I’ve never been fond of report cards. When I was a kid, I hated bringing my report card home for my parents to sign. And it wasn’t that my grades were bad or anything, usually. I just always dreaded it.
I think it stems from my very first report card. The principle of the grade school (private, Catholic, nuns, etc.), was also the first grade teacher. Before handing out our very first report cards, Sister explained to all of the children in my class what report cards were and that we were to take them home to our parents for their signature. And, she added, if her signature weren’t on our report card, that meant that she needed to meet with our parents because we were poor students and not doing well in school and something needed to be done.
Then she passed out our report cards.
And mine was not signed.
I was so afraid to show it to my parents. I held my six-year-old self together pretty well until school ended and I got to Mama’s car. Can I see your report card? Mama asked. And then I lost it. Totally. I started sobbing inconsolably because I’d flunked. I was a poor student and not doing well in school and something needed to be done.
What’s that matter? Mama asked.
I’m a [sob] b-b-b-b-ad st-st-student. You and daddy have to m-m-m-eet with S-s-s-s-ister [sniff] ‘c-c-c-ause I’m not doing w-w-w-w-ell. [sob sniff sob]
This is a very good report card! Mama said. You got all A’s and B’s. You did fine!
B-b-b-but it’s [sob sob sob] NOT SIGNED! and Sister said that meant [sniff sob] it was BAD!
Telling my younger brother and the neighbor kids to stay in the car or else — we carpooled in the days before seatbelts, so there were a gaggle of children in our station wagon — Mama marched me into Sister’s office and demanded to know why my card wasn’t signed.
I must have just missed it when I was signing the stack. Sister said. Of course Judy is doing fine! I will sign her card right now.
Even though Mama explained to me several times that she knew I had not actually flunked because my grades were OK, I’m not sure I felt much better or ever really believed, deep down, that it had all been a mistake. And there was that lower mark for Deportment. I did so like to chat with my little first grade friends — usually when Sister thought we should be learning something.
Traumatized, I tell you gentle reader, and scarred for life.
So you will understand why I was not looking forward to taking a test this week. A test that I stupidly made a goal on which I will be evaluated at work. A test that, I learned after making it a goal, was both extremely hard and not very relevant to what I’m doing.
Now, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m a pretty good test taker, especially if the test is multiple choice. With those tests, there are usually a couple of choices that are obviously not correct, so it’s not all that hard to pick out the right answer. But I haven’t taken tests for a long time. So I studied really, really hard (that’s part of where I’ve been instead of here). Yesterday I arrived promptly at the test-taking site, where all of my worldly possessions were locked up because this was not an open book test and I was escorted to a room with cameras where I would be monitored for the entire time. And it was hard. It was probably one of the hardest tests I’ve ever taken. The multiple choice questions said pick two or pick three. And they all looked wrong. Or they all look right. Sometimes they even all looked the same. I marked a bunch of questions for review, and then went back and changed them. Which I think may, in retrospect, not have been the smartest thing to do.
Technology is such a wonderful thing. I got my grade right away.
I missed passing by three questions out of 86. [sob sniff] And then I had to confess to my boss that I did not do well in school.
Before taking the test, I had discussed my misgivings with my boss and even located a different test that’s given in a more relevant way and covers more relevant material. And it was mutually agreed that, should I not do that well, plan B would be put in motion. So this weekend I need to take another test. But it’s a test that, while it is difficult, I already know I can pass.
So this whole sordid affair will soon be over.
And I can get back to knitting and blogging. 😀