Monday, January 19, 2009

A Troubled Student

A couple of weeks ago, I found some of my old report cards. Ah, the memories. Since my mother was a teacher, I heard many lectures from her about my grades and motivation. They always ended with comments like "You will NOT embarrass me!" Sadly, I know I did embarrass. I've tried saying things like that to my kids in hopes they would act right and fly straight. At least the times they didn't are pretty darn funny now.

I think one of my favorite report cards is the one from my 6th grade year. Here. Take a gander.

I'm sure you'll notice that F- circled in red. Yeah. Well, I can explain that. You see, the teacher got mad at me for not finishing a project the way she wanted and she gave me a failing grade (and I did a better project than most of the bozos in my class - but she didn't like for students to do anything but her step by step directions). And so I got mad and refused to do any more work in her class.

I wasn't worried at all about this grade. I had a plan! In my head, the principal would see this really low grade from a girl in the GIFTED CLASS (what a joke that class was). He would then march down the 200 corridor to fire the teacher. If the teacher were fired over the grade then my mother would feel sorry for ME because of the mean, mean teacher lady who was picking on her precious daughter. Of course, the grade would be changed to an A+ as a payment for all the injustice.

Let's suffice it to say, it didn't work out quite like I had planned. And it really didn't help that the teacher circled the grade in red (as if it needed any help standing out). She totally messed up my backup plan to change the F into an A with a simple pen swipe. Who ever heard of an F-? And check out the Explanation of Grades. I can remember some of the comments from my mother: "You could have at least made an F+ but nooo... you had to make an F-.... you will NOT embarrass me..."

And I got kicked out of the gifted program.

Sometimes, I think I'm a descendant of those guys in the Keystone Kop movies.

On a good note, these report cards help me get in good with my current posse of troubled students. They are amazed that their principal could have ever been so much like them. And I appreciate their creativity in getting out of assignments, etc. They ought to get some good grades for some of their unappreciated ingenuity. Really. And who knows. Maybe they'll grow up to be your child's principal.


Braja said...

Say it: the teacher was a no-life, frustrated bitch.

Eudea-Mamia said...

An F-?! I'm with Braja - sounds like some major baggage.

You must conform, you MUST conform!

Good for you for using it as a lesson tool.

only a movie said...

Isn't it crazy what you still remember from all those years ago? In 5th grade I was too sheepish to hand in a 2 week long project a day late, so I didn't hand it in at all and got a *0*, but when we took the test, I got 100%. Teacher only had to assume I cheated on the test because I didn't hand in the packet... Ack. Teachers, man, they suck.

dizzblnd said...

Yup your teacher definitely did NOT get laid enough. Too bad for you.

Beth said...

Braja - I actually used to feel sorry for the teacher. She had a bad scar on her face from a car accident. Now I call her Scar Face.

Eudia-Mamia - I never was very good at conforming. My mother could tell you some stories...

only a movie - You crack me up! I can't imagine you a shy person. And the teachers suck comment - well, let's just say that the water burns in the nostrils.

dizzblnd - I never thought about Scar Face getting laid. Ugh. You just killed my appetite.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I remember some of my totally out there fantasies. Real life sure can stomp on them, yes?

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Oh wow and now you're the principal? Did you go back to that teacher and say something clever like "In your face bitch!" ? : )
Thanks for coming by my blog I am enjoying yours!!

amy said...

you know, beth, it's so interesting to hear about the kids who were not the glowing-cream-of-the-crop students growing up to be teachers. or principals. i have a theory, and my theory is this: it's basically to prove to people like the mean gifted teacher lady how crappy a teacher she actually was, and that here. HERE is how you do it, the right way.

or maybe that's just me holding onto a 20-odd year grudge against that one bitchy trigonometry teacher. and also the english teacher who said my poetry "wasn't poetic" enough. Like there's a system to poetry. plus, it was bon jovi's "livin' on a prayer" lyrics. and bon jovi is the world's most awesome poet, everybody knows.

anyway, my point is: the best teachers and principals i've worked with and for have been the ones who got F's (and seriously, yes--what the heck is an "F minus"?? that's like saying there's somewhere worse than hell one can burn) in school. they've been the funnest, the more creative, and the easiest to work with.

and in conclusion, i'm going to find a good time today to tell someone to straighten up and fly right. that's one of my favorite sayings, and i don't feel i say it often enough.

The Chatty Barista said...

I did the same thing in Chemistry in High School... The teacher only like girls with big boobs (I am not a girl, and I don't have big boobs)I got no help, The girl that wore nothing but a V-neck undershirt and tight jeans got extra help... in return, I did no work.. I received a grade average of a 43 for the year... to summer school I went..

Sunny said...

Well, I once got my F- too and believed that it was COOL!

Laura said...

There is no such thing as an F-, that is the sure sign of a vengeful person. Be proud that you stood up to THE WOMAN and became her, but without the vengeful streak.