Well, now it's clear. I was an egghead. Although an egghead with poor cursive writing skills. And after looking at Mrs. Ferrera's handwritten notes I know I was far from her goals for my cursive writing. Looking back I was grateful for the day that I could just print in caps. I do that well. Thank God for Industrial Drawing in 8th Grade.
In the meantime we can deconstruct this relic from the past. The black and white photo of an entrance to the school none of us used. The teachers comments. Her references to me as Jackie. The fact that I read too much. Read too much! What a curse to spend my time doing what they taught us to do!
Note too the principals signature rubber stamping our efforts and the signature of my father. John M. Wiler. A signature I would use a million times as an adult as I am his namesake. Seeing it there chills the spine.
Another man signing your name again and again attesting to the scholarly efforts of his son. A man who knew little of what happened in his son's classroom. Who assumed, rightly, that the same things were happening there that had happened in his third grade classroom. Who sent me to school alone each day with barely a nod. In fact, if I remember correctly he was usually gone by the time we left. We were home for his arrival at days end. It was almost always a celebration. Of what I'm not sure. But happy we were to have him back in the house. Like dogs waiting for their beloved master, tails wagging, twitching with expectation. Oh sweet joy.
Jackie loved third grade. He loved to read. He read too much. He didn't learn enough but how much he didn't learn is for the subject of later posts.
In the meantime we'll id our classmates and talk about the impending birth of my beloved sister in the next posting. See you all on the other side of my splenectomy.