This picture was taken the summer of my freshman year of high school. I went to a Catholic high school my freshman and sophomore year and was part of group called L.I.F.E. It stood for Living In Faith Enthusiastically. I can’t help but smile when I type that. I don’t care how faithful you are – that is a cheesy anagram. I believe my freshman year was the year the group started and I just checked the high school website and they are still living enthusiastically!
That summer, about 10 – 15 of us from the group went to the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Nebraska. We were there for a week or two – I don’t remember exactly, and during that time we did some physical labor and if memory serves, I believe we were supposed to teach Christianity to some of the kids that lived on the Reservation. I have no idea how these kids came to be signed up for the classes – if their parents signed them up, if it was through school, the kids wanted to go or it was just something for the kids to do.
When I think back on this now, I have absolutely no idea who the 15 year old girl is in that picture. And I’m not referring to my permed hair, the 20 years less of aging on my face or the brown flats I had on with shorts (damn I loved those shoes). When I joined the L.I.F.E. Group, I did it because all of my friends were doing it and I got out of class once a week or something. I probably wasn’t the best representative of the organization, but it just goes to show how easily persuaded I was.
For me, going to Winnebago was one of the perks of being in the group because I had always wanted to be a teacher and this was going to be my first opportunity to scholar some children! However, if I was 20 years older, I would have never tried to influence any child’s religious beliefs. In retrospect, I find it appalling that we were sent there to teach children Christian beliefs. I didn’t know any better because I was a dumb teenager. We had no right to do that and all I can hope is that the parents of each of the children signed them up, knowing full well what would be going on.