Getting my son’s report card is hardly a stressful experience. His final second-grade report card came home with him this week and per usual, his grades were excellent. I am blessed that he enjoys schools, does not find it difficult, and is able to make friends.
But as I was reading along, I saw it; the little comment at the bottom of the report card that says he has a hard time separating social time with educational time.
This isn’t a big deal with me, and not at all surprising. Since he was old enough to talk, he has talked to everyone. Strangers at the park. Strangers at the grocery store. Strangers at the zoo. Pretty much everyone that comes into his life he has a conversation with and always has, so the fact he is unable to stop visiting with his friends in class is hardly a surprise.
And hardly something that I am concerned about especially as his grades are not affected (though we did have a small discussion about respecting the teacher’s time).
But I started to think about these comments on report cards. I know some friends who are amused at the memories of their report cards, often because they were the ones, like my son, who were unable to be quiet in class and who are now public speakers or lawyers.
Then there are some of my other friends who talk about how their report cards commented on their well-developed humor (true); or that they should strive to talk more (which is ridiculous, but also an accurate observation of this particular friend’s reluctance to talk, ever.)
Comments on report cards.
Are they little insights into a person’s character? Or rubbish?
Now, for me, I don’t actually remember any of my comments and if my mom still has my elementary school report cards, she hasn’t told me and probably doesn’t know where they are (likely, she threw them away a long time ago). But, someone tweeted the other day on a report card comment that I thought was terribly accurate for myself: “fails to put in the extra effort.”
For that person, but also because like a lightbulb in my brain, I thought: “that is me.”
I have always skated through life. I am blessed beyond measure. I got good grades in school without trying overly hard. I worked in various companies and easily moved up just by my work ethic.
However, I have never been one to go the extra mile.
I’ve been musing about this a lot lately, friends. To go into a brief moment of psychotherapy, I think a lot of it has to do with my need to protect myself. I somehow associate giving more to a company, school etc., to giving a piece of myself away, thereby breaking down the protection schematic.
How would life have been different if I’d tried a little harder?
Worked harder to get into a PhD program?
Studied harder at that foreign language?
Worked harder and reached further as a writer?
And as I look back at my decades of professional life, I wonder if I could have done more, accomplished more, if I had just put in that extra little effort.
A sobering thought for sure, and one that I will sit with as I ceaselessly move into my future.
But, what about you, dear readers?
Do you remember your report card comments? Were they an accurate representation of you as a person then, or now?
And what about this concept of failing to put in the extra effort? Seems like such a simple concept. What do you think?
Until next time friends, happy memories and may you have long meandering philosophical self-analyzations.
Your choice. 🙂