31 01 2008

As a New Englander I learned early on all about the power of punctuality: in school assemblies where kids who hadn’t been tardy a single day all year received gold-seal emblazoned certificates, in the ringing of the bells around the campus I grew up on, calling the boys to class, and in the boys, the ones perpetually risking tardiness, running running running. But ironically enough, the word “punctuality” transports me to Ireland, to my daughter’s tales of Sister Perpetual, during recorder lessons, with a ruler beating time against her music stand, and punishment on the backs of young girls’ hands.




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