A.K.A. The Invisible Child
Every year, during my teaching years, I played a little mind game and selected one child I would consider “adopting.” He or she was that child who entered the classroom like a ray of sunshine and never lost that sparkle in the eyes. That child would be easy and loving and laughed a lot and didn’t know what it meant to be unkind to other kids. That child soaked up everything I said or taught and thought I was a genius. Often, I would think of adopting more than one.
I know what you’re all thinking, that you would have been that child if you were in my class. I always thought I, too, was that incredible child who impressed my teachers so much, had they played my mental game, they would have chosen me.
Wrong! OMG. I came across my old report cards from grade school through high school.
My grades are C’s and B’s with a few insignificant A’s.
Grade 6: Final grades: all B’s and C’s :
Grade 7: I’m a little smarter with 2 A’s in Eng and Soc Studies but C in Math.
Grade 8: B’s and C’s and a male teacher’s comment: Frances is a good student and needs only to participate in class activities.
Things get worse:
Grade 9: B’s and C’s and 1 D in Algebra
Grade 10: B’s and C’s with one A in Biology
Grade 11: All B’s except A in Chorus and Short Hand.
College material? Definitely not!
Now get this: My character traits are worse. I received 1 which is Good, only in neatness and reliability. I guess I combed my hair and my nails were clean. And you could depend on me to run errands.
I got a 4 which is Poor in Initiative and Leadership. Most of my character traits are 3′s. What kind of a kid was I? Surely not adoptable!
I had no character! I was lazy and showed no effort in my studies. I have one line in my Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii that reads: ..I was never really there; I was daydreaming, designing life somewhere else, in New York City, or Hollywood.
You would think I would have day-dreamed with a little more character.
My mother’s signature is on each report card. I guess for as long as she saw 1 for neatness, it was all right. I didn’t get pregnant and got suspended from class only once which they didn’t know about, so I guess 1 in Neatness made up for that kid that I was…a barely average child with such character flaws.
In all fairness to that kid, Mr. McClellan was the PE teacher who taught Algebra and knew as much Algebra as I did. And he definitely wasn’t as neat as I was…and had
worse handwriting than I did.
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