the number 666 is calculated to equal the number of a man. He completely evaded the question and told her he could not talk about that nor explain that to us. That was highly unusual for him not to answer a question. Even if he were asked a question that he did not have an answer for, he told us he would find the answer and let us know next time we met in class. And he did. So, I thought it was very strange the way he handled that particular question.
During yet another class, one of the students asked Father Geidman if Jesus was a failure. He became very defensive of Jesus and went on and on about how Jesus accomplished His mission on earth and indeed was not a failure. He walked up and down the aisles of the classroom ranting and raving about how Jesus did what he was sent to do, and was a success, not a failure. Again, I felt it was highly unusual that he behaved the way he did and how he got so upset about a simple question being asked.
On yet another occasion, some friends and I were late for his class one day. We had to get tardy slips and he had to sign them. He said nothing to the other girls as he signed their paper, but when he signed my slip he said, “I expect it from the others, but I do not expect it from you!” I felt he was singling me out.
On another occasion I had another run-in with Father Geidman. I was supposed to take a test and I told him I had not studied for it because I had been sick. He told me that was no excuse and to sit down and take the test. I tried to explain to him that I did not know the material because I was unable to study because I had been very ill. I wanted him to give me a chance to study the material and then take the test. But he did not give me that opportunity. He did not care. He again told me to sit down and take the test. I sat down and failed the test.
Another incident happened at my senior prom. He was the chaperone there and every time my date and I were dancing on the floor to Rock and Roll songs, Father Geidman would follow us around and watch us dance. I would intentionally move my date and myself away from him. Each time we moved, he would follow us to our new location on the dance floor. I could not get away from him. Even when we were not dancing, he would come and stand beside us. I was not enjoying myself and I became very uncomfortable. Finally, I gave up and asked my date to take me home. I felt very bad for my date and told him to go back and enjoy himself, but for me it was over. I went home and felt free from Father Geidman’s emotional grasp on me. He had managed to ruin my prom night. I missed the music, the dancing, the food, the fun, the fellowship and the parties afterwards. I missed it all. I hope he had a good time at my senior prom. I missed it all, yet he was there to enjoy it all.
I cannot fully explain my feelings for Father Geidman. I hated him just as much as I loved him. I had this love/hate relationship for him. I hated him because I had so many run-ins with him over the years and he ruined things for me. He treated me so differently than from the way he treated others. I loved him because he took note of me, and paid attention to me. I did not know how to love the man, and still, I Don’t Know How To Love Him.
I Don't Know How To Love Him
Helen Reddy - 1970