Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Report and Recoil

Last Friday, the 13th, I touched on my "natural leaning towards task avoidance and lack of application," in this post.

Today, I was rooting through box-files, looking for some paperwork, and came across a bundle of my school reports. It was interesting to see how different teachers, in different schools, across the years, had much the same to say. The consensus was probably best summed up by my long-suffering chemistry teacher, Philip Webb, when he declared in exasperation, following an episode with a bunsen burner, "Hodges! I don't know if I'm dealing with a hopeless idiot, or a slapstick comic."

The following two carefully selected extracts, date from my time at primary school. Those reports that were sent throughout my time in secondary education do not appear due to excessive repetition.

Finally, my school-leaver's report, which appears to show a degree of optimism about my future prospects. Although, ominously, my attitude to those in authority was noted as being below par.


  1. I love the sudden bursts of madness in an otherwise sensible boy... :)

  2. Yes, thank goodness for the sudden bursts of madness! Recently my husband unearthed some of his and his brother's schoolwork and school reports from the 1970s. We were struck by how harsh a lot of the criticism was, by today's standards. ("Very good work, B-") In particular, my brother-in-law's reports monotonously repeated that he wasn't living up to his promise. Obviously there were things going on at the time that were very difficult for him, but seemingly no attempt was made to find out what the cause of underachievement. In this respect, I don't know whether things have changed these days or not!

    1. Such fun, Martin, the sudden bursts of madness, especially. 'Talkative or dreamy' - sounds exactly like one of my old school reports, I do remember staring out of windows a lot:)
      I love that they listed 'collecting postcards' as an extracurricular hobby. Maybe you could put a bunch of essays and extracts like this into a book with poems etc, it would be a great read.

  3. haha - that is wonderful (I still have my report cards - must dig them out) - you sound a bit like my hubby who also had an incident in a chemistry laboratory!

  4. Is the child father to the man?

  5. Bursts of madness? LOL

    My reports consistently stated: Kathleen is a bright girl, but talks too much!

  6. All the best folk have those 'bursts of madness', I'd say that single comment showed a bundle of promise in my book!;))


  7. Brilliant! I've noticed those outbursts of madness, even across the ether! ;-) but not the task avoidance!

    ... but what could they expect when, as the last report shows, the staff were only 'fairly good' ?!?!

    My mum threw away all my reports years ago, so history draws a veil...

  8. What do teachers know, anyway!
    We grow and grow up, in many ways.

    I have hidden my school reports. Must remember to destroy them before I became senile.

  9. I think we'd all prefer to be social, cheerful dreamers than over-achievers wouldn't we?

  10. Oh how wonderful...yes, they had hope for you! haha. I don't know if my parents kept my report cards. It would be fun to look through them!

  11. Thank you for sharing these snippets of young Martin as seen by his teachers. I love the Bursts of Madness! :-)

  12. Thanks for your wonderful comments. I suppose I could say, those bursts of madness have kept me sane. Does that make sense?

  13. I must say that today's school reports are much less interesting and probably much less accurate. I suspect that you were often dreamy and sometimes a bit mad. As for having the "ability to work much faster and much better," that could have been true, but school should be about learning--which encompasses contemplation and careful evaluation--and not speed.


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