Thursday, November 9, 2006

"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence." ~ Abigail Adams

Amanda got the first report card of her 9th-grade year today and to say that I was less than pleased would probably be accurate. It's not that it was THAT horrible but I think she could have done a lot better if she had put forth a little more effort.

Whereas the A in band and A- in Phys. Ed were good - the C in Civics and C- in Algebra definitely were not! When I expressed my displeasure to my daughter, she responded that a C was average and that's what most people got but I'm not buying it. I am especially not buying a C- which is awfully darned close to being a D which is below average and totally unacceptable. Sorry, Amanda, no sale!

I wasn't Valedictorian of my class, unlike my weekend dispatch partner, but I got good grades and managed to make the Honor Roll on a regular basis. I can remember getting one D in my 8th-grade year and that was in Algebra, a class that I totally did not understand. I can still remember asking my teacher, Mr. Gallow, for help and him telling me to go ask "someone who knew" while he went back to reading the paper or throwing one of my classmates and his desk out into the hall. Apparently it was an effective method of teaching as the man eventually went on to become Superintendent of the Canterbury School System but it sure soured me on any form of higher math. To this day I have yet to obtain my college degree because I need an Algebra class and I can't bring myself to take one! Pretty pathetic that the one D I ever got in school can do that much damage!

At any rate - I know that Amanda can do better than what was printed on that piece of paper today. She's a smart kid and she's capable of pulling in better grades than that or else she wouldn't be getting a B in Honors Science and English. And really, all I ask from her at this point is at least a B in her classes. That would show me that she's at least putting in the effort and not just going through the motions - which seems to be the case in two of her classes.

I don't want to have to constantly breath down her neck to make sure that her homework and projects are done but I guess if that's what it's going to take then it's going to get pretty uncomfortable for her to have me on her back all the time. Hint, hint - Amanda!

Oh well, at least it will make it easier for me to get on the computer to post on my blog now that I have limited her time on the computer until those grades come up!


  1. Anonymous8:21 PM EST

    As I'm sure you remember your her mother first and her friend second. Amanda as I have told my lovely 14 year old, average is the best of the worst and the worst of the best, or the cream of the crap and the crap of the cream. there is only do or do not there is now try. We ALL know you're better than that. i can't wait for my daughters report card this week, fingers crossed. 021

  2. Anonymous8:30 PM EST

    hmmm... well compared to Sean that report is glowing, however I believe I am fighting a lost cause on that one! Amanda is definitely better than C's!! Get with it girl!

    And Linda, as your weekend dispatch partner, and former Algebra tutor.... go sign up for that class you need, I'll get you through Algebra!!

  3. Anonymous9:05 PM EST

    I would love for my oldest to come home with c's... I gave up trying to "ride him" into doing better. I have grounded him from everything and then some in the past. But now... oh well. I think he will just have to learn from the class of life/hard knocks. He's a Senior and all I pray is that he graduates. As for the next two boys, They have all A's. I must have done something right.My youngest isn't in school yet but if you ask me, he's already too smart for his own good. Back to the A's-My 8th grader is actually taking High school algebra for credit and getting an A....He even missed a week of school and lucky for him I loved algebra and was able to help him catch up... So Linda, I'm with Jen.... Take the class... We will both help you.
    As for you Amanda... Put in the effort. Your Mom has confidence in you... Don't let her give up on you. I bet if you pull up those grades it would be easier to get her to take you up north a bit more to visit....

  4. Anonymous9:33 PM EST

    My mom would have jumped and down with joy to see a C on my report card! D's and F's were the norm for me. I have alot to show for it too. That's why I work in a button factory. If I only knew then what I know now I probably would have stayed in class alittle bit more.

  5. Linda, you may not like what I'm going to say, but I feel compelled to say it anyway. While grades in high school are important, you can't force higher grades from Amanda any more than you can force blood from a stone. My parents never had to worry about me (A's & B's consistantly from K - thru College). It was my brother who was the problem...
    My brother was warned, threatened, cajoled, bribed, punished, and even shown pamplets from a military school my parents wanted to send him to - all to NO avail. He barely scraped by high school with a 70 avg. My personal feeling is that he may be an undiagnosed dyslexic, but my parents STRONGLY disagree. BTW, I don't, for a second, think that's Amanda's problem. The thing is, if you force the issue, she's gonna rebel, and quite possibly run AWAY from higher learning!
    The second thing is...and you're gonna hate me for this, but PLEASE DO NOT force Amanda to go to college after high school. My parents made me go, and the experience was almost as horrible as high school. I wish I had the stuff to stand up to them and say NO! Some time when I come up to visit you in dispatch, I'll further elaborate. The point of this rather lengthly diatribe is that Amanda will need the normal parental guidance in the next 4 years, but other than that, please don't turn it into a test of wills - ala my brother vs mom & dad! Just a different point of view from someone who was there!

  6. Bulldog - rest assured that I have no intentions of riding her for the next four years. I know that some kids just aren't academic and there's nothing that one can do about it. However, I also know that Amanda is capable of, and has done, much better than this in the past. Yes - high school is tougher than earlier grades but that's because it requires more of an effort on the part of the student. I haven't exactly seen her put forth much of an effort and I've been quiet about it, waiting to see what her grades reflected. Now that I've seen them we need to make a few adjustments to her lack of study habits.

    As far as college goes - I don't even want to think about that as I know full well it's not something that we can afford. Per previous postings, I'm all for her going into the military and getting her education that way if she chooses or she can take some time off after high school and try to figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life - other than move to Japan and draw anime!

    I should mention that she scored very well on her statewide tests that she just got back with very high scores in English so like I said, I know she's capable of pulling in grades other than C's.


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