Hello God? Thanks for bringing me these nuns
ANDREW KUHN WASHTENAW VOICEEight years ago, psychology instructor Cassandra George-Sturges saw several nuns on Washtenaw Community College’s campus, and she immediately said a little prayer. “I told God, I said, ‘Please do not put them in my class because I’m gonna get fired,’” George-Sturges said. “Because I curse, I curse like a sailor, I have cleavage out, I say inappropriate things.” Turns out, the Lord really does work in strange ways. The next semester, Cassandra George-Sturges had 11 nuns in her class. And sure enough, they would change her life. Recently, Sisters Francis Mary and Mary Judith from The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, were flown to Chicago to be featured on Oprah’s show. Both are WCC students who’ve had George-Sturges as a teacher in her education of exceptional children class. “I went to her to tell her that I wouldn’t be able to come to class because I was flying to Chicago to tape for the show, and then she just made it very clear that she was a very big fan,” Sister Francis Mary said. George-Sturgess has idolized the talk-show host from the beginning and said Oprah has never disappointed her. “To me, Oprah represents being at the top of where you belong in life,” George-Sturges said. The nuns remembered that, and while they were with Oprah they got a signed photograph for their instructor. But more important than the photo is the respect George-Sturges said she feels from the sisters. She feels accepted by them even though they’re so different. “I’ve always been conscientious about them. It does change who I am in the classroom — out of respect,” George-Sturges said, noting that she doesn’t show certain movies and tries not to curse when the nuns are around. Sister Francis Mary said other students, knowing the way George-Sturges generally speaks and acts, ask her how she’s able to stand being in George-Sturges’ class, but it’s not a problem. “She is so respectful towards us, and I am so grateful,” said Sister Francis Mary, an education major who is also enrolled at Eastern Michigan University “She really puts that effort forward, and I know it’s hard for her. She just makes it a very comfortable classroom for all of us.” Sister Francis Mary asked Oprah for the signed photo because she knew it would be special to her teacher and said that Oprah was “more than willing” to oblige. As for the Oprah show, which aired Feb. 9, it was a hit. “It was really interesting watching it, especially with the sisters, because it was they first time they were seeing it,” Sister Francis Mary said. “We knew what was coming, but seeing ourselves, it kind of made it real and I finally realized, ‘Wow, I was on the Oprah show representing my community.’” George-Sturges feels she hasn’t been able to convey her thanks to the sisters. “How do you thank a person from the depths of your soul so that they understand that it’s not about the picture from Oprah or the autograph, it’s about the love from them?” she asked. Perhaps it’s time for another little talk with God.