Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Perfect Little Boy

The Twins - I am on the left and Larry is on the right
That described me as a child - affable, happy, studious, charming, a tad shy.  A lovely little boy. Practically perfect in every way.

At least that's how I remember it.

Funny how memories can color the truth and pooh-pooh the bits we don't like.

Today I was rummaging and reminiscing through a box of possessions from elementary school when I came upon my second grade report card.  It was situated in the midst of attendance awards, reading certificates, school pictures and letters.

How wonderful, thought I, as I picked it up.  What manner of praise did Ms. Groeger bestow upon me back in 1971?  Lets see...

Teacher Comment (February 4, 1971) - Gary has done satisfactory work this marking period, but his behavior has not been very good. He has been doing a lot of fooling around and he makes many trips to the bathroom.  He should concentrate more on doing his work carefully - especially math.

She must have me confused with my twin brother, Larry.

Teacher Comment (April 22, 1971) - Gary still seems to be having difficulty concentrating.  I have to reprimand him quite often during the day. He talks and fools around too much. I hope we will see an improvement in his behavior and attitude by next marking period.


Teacher Comment (June 25, 1971) - I hope Gary will do well next year in third grade. Try to have him do some reading this summer.  Have a nice vacation, Gary!

I have no idea who this woman is talking about.  And I honestly have no recollection of ever having a Ms. Groeger as a teacher.  I have no recollection of second grade at all.  I wonder what that means.

Still, if it is true that I was a chatty Cathy who couldn't focus it gives me insight into why I am drawn as a teacher to those children who struggle with those same issues.  It has been said (by me) that I am infinitely patient and that I am especially good with the students who present the biggest challenges.  Working with the children that others have lost patience with is an area in which I excel.

Hmmm...maybe being not so perfect turned out to be perfect after all.


Joy Keaton said...

Oooh I love it! You were the bad boy in 2nd Grade! Our friendship makes more and more sense as these things come to light! xoxo (It also sounds like Mrs. G was a bit humorless.)

Gary said...

Truly! She does seem to be a little hard on a sweet 7-year-old angel. :) When I saw this I thought of you and wondered if I was just bored with what she was teaching. It is strange though that I have absolutely no recollection of her in the slightest (and I don't have that class picture either).

Angella said...

i find it so fascinating that nothing, no experience, is ever wasted. and what a cute kid you are! though there is a certain denis the menace aspect...lol. i used to adore that comic book character.

Gary said...

Angella - I totally see the Denis the Menace aspect! I never thought of it before but there it is! I love how you pointed out that no experience is wasted. It's something to remember as I go through struggles and failures in my journey towards achieving my goals.

Candice said...

Hello Gary! I have been following your blog for quite some time, what true inspiration you are! I am going to graduate school for education of the deaf and would love to talk to you about the field and was hoping you could share some resources that you would suggest for a newbie in the TOD field! Thanks in advance!


Kim and Kelly said...

Wow!! I have never written a comment like that for any of my students (even if they deserved it) haha. ;) I think it is probably a good thing you don't remember her, not something to have memories of. Keep up all of your hard work! :)

Gary said...

Kim and Kelly - I know! She didn't even couch the comments in a bit of positive praise before rolling out the bad stuff. I'm glad you found FYB and thanks for following.

Pauline said...

I laughed out loud over this one. Our perceptions of ourselves rarely agree with those of others. I prefer my own self-assessments, thank you. You're right, too, that any weaknesses you may have allow you to help others with the same. I like author Richard Bach's assertion that we teach best what we most need to learn.

Gary said...

Ah, Richard Bach! I tore through all of his books when I younger. Thanks for bringing those memories back to me. I loved his line that goes something like, Never be ashamed of anything you do even if you are falsely accused. It went something like that but makes more sense with him. Basically I think it means we should live our lives by a certain standard so that even if someone falsely accuses you nobody will believe it.

Steve Reed said...

It's funny how we remember (or misremember) things, isn't it?! I can totally see you being talkative and mischievous, though. :)

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Hahaha! Some hilarious insight!


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