Report Cards

I spent yesterday in my mother’s basement going through toys, tossing out cheap McDonalds Happy Meal Toys and retaining important items like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and my brother’s Power Rangers.

Then we hit the box filled with my old schoolwork, and I learned several important things about myself and my family:

  • As a young child, my brother’s writing tended to center around bodily functions and was pretty typical for a kid his age. I think he may just have liked writing the word "puke."
  • I got above average grades in first grade in everything except social studies and penmanship. This is a surprise for me because my handwriting has degraded since first grade and if Mrs. Asche were to test me now, I would probably get a "needs improvement" grade. She would have been far, far too polite to have written "What the heck does this say?!" on my papers, though.
  • My mother saved everything. Including a note I had written her about unplugging the toilet circa 1988, and pictures of my brother’s work in the Jackson Boy Scout troop. We threw away a lot of the useless stuff, but kept everything that was funny.
  • In my advanced beginners swimming class report card, my teachers wrote I needed to improve my breathing on the crawl stroke. To this day, I really can’t swim the crawl very well, because turning my head so much makes me slightly dizzy. Are there any swimmers out there who could give me some advice on this?
  • I was not a good speller. I became a good speller later, but in first and second grade, you could tell I needed practice. Unfortunately, after I started taking German in high school I reverted to my bad-spelling ways. And then I learned just enough (barely any) Russian to make it even worse.

I also learned that we had an awful lot of beanie babies in the house for a family who did not collect them, and that my mother is willing to do Barbie’s laundry on her behalf. That blonde slob hadn’t washed her clothes in 20 years, can you believe it!

Currently there are tiny doll clothes hanging all over the downstairs bathroom in a stunning tribute to my mother’s patience and rust-removing capabilities.

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