Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Note from My Teacher...30 years ago!

"Dear Mrs. Nadeau (That's my mom, in case you're wondering),

There has been improvement in Chris' work and behavior. We still have some unfinished work at times, but the quality of his class assignments is much better.

Chris is still bringing toys to school. If we have trouble with the toys, I keep them until time to go home.

Thank you for your help from home. I know Chris has the ability to do above average work and I am pleased with the improvement so far.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Eastman"

I ran across that letter while going through an old family photo album. It's funny how we can place our later years in context with a document. I know some historians whose training involved examining actual documents as opposed to simply text books and it definitely makes a difference. For instance, I can discern from this letter that my tendency to not finish tasks I either find unimportant or ridiculous is a genuine personality trait as opposed to a learned behavior. I can also tell that my imagination was more important to me than dull, meticulous school work, as evidenced by the "trouble with toys" the teachers mentions.

Oddly enough, I don't remember a Mrs. Eastman. Her name rings no bells and I can't even place the issues we were having in any type of context. I guess that shows how much impact teachers had on my life, which is to say they barely registered at all.

When I read this letter, I feel nothing. No sense of deja vu, no nostalgia, no yearning for the way things were. I just see the functional letter of a sub-par functionary in a machine whose purpose is to enforce social restrictions, more concerned with the smooth running of her classroom than anything else. That must be why I never had much love for teachers and it also explains my issues with authority figures in general until recently.

Ah, letters home to our parents. Just another way to remind ourselves how we became what we are...

2 comments:

green said...

awww, that's so sweet.... in a sticky, gooey, what in the heck did I just step in kinda way...

c nadeau & t johnson said...

Shut it