So now you can pick out what’s true and fair,
find all the good trails!
Lady Wisdom will be your close friend,
and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion.
Mom has apparently felt an urge to purge old files she doesn’t need anymore, an understandable desire. Among those files she found the folder of all the report cards from my entire school career. The high school ones were boring, but going back to early elementary school — what a trip.
In kindergarten, for example, I got rated down on “follows school rules”:
I believe this may have been the year that a boy told me I was too little to be in kindergarten, and I should go back to preschool. I punched him in the stomach.
Then there’s my kindergarten teacher’s comments:
Fall: Katie is learning to be careful, cooperative, and fair.
Spring: She shows a lack of maturity in her relationships with her classmates.
Summer: Although Katie’s growth is continuing to grow in social maturity, she still needs guidance and support from you and her new teacher. Thank you for your cooperation.
Oh, dear. Well, nobody every accused me of being sensitive to others or excessively tactful…
Then in first grade, I got negative comments from the reading teacher, despite the fact that I would go on to become an incredibly voracious reader:
1. In Mrs. Rice’s Average reading group and making good progress.
2. In Mrs. Rice’s average reading group. Katy needs to focus more on her work.
3. Be sure to practice your reading this summer, Katie.
I’m guessing that had something to do with the fact that I didn’t like Mrs. Rice. I still, to this day, have a visceral memory of a very large, bad-tempered woman who scared the living daylights out of me. Why would I try to read hard for such a gorgon? Not to mention she misspelled my name, never a route into my good graces.
First grade was a hard year, apparently, for my classroom teacher too:
1. Since Katie’s behavior program has been in effect, she has made great improvement in self control and following directions. Keep up the challenge!
2. Continued improvement in behavior and work skills due to her awareness of areas to improve.
3. I’ve enjoyed Katie’s enthusiasm this year!
Notice the allusion to a “behavior program”? I seem to recall it involving getting rated with different smiley faces at various points throughout the day. Yep, I was trouble. However, “enthusiasm” isn’t a quality I’ve apparently lacked for most of my life. To this day, I’m guessing “enthusiastic” would come to mind for people I’ve worked with.
If I recall correctly, first grade was the year I cut my own bangs during class, because they kept getting in my eyes and annoying me. When I got home, quite proud of myself, Mom evinced a disappointing amount of enthusiasm herself. I didn’t understand why we had to rush off to get a hair cut when I’d just cut my hair. It was fine!
Boy, I can hardly wait to be on the parental end of these stories. Really.