For a dumb kid, receiving a report card can be a frightening thing. I had some dumb friends. They would fret over bad grades. I never got bad grades. Not until I was larger than my parents. At that point what could they say? I could crush them with my thighs if I wanted to. Recently my older sister found one of my old report cards. Today we examine what an amazingly smart child I was and where everything went wrong.
(Any kid who owns a corduroy jacket is either evil or really loves Pearl Jam)
The year is 1998. I’m in Mrs. Hartbauer’s fourth grade class. Blow job jokes about Bill Clinton are popular among the teachers. None of the students get them. I’m fresh faced and ready to take on the world. Fourth grade was a great year. Hartbauer always was nice and I had a lot of friends in my class. I won soccer MVP of recess as my incredible goaltending helped lead my team to a very good record. We could only count up to 10 at this point. It was hard to keep accurate statistics after a certain point. Statistics are something adults use as excuses. Numbers politicians can finagle to make themselves less like a succubus. With my report card in my hand at this moment (it’s actually on the arm rest covered in dog hair and dandruff, but who are you to call me out?) I have real life statistics to prove my smarts.
I will start with attendance. First marking period I missed 3 and a half days. Second marking period I missed 7. Nice! I’m pretty sure this was the week I was sick the first four days then on Friday faked sick because I was getting really into Price is Right storylines. Plinko happens about once a week. They were due! Third marking period I missed 5 days. Finally the fourth I missed 2. What was I thinking? Only 2 days? My school had no air conditioning. Well, I don’t think my house did either then. It’s probably harder to fake a fever when it’s really hot out. Your mother will say it’s just global warming and to get your black ass to class. I was also tardy one day in the fourth marking period. I’m never late for anything. I’m not sure what happened on this day. I do remember everyone in the class thinking tardy was the teacher calling us retarded. With my accuracy at being on time, I’m starting to think maybe tardy is a cute way of saying mongoloid.
(Corky from TV show Life Goes On. He was often late to the set. Producers were too afraid to call him tardy. Their morals were too strong. I wonder if he thinks the baby he’s holding is real)
On each report card we were given “Skill Indicators.” A + meant Above Expectations, a check mark meant Meeting Expectations, an Upside Down V meant Progressing (because I guess you’re drawing your letters upside down but at least you’re getting the shapes correct), and (-) meant Below Expectations. First Marking period I got almost all check marks. I had to leave myself room for improvement. Over time I started to add a few pluses. I got better at “accepting responsibility”, “respecting rights/feelings of others”, and “working well independently.” My favorite thing about this is that I was able to go above expectations to work independently about 5 months before “cooperating with school regulations.” What the hell did I do not to cooperate with school regulations back then? The only time I ever got in trouble was when the random black recess aide told my friends and I to “Stop wrestling. Boys always be wrastlin.”
The only bad marks I got were two upside down V’s in music. “Demonstrates music skills appropriate to the developmental level” gave me two of these Progressing marks. I’m not quite sure what this means even today. Also, if I’m progressing at it, shouldn’t I be a music superstar today? Or was I so bad that I had plenty of room for improvement? I got high scores in writing, which hey, I am the bomb at, especially compared to music. If this teaches us anything it is that people’s skills are pretty much developed by the time they are 10. I know, that sounds like an argument a pedophile could make in court.
(If only Jerry Sandusky would have listened to me he might only be spending 250 years in prison, not 400 plus)
We also received letter grades. Overall I ended up with straight A’s. I’m like Stephan Hawking or something. The most B’s I received were in the fourth marking period. 3 A’s, 3 B’s. This was also the same marking period I showed up to most. How did I do the second marking period when I missed 7 days? Straight A’s. Yet another valuable life lesson here. You get smarter avoiding the situation and sitting home all day eating Ritz crackers.
Finally my report card contains actually written words from my teacher. Here they are in order:
“Tim is a well-adjusted 4th grader. He is very responsible and always very respectful. It is a pleasure to have such a nice boy in my class.”
See, I was good once.
“Tim is still doing outstanding! I’ve really enjoyed Tim’s writing this marking period-he has a way with words.”
I do. I’m sure Mrs. Hartbauer would be horrified by a few things I have written since. But she never said anything about my writing being respectful. Just that I had a way with the words.
“Tim continues to be a model student. He is doing wonderfully! He is always cheerful and fun to be around.”
Okay well this one I have to completely disagree with. I am rarely cheerful and even my girlfriend tells me I am not fun. Hartbauer, you have bad taste in men. At least she did say I could be a model. Or maybe I read that wrong.
“Tim is a wonderful, sweet gentleman. It was a pleasure having him in my class. He will be a pleasant addition to any class. Have a great summer!”
I started off as a well-adjusted 4th grader and left a wonderful, sweet gentleman. I kind of wish I had more little things like this. You know, to use in defense I could not possibly be an Antichrist.
(A more likely candidate. She gave away free cars to people who could not afford to pay taxes on them. Evil bitch)