I was sorting through old report cards yesterday–Mom & Dad kept all of that stuff and I found it in a box in the back of their closet when I was cleaning at the family house last month. Report cards back in the 50s and 60’s were nothing like today’s–they were a heavy paper stock, with entries for all 4 quarters that the teacher woud fill out and make comments about each student’s progress. I thought I’d keep my brother’s for him (I’ll be visiting Lee in Kentucky next month) but he told me to throw them out…and now I know why! He wasn’t the best student in the world. I was so surprised, since he’s so smart.
It turns out he just didn’t like school and thought there were better ways to pass the time–like reading and drawing. (He did get A’s in art) He told me about the time a teacher caught him with a book on his lap under his desk. He was reading instead of paying attention in history class. The book was Einstein’s Theory of Relativity!
My report cards were not that much better….I got high mark in the classes that interested me (Journalism and History) but barely made it through science and math. And I was so shy in Kindergarten that I wouldn’t play with the other kids…the teacher made notes on my report card that I couldn’t skip and I wouldn’t go down the slide. I remember the slide scared me because I’d never seen one before! I guess we were pretty sheltered back in the mid-1950s.
This picture is a few of the reports sent home (yes, even college report cards were sent to parents back in the 60’s!). The yellow one is from First Grade and one of my college grade reports is in the lower left corner….
While Lee and I were comparing notes yesterday we came to the conclusion that we might have done better in school if our parents had praised and encouraged us instead of just insisting we do well.
A little praise goes a long way–it makes me wonder how my own parents were raised. Now that they are gone I wish I could ask questions like that. Talk to your loved ones while you can–you never know how long you have them!