My brother had it a little harder than me. When we came to the US he was five years old. We disembarked in NY in April, and he had to attend kindergarten in September of the same year. The only phrase he knew at that time was upside down. By the end of the school year he spoke English as well as his native born school mates.
Those Nuns were tough, sometimes even vicious, but they were very, very, well educated, and they were excellent teachers. We received a private school education that cost my parents nothing.
My how things have changed: today the cost of attending a Catholic school is very high, the education while better than most public schools is still dumbed down, and the Church has to organize a 'Capital Project' to raise money to settle lawsuits filed against it for unspeakable acts committed (sp?) by its aberrant priests.
My Church is sorely in need of a good fumigation or schism, take your pick.
It seems that my Church has nothing on the godless humanism practiced by the godless humanists. It really depresses me.
By the way, do you know a lot about Heidegger and the existentialists (sp?)? There seems to be some debate on this thread concerning the merit of their thinking. I'm not acquainted with his writings in great detail, but I find his movement in general to be peopled with windbags and not deep thinkers.
I agree w/Cicero in that it's a hard act to take seriously unless you're pretty short sighted. The long view of History mocks nearly everything they stand for, and the advancements of society as they follow momentous Military engagements reduces the existentialist core message to that of thrashing adolescence.