My report cards were always sent home in sealed envelopes, and there was always a good reason to leave the house at the sound of that envelope being opened.
To be honest, I didn’t do too badly in the old teachers’ appraisal stakes. For one thing, I was the most unconscionable little squirt at school. If there was some serious teacher grovelling to be done, you bet I was there.
Blackboards to be cleaned, water to be fetched, classmates to be snitched on, you could lay your last ten shillings on me being the Peter Lorre-like character materialising at the teacher’s elbow, ready to point an incriminating finger at who had really stuffed all that toilet paper down the lavvy and flooded the girls’ loos again.
It’s a horrible thought, but if I had grown up in a dictatorship, you can rest assured that I would picked up the award for “Saluting At The Giant Poster Of The Great Leader” every single year. Mainly because I’d make sure the opposition had been shipped off to a salt mine somewhere.
For another thing, I didn’t do too badly at school, for a girl. My maths and arithmetic were terrible, but girls were supposed to be rubbish at that. Sorry to sound sexist, but that’s how things rolled in the 1960s.
In fact, when June Newton picked up the prize for Maths one year, Shona McLeod echoed what many of us thought – how could she ever manage to get herself married when she was better at calculus than him?
That sent me into a bit of tailspin, because although I agreed with Shona, who was older, wiser and, at the mature age of 13 had already out-grown her training brassiere, I had no idea what she was talking about, which led to me to believe that marriage involved joint mathematics exercises as well as making babies.
Our report cards were basic, to say the least. Our teachers didn’t go in for personality assessments or the sort of groovy upbeat mushspeak of relentless positivity you get in modern report cards.
The nearest they got to even being diplomatic was when you were completely rubbish at the subject. They’d use phrases such as “trying very hard”.
In my case, the damning phrase “could do better” appeared so often they should just have had it carved onto a rubber stamp and handed it about.
That, and the deathless “Susan is a lively addition to any classroom, preferably someone else’s.”
I ‘must try harder’.. to understand report card
So, the lad has brought his report card home and before I can even begin to look for reasons to take his Xbox away, I have to wade through the user guide at the beginning. I think I have the hang of the reporting, tracking and monitoring systems, the unit award table, the four-tier effort /behaviour/ homework grid and the grade/level schematic.
The chances of my boy hefting a Noble Prize for physics are slim, but if they ever introduce a category for untidiness, we might be in with a chance. Academia does not beckon, but he’s turning into a fine young man with great qualities.
I think that’s what his report card says, but I’m not sure. I think I’ll have to try harder.
I vote for telling election gang anything to get peace
Is there an election on? People keep knocking on the door and asking me how worried am I about David Cameron. I’m not worried about him. I think he’s about to get handed a P45, but I have the feeling that he’ll land on his feet somewhere. It’s that shiny Teflon face of his. I can see him advertising moisturiser for men.
Usually the door knockers out themselves as being from one party or another. I tell them I’m voting for them, because I can’t
stand the look of disappointment on their faces if I don’t.
I felt quite bad about this the other day when the nice little boy from the Tories was so startled he nearly dropped his clipboard, and I realised that I was leading him astray, like some sort of polling booth femme fatale.
Best just clarify here, I didn’t actually tell him I was voting for his party. What I did say was I’d met Ruth Davidson and she seems quite nice.
Which is true. The phrase “clutching at straws” came to mind as he skipped away like a spring lamb.
Polls not counting on my opinion
Everybody seems to want my vote, but no-body seems to want my opinion. Not once has anyone ever contacted me from any pollster organisation to ask me what I think on a scale of one to ten, with one being agree strongly and ten being disagree strongly.
Yes, this hurts. I’ve been known to sit by the telephone like a lovestruck teen waiting for YouGov, Ipsos Mori or Gallup to call. I’ll just have to keep my opinions to myself, then.