The School Daze Series
If you can read this, but feel really insecure about how you're reading it, thank a teacher
Probably Not Written Well Enough by: Alex Sandell
Remember your glorious school-days? Or, maybe you're still experiencing them. Either way, a teacher has probably wrecked your life or, is about to. Well, gee - that is their job, isn't it? Having an individual thought in a school is like having an orgasm in a church. You probably CAN get away with it, but it will definitely be looked down upon and, if you're caught having it, you will, more than likely, be scorned and ridiculed.
Well, I have yet to orgasm during mass but, I had plenty of individual thoughts in school and, for each one that I had, there was another hour of detention or another snotty comment on my report card. Unfortunately, I don't have a time-machine, so I can't fly you all back to my old school to sit in detention with me. Still, I can do the next best thing! Being the pack-rat that I am, I kept quite a few of the nasty comments and report cards I received tucked away in boxes and bags.
So, for you, the loyal Juicy Cerebellum reader, I spent hours rummaging through a musty basement, sticking my hands into pile after pile of junk and nostalgia, and suffering from dust-allergies, all to bring you these comments, and maybe let you in on a bit of the reason I turned out to be such a cynical-sucker with such a bizarre outlook on life.
I'm sure my old English teachers would tell me that last sentence was too long and that a paragraph should always contain more than one sentence. I just wish one of them would so, I could tell them that . . . their idiotic rules don't matter anymore. I could fart out something more creative than their greatest work of art.
Anyway, before I start getting too sidetracked and sounding too bitter, here is a brief look into 12 (plus Kindergarten) years of people trying to take my soul away. Enjoy!
After giving me a report card full of "Satisfactory," "Improving," and "Capable of Greater Progress," my kindergarten teacher proceeded to send home this message:
"Alex is a very shy boy lately he has been playing with the kids but before this he stood & watched. Alex has a difficult time cutting & also manipulating a pencil. He can do very well at times & then again he seems to regress."
Is it just me, or did my kindergarten teacher need a few grammar lessons herself?
This was my first year in a Catholic school and, obviously, God was no help in the grading department. Here's the only comment I could find:
"Alex is an excellent reader, however, he needs to slow down and observe punctuation."
I wonder if she forwarded that letter to my Kindergarten teacher, she could've used it.
Well, my grades improved but, my teacher had "no comment." Way to encourage, teach!
Third grade was my first big move to another city, and my grades reflected it. I received a report card full of "Satisfactory" and "Needs Improvement." It didn't help much that my teacher, Mrs. Kelly (in her case, I will name names) was Satan. Who would've thought Satan would be teaching third grade in a Catholic school?
Mrs. Kelly didn't have many comments on my report card ("speak softly and carry a big stick") but she did manage to squeeze out an
Once again, we moved to a different city and I had to reenter a whole new school. Since we discovered Satan was working in the Catholic Education System, my mom decided to put me back into a public school. This is where I had my first male teacher, Mr. Mann (ironic, huh?). To be honest, the penis didn't help. Mr. Mann was the second worst elementary school teacher I had (after the evil Mrs. Kelly).
I received alright grades on my fourth grade report card, so of course, there was "no comment."
Yet again, my dad decided lifelong happiness would be found in a new city and another job, so, I was dragged off to another school where I proceeded to get a teacher that just couldn't make up her mind and filled up my report card with an equal amount of "satisfactory" and "unsatisfactory." Obviously, since my grades weren't up to par, my teacher felt the need to comment. Here's what she said:
"Conference requested. Alex will be put on an accountability chart to keep him on task."
"Alex's interest in school and learning has decreased the past quarter. I know he is creative and capable of better grades."
Yes and, I know she was capable of giving me better grades for my creativity.
Well, my dad failed to find his career-Utopia in Maple Plain, so, once again, we packed up the U-Haul and moved across the state. My grades didn't really seem to rise, or decline, this year. Just kinda stayed at the same, pale level. Mostly "good" and "fair." I DID, by some miracle, receive two "excellents" but, (surprise, surprise) my teacher failed to comment on those. He did find a nice little negative note to leave me with, though:
"Some improvement needed in attending to task & self-concept."
Thanks, Mr. C and, you could use a diet.
My dad decided to remain in the same place for my seventh grade year, but, I still had a move to make. It was the broad leap from elementary school to junior high and, the switch from "satisfactory" and "needs improvement" to the actual A through F grading system. The big switch didn't settle well on my report-card. My grades took their biggest drop yet, and, I learned to really enjoy masturbation (which is completely irrelevant, but I just like to mention "dirty" things like masturbation).
As you are probably aware, the one-teacher-does-it-all system is non-existent in seventh grade and you start getting a different teacher for every class. Because of this, I'll list off each class and that teacher's comments.
English - "Fails to complete assignments." Final Grade: C-
Science - "Does not complete his assignments." "Lacks self-discipline." "Poor test results." Final Grade: D+
Social Studies - No comment. Final Grade: D We treated black people like animals and stole the land from the Indians, what else do you need to know?
Math - No comment. Final Grade: D
Reading - No comment. Nice to see a teacher of literature is so well-spoken. Final grade: C- (Even though I was the top reader in my class from 1st to 6th grade. Hmmm . . . does something smell fishy or, is it just me?)
