What’s More Important; The Report Card or What Led to Those Grades?
School report cards have either recently been issued, or soon will be, for all the kids here in Northwest Louisiana. As a kid, I remember watching the mailman every day, as he placed that day's mail in our mailbox, wondering if today was the "dreaded day."
Times have changed, and while some schools might still mail hard copies of those report cards, most are posted online. That time is now, as the 2020-21 school year has finally ended.
I suspect there is crying and gnashing of teeth in several homes as we speak. Truth be told, we never had any cruel and unusual punishment at the McCoy house on report card day. It’s not that McCoy boys are Bill Gates smart or that I’m too lazy to pass out a butt whippin’ when it’s needed. It’s that I don’t believe in report cards.
I only see the report card as the evidence of what we probably should have already known. For the Three Musketeer McCoy boys, it was never about the actual report card. They got butt whippings for the things that lead to bad report cards. Not doing homework, not studying for tests, talking in class; all those things. Usually, if you’ve got those things handled, then report cards pretty well take care of themselves.
Course, that means that we were never standing around on report card day passing out ten dollar bills for every “A” either. It must suck to be a McCoy kid. Hey, if they wanted a ten spot, there was always grass that needed mowing and something probably needed painting. I mean, school is their job and three square meals each day and a roof over their head was the paycheck. If they wanted a “bonus” they need to do “bonus” work.
Several years ago, a good friend, Tim Hulett, the baseball coach at Evangel High School, told me to never judge the results of a game by the outcome of the score. What that meant to me was plain and simple. Daddy had preached the message to me my whole life. “It’s not who wins or loses, it’s how you play that counts.”
What if a McCoy boy had done all his homework; paid attention in class (mouth closed and eyes straight ahead) and he studied for a test only to lock up at test time and fail miserably? His report card says he failed, but old Dad; well, let’s just say, old Dad wasn't passing out any butt whippings.
On the flip side, what if he never studied, was a problem child in the class room, but somehow managed to cheat off of the smart girl who sat next to him on test day? His report card says he passed. However, old Dad had other ideas on this one.