50 years ago today in 1958 my mother was screaming! Today (fifty years later) my sister Mary Beth and I were in our parents den discussing the possibilities of cleaning out some of the old junk in their house. With that in mind I opened this cabinet behind a chair in the corner of our den. I saw an old metal filing box in the corner and my mother suggested that my original birth certificate might be in that box. We cracked it open and discovered that it was loaded with all kinds of ancient paperwork including many of my old report cards plus my original birth certificate. Wow! I've been home hundreds of times and never opened that cabinet or box before. On the day of my 50th birthday I find my birth certificate!? Weird. I learned today for the first time that I was born at 8:57 PM EST. My folks thought it was around 9:00, but weren't sure of the exact time. Now we know. There were report cards from first grade all the way through high school. We're going through them all and my mother finds and starts to read the written remarks on my first grade report-card. Miss Harris at Norwak Elementary School writes, "Anthony needs to read aloud daily during summer vacation. He lacks self-confidence when doing seat work (anyone remember what seat work is?). Anthony needs to accept the responsibility of school work. He is capable but has never completed an assignment without constant urging and encouragement. Anthony tries hard when it is his turn, but independently does little. Anthony is to be promoted to grade 2 but if his work habits do not improve, it may be necessary for him to repeat that grade. Promoted to Grade 2 Miss Harriss."
I got 3 Cs an A and one B. I got the A in WRITING. I got all three Cs in Reading with understanding, Reading with expression and Learning to attack new words. Can you believe there was a category on report cards in 1965 for ATTACKING NEW WORDS? Funny because now is one of my favorite things to do. Under "Personal Development" I received an "Indicates Weakness" for showing ability in working independently. But, under "Does Work Neatly" I received an "Indicates Strength" remark. The wildest part of this tale is that while we were all reading, laughing, remembering and commenting on my struggles as a wee lad, the P90X infomercial appears on the TV in the den. And we think we're pulling the strings. Sometimes I wonder.
If Miss Harriss could only see me now.