Music - No comment. I did get an "F" all four quarters, making me a complete failure. Such a shame that I couldn't find any interest in the Clarinet. Final Grade: F
Another year of declining grades at Central Junior High.
English - "Although he did well on the poetry unit, Alex has an indifferent attitude." Final Grade: D+
Science - No comment. Final Grade: D
Social Studies - No comment. Final Grade: D-
Math - No comment. (Seems like they've just given up on me, doesn't it?). Final Grade: C-
Physical Education - "Alex lacks self-discipline. He needs to grow up." I betcha I looked pretty sexy in those hot little gym shorts, though. ;) Final Grade: B-
Nothing much to say. Bought a stack of porno mags from a guy for $25.00. Pretty much occupied my entire year.
English - "Alex puts out average effort." Final Grade: C-
Science - "Alex lacks enthusiasm for science. He has very poor test results. During the last 2 weeks of the quarter, he only got 8 points out of 249." Final Grade: D-
Social Studies - "Alex spends more time doodling, and drawing funny pictures on his assignments than he does working on them." Final Grade: C-
Math - "Alex may be a funny guy but Algebra has nothing to do with comedy and I won't accept it in my class. He did try harder the second half of the quarter but it wasn't enough to bring him up to a passing grade." Final Grade: F. What a joke. Oh, wait, it can't be, Algebra isn't funny.
Physical Education - "Woo-hoo! Alex sure gets me hot and bothered in those tight little gym shorts." Final Grade: A+
My first year in Jefferson Senior High, and I was still a virgin. After ten years, I finally found a teacher I liked. Mr. Kranzler was his name and, he even gave me a commendation report! Still, he couldn't get me laid.
Science - "Works hard." Final Grade: B+
Social Studies - "Great work. Excellent W.W.II project!" Final Grade: A
Physical Education - "Lacks Interest." Final Grade: D+
Keyboarding - No Comment. Final Grade: B- (that's odd, being that I could type 70 words per minutes with only seven errors. I smell that "fishy" stuff again.)
Home Maint/Craft - "Wastes time." Final Grade: C
Global Study - "Positive attitude." Final Grade: C-
English 10 - "Poor test results." Final Grade: C
Natural Resources - "Lacks interest." Final Grade: C-
Sales and Marketing - No comment. Final Grade: C (So THAT'S why I can't get a thousand people a day at my site!)
Practical Math - "Creative, enthusiastic." Final Grade: C+
Although the comments didn't get much worse, and I did receive another commendation report, my grades started falling again. Probably because I grew my hair long and it made the teachers think I was a murderer, or something.
Recent U.S. - "Needs more home study. Homework good." Um, wait a minute, does that comment make any sense? Final Grade: C+ (side-note - I found out Jim Henson died in this class. I also found out Sammy Davis Jr. died but, I like the Muppets better than crappy music.)
U.S. to 1865 - No comment. Final Grade: C
Issues of Today - "Excellent participation." Final Grade: D Hmm, must've been the hair.
Keyboarding 2 - "I took some of Alex's poetry and turned it into the office. I feel some of what he writes should be examined." "Alex has had seven absences, only two of which are excused by a doctor." Final Grade: B+ Probably cuz she was afraid I'd murder her if she gave me any lower. I think my principal went on to publish my poems and become a celebrity.
Physics - "Work is late, incomplete, or does not meet acceptable standards. Alex seems to think Physics is a joke. Has not turned in all daily assignments." "Alex seldom participates in class activities, unless it is to make fun of the activity being done." "Alex puts forth little effort to achieve. His attitude is indifferent." Final Grade: C
Health - "3 of the days we've had tests, he's been absent." "Excellent reader." Final Grade: C I guess my reading ability didn't help my ability to suck-face with Recessa-Annie.
Intro to Computers - No comment. Final Grade: D I'd like to see his homepage.
English 2 - "Does fine." (It's amazing how into writing those English teachers are). Final Grade: B-
Finally, my last year of high school and I was still a virgin. The senior dance was called "Love Under the Sea." I still hope somebody drowned.
So, here's the final list of unfair grades and crappy comments:
Photography - "Alex seems to be skipping over half of my classes." Oh, gee, what would my life come to if I didn't know how to take pictures of boring landmarks? Plus, those pancakes at Broadway Cafe beat out first hour, by a long shot. Final Grade: D-
Psychology - "Great poems. Excellent descriptions." Once again, I had Mr. Kranzler, the first teacher to give me a commendation report, and treat me with the respect a human being deserves. Final Grade: A-
English 12 - "Habitually late work. Seems to have more interest in writing his own novels than reading the classics I assign him." Um, isn't that something an English teacher should encourage? Final Grade: C-
Senior Social - No comment. Final Grade: C+
College Law - No comment. Final Grade: B+
And, there you have it, my entire senior year. Keep an eye out for part two of my School Daze series where you'll get to see all the doodling and descriptions that got me into trouble in the first place. Plus, if any of you teachers that said I didn't spend enough time doing homework are reading this, I spent over 9 hours finding the material, and writing this article. Can you take those "Alex makes little effort to achieve" comments back now?
All this bitterness and bitching is ©1997 Alex Sandell. [All Rants Reserved]
You know the routine, just click it.
Get your own free homepage at: geocities.