or, some things never seem to change...
After my mother's death, my youngest sister Mary Beth gathered together, and sorted and bundled, all of the various bits and pieces of paper my mother had saved over the years. On a recent visit, my sister presented me with my "packet" -- which was really quite astounding as it contained many things I'd long forgotten, but which my mother had tucked away.
Among these items were two "progress reports" from my kindergarten classes at P.S. 236, in Baltimore, Maryland. I read the teacher's comments with some amusement, and share them here as a remarkable indication of how little some things can change. I invite others who may be blessed to have such documents to do the same -- or at least to look at them for an amused few minutes.
The January report reads:
Toby brings new information to our group and makes helpful suggestions concerning our work. He is gradually learning to respect the efforts of those who are not as capable or as quick to comprehend as he is. Occasionally he has ridiculed work not as good as his own and we are discouraging this.
Things were under more control by June, perhaps helped by a change of venue:
Toby seems to have adjusted well to his new classroom. He takes an active and enthusiastic part in our activities. Toby needs to learn to use a quiet voice during work periods, in consideration of the other children who are working.
Toby has a good background of information which he has shared with us to add much to our activities. He is well liked by his classmates and gets along nicely with them.
So, that's the early documentary evidence, from certified employees of the Baltimore Department of Education. To echo Robert Burns, I'm glad these "gifties" turned up, to allow me to see myself as others saw me half a century ago. Thanks Mom, and thank Mary Beth -- and thanks Mrs. Carroll and Mrs. Ackrill.
Tobias Haller BSG