The end of the school year looms just ahead, and along with it comes the Big Question dreaded by school children throughout history: will I PASS?
Did you used to worry about this? For me, it was scary.
When it was time to pass out report cards, my last name was always either last or very nearly last, and the wait was excruciating. My friends would have learned their fate long before my name was ever called, and this constituted abject torture. I watched as some smiled in relief, and then as some burst into tears. Everyone in the room felt simply awful.
At last my name would be called. I walked slowly to the front (were my feet actually dragging?), was handed the dreaded thing, and slowly opened it. My upcoming summer (maybe even my life) depended upon those next few moments, for there, on the very last line of the card, would be the words:
"_____(name)__________ has passed/failed 7th grade". (date _____)
Surrounded by my stacks of papers, she asked, "Do you really want to know?"
I hesitated. "I guess so.."
I still remember that day because she looked at all of my graded papers, tests and quizzes, and pulled out a calculator. Sitting on the old gym steps, we averaged everything out and you could've knocked me over with a feather - for I WAS GOING TO PASS!! In fact, it was a B average. A reprieve!
On those old report cards, never was the word 'failed' ever underlined, and yet every year I was certain it would be.
One day I wrote some lyrics to an old familiar song, (Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah), and sang it to my own kids at their report card time. Do you remember the original? Good old Camp Granada! Here is my adapted version, meant as a humorous way to look at my old nemesis:
My Report Card
Oh my goodness, I've been shirkin'
And I don't have all my work in.
By my mother, I'll be hounded,
Every day of my vacation I'll be grounded!
All my friends will be out playing,
While inside I will be slaving.
Something tells me I'm in trouble,
So I guess I'd better fix it on the double.
I'm alone, oh please don't let my dad get home.
Please let his brand new car break down,
I gotta find a way that my report card won't be found...
Oh my goodness, my report card
has been left out in the back yard!
Is it my fault that it's raining,
though just watching it is very entertaining.
All those nasty words have faded,
And the grades are obliterated.
There will be no confrontation,
and I'm ready for a really great vacation!
-adapted from 'Camp Granada', tune by Allan Sherman (1963)
lyrics by the SconeLady (1996)
We know of at least one 2nd grader who has earned a 'really great vacation'. Here's to all the kids who stand now at the edge of summer, waiting, watching, hoping for the best. We love you! You can do it! You are the future!
See you along the way!