These are instructive comments from several of my high school teachers – an annotated sampling. I serendipitously found them while looking for something else in the archives.
Biology: Mrs. Hardaker. “Erik did a very respectable job on his exam. It was a happy note on which to end the year.” A nicely diplomatic turn of phrase. Though Biology was interesting, I hated doing the work.
German: Frau Stern. “He will need to spend more time during the summer in serious study in preparation for German II. Erik seems to recognize and comprehend grammatical concepts, but rarely applies himself.” Guilty as charged. See Biology. I thought it was cool she was from Hungary.
US History: Mr. Shuster. “Erik has perception and insight. It’s his decision to push himself and go the ‘extra mile’ to excel.” Final report: “He has a keen insight into historical issues, consistently well-prepared and interested.” Nickname: Fast Eddy. He taught like a blunderbuss firing into the woods.
English: Mrs. Barlow. “He has considerable potential in English studies. His narrative writing, in particular shows creative ability.” I recall reading a lot of Ray Bradbury for extra reading in this class, in addition to 19th century classics.
Geometry: Mrs. Shuster. “Erik has exerted sound effort during class all semester and has performed quite consistently. Quiet in class, he is interested in doing well and has a thoughtful facility for Geometry.” Mrs. Shuster was a very kind person. Just as I had in church as a little kid, I spent a lot of time drawing pictures and zoning out.
Film: Mr. Solie. “I had the feeling that much of what Erik turned in was done on the run [correct]. Shining through, though, was a good deal of natural ability.” This guy was a real character.
Speech: Mr. Singdahlsen. “I have appreciated getting to know Erik, and I am pleased with most of his work. He has given some very good presentations and benefited from work in an area that probably is not high on his ‘druthers’ list.” Here he was not quite right: I found the class fascinating, especially exercises in which we had to expound on a topic with little time for preparation. This learned skill has come in handy over the years. Mr. Sing was fussy. He reminded me of Richard Dreyfus.
American Legal System: Mr. Shuster. “Erik showed great industry and interest throughout the course. I was impressed by his keen insight into contemporary legal issues. I deeply appreciate his active interest in class.” This course provided a basis for continuing interest in, and understanding of, the complexities of legal issues and the great fights over public policy -- like today.
Southern Writers: Mrs. Vick (from Mississippi, with accent). “Erik has met the challenge of the course, and I am proud of him. He is well prepared in English.” Mrs. Vick was quite eccentric. More to write about her at some point.
Pre-Calculus: Mrs. Pritchett. Sad to say, of all the teachers listed here, I remember absolutely nothing about her (not even what she looked like) or the class, except for zoning out and, no doubt, drawing. “Erik has the ability to do much better in mathematics if he would consistently work. He understands mathematical concepts rather easily” but also lets them go rather more easily.
American Studies: Mr. Conrad. “Erik at times contributed much to the class, at other times sat back and did very little. Erik is a potentially excellent student in history. His background is most impressive and he understands the processes in historiography. He will have no trouble in doing very well.” Usually when I was sitting back and doing very little, I was doing my own writing, &c., and still tuned in.
Economics: Mrs. Wallace (also football coach). “Erik maintained an active level of interest in the course content throughout the semester. His written work tends to be correct in observations. Erik should be commended for awareness of issues and [extra] reading to expand on course content.” A dry subject, still useful, though.
Art: Ms. Singdahlsen. “Erik worked hard in an art class full of girls! They must have inspired him.” Haha.
I thank all my high school teachers, even the mean ones. It's noble but grinding work. Most were actually pretty cool. They were also mostly on target. Do any of your high school teachers come to mind?