Friday, November 24, 2006


The dreaded GRE is tomorrow. Have I studied enough? Do I know how to find the test site? Shouldn't I review just ONE MORE chapter? What about those breathing excercises I never mastered?

I can't help myself from cramming. I haven't even looked at the Math section because all that does is lower my self-esteem. But I found a boost in the most unexpected place. When I was at my Dad's this summer, tucked behind my high school yearbooks was a little envelope that was dated in 1982. It was two years of my report cards.

I forgot about these ancient relics, until I found them in a box. "Jaynel is our number one speller AGAIN!" Mrs. Kinney writes, "She is a Spelling Whiz!" Moving on to math, I saw that I had mastered my multiplication tables to the 5's and 6's. "Jaynel understands division, and scored 98% overall."

"Jaynel expresses a high level of creativity and originality"

"Jaynel is reading from Sunshine Days, our highest reading group." and then "She sometimes forgets what she reads." (It's called Sunshine Days. Isn't that enough?)

"Jaynel can create complete sentences and write in paragraph form."

"Jaynel is becoming a good listener."

"Jaynel likes to share with others."

"It was a pleasure working with Jaynel. She will make a very successful fourth grader."

Why can't I submit these report cards as my letters of recommendation and GRE scores? Not much has changed, it appears. Except somewhere between then and now, I've convinced myself that I suck at math, and know less than I do.

I talked to my mother on the phone a couple of weeks ago. Since she works in the same town where I grew up, she recognizes people all of the time. "I saw your second grade teacher, Mr. Brink," she told me. "He asked about you." I admit to my mother for the first time that I was the only student in second grade that did not get the NIGHTHAWK AWARD. It was a little blue slip of paper recognizing strengths. It also meant that you had to eat lunch with the Principal which meant you didn't get reccess that day. Skip reccess?!

I told my mom that on the last day of class, Mr. Brink said he had to make an announcement. "Your yearbooks say that everyone in the class recieved the NIGHTHAWK AWARD, but ONE student did not." Of course that was me. I was a little troublemaker, running when I was supposed to walk, talking too loud, wearing weird outfits.

"Well," she said, "I remember they told me in a conference that you were creative and have a very high IQ."

"You never told me that!" I said.

"Yes!" she said, "So remember that."

Since she told me, and I didn't read it, it would appear the chances of me remembering it are pretty good. And just in time for this heinous test I must take tomorrow.


biggearhead said...

Thanks for all the glorious reminders of my past! I have generally sucked at math my entire life. Meanwhile, both of my brothers are engineers. Neither one of them can spell very well however.

The only comment I can remember from my report cards was around 5th grade or so: "Tom tends to daydream a lot." That was probably noted during math class.

I hope your test went well!

jaynel said...

The test went well, I did better than I expected on the math section...I'm just glad it's over!

When I was in pre-school, that was my teacher's consistent complaint about me. I got the "daydreaming" comment throughout kindergarten, first and second grade. I can remember telling myself not to daydream, and to actually read what I was looking at.

But I've come to embrace daydreaming. I've learned that its mastery is a prerequisite for being a writer.