Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Report Card (Eleanor)

I always like being able to show off artifacts in Best Day posts to go along with the stories, whether they're ration books or pictures from the Worlds' Fair. Back in June, Eleanor shared her kindergarten report card from 1955 during a Best Day session on Zoom, along with a short story to go with it:

Eleanor Kazdan


My Kindergarten Story

I didn’t write anything but like a lot of people I’ve been going through some old letters and pictures at this time and I came across my kindergarten report card from 1955. Now just to back track a little bit, when my kids were young, I read a book called “The First Three Years of Life.” And the psychologist who wrote the book, his theory was that your personality is completely formed by age 3. And that always stuck with me. So, it was very important to spend lots of time with your children up until age 3 and well beyond.
So, I happened to come across this report card from Toronto. Here it is. My teacher was named Eileen King, its from June 29, 1955. And I was shocked. It’s a big narrative, I don’t know if they still do this in kindergarten but its written in this absolutely beautiful cursive writing. Front and back, very, very expressive. I doubt that teachers do that now, probably, no, no. So, I was pretty shocked because I’m 70 now and I’m really the same as I was in kindergarten.
So, I’m going to read a few excerpts. And of course, not all of you know me that well but this stuff is the truth about me. “Eleanor is a tall,” well I was tall in kindergarten, not that tall now. “Eleanor is a tall, serious 5-year-old with satisfactory appearance.” She didn’t say Eleanor is a gorgeous 5-year-old. “Eleanor prefers quiet table games, alone or with a small group, rather than more active play. She is more self-reliant now, able to solve her own problems. Eleanor does not find it easy to be expressive among a large group but is really trying to overcome this.” Well guess what, I’ve never overcome it, 65 years later.
“On the whole she is quite mature emotionally. Sometimes Eleanor prefers to sit back and let others contribute during music and discussions, while at other times she is ready to participate. Her detailed handiwork convinces us that she has many splendid ideas to offer. Emotionally Eleanor is stable and mature. She is a little more ready to chat with us now. Eleanor is alert to all that takes place in the classroom. She contributes ideas and completes her work with great care.”
This is kind of a summary. “In her own quiet manner has established a friendly relationship with each of her classmates. She prefers to follow rather than lead group activities. Eleanor seems a very steady and self-reliant child, able to solve minor problems without adult assistance.”
Well, I’m like the same. I am the same as I was in kindergarten. I am much better in small groups; I prefer to follow rather than to lead in groups. So, anyway that’s my kindergarten story. It was a real eye opener.


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And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri