Progress Report

My daughter asked to see old photos and books from my youth. We found the tub of scrapbooks and photos not too far down in a pillar of storage boxes tucked in a closet. We looked at old photos of my mother, even more clearly than ever the template from which I was cut. Old photos of myself, revealing the same lineage in my son’s visage. There were yearbooks from school. Programs from 4-H. An odd assortment of ribbons and some trophies. A box of mixed glories and hopes.

What I want to share from it most now, though, is my kindergarten “Progress Report.” My teacher was the finest of kinder: Mrs. Prince. She saw much in me, it seems. Two long columns of “S” for Satisfactory. (“I” denoted Improvement Shown. “N” represented Needs Improvement…a three-note scale that did not shame.)

It’s a found poem, in many ways. I offer it here:

Scholarship Report – 1964

Ready for reading
Shows interest in books
Can use numbers in practical situations
Knows and recognizes number 1-10
Takes part in class discussion
Contributes meaningful information
Is an attentive listener
Has ideas to express
Expresses himself (sic) before the group
Is developing phonetic sense
Can write own name
Attempts to improve his writing
Uses scissors
Expresses himself well
Uses materials carefully
Responds to rhythm
Sings with group
Sings alone
Muscular coordination
Can skip and gallop
Completes work
Works and plays well with others
Obeys willingly
Conduct in class
Meets new situations
Does work neatly
Follows directions
Keeps hands to himself
Speaks clearly
Keeps materials from mouth
Can put on and take off own wraps
Relaxes at rest time.

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *