Needs Improvement

Cassie: This report card is great, Charlie. I’m so impressed with all the improvements. Lotta fours now. Woooo-weee! Congratulations!

Charlie: Thanks. Before you even say it, I already know I got ANOTHER “N” in Verbal Self-Control. Do they have the “N” grade in Montclair? We’d better look into that.

Cassie: You know, I can’t remember. Ask Chloe. She knows everything about grading everywhere.

Charlie: Pffft. I don’t need her in my business about “N” for “Needs Improvement.”

Cassie: Chloe already knows you got an “N.”

Charlie: She saw my report card?

Cassie: Yea. Sorry. I left it out for Dad to see when he got home from work. And she was looking at it.

Charlie: What’d she say?

Cassie: About the “N?”

Charlie: Yea.

Cassie: Nothing. She didn’t say anything.

Charlie: Really? I’m surprised. Like she’s my other mother or teacher or something.

Cassie: Well, she invested a lot of time teaching you when you used to play “School” with her. She and Dad pretty much taught you how to read. Did you know that?

Charlie: What’d you teach me?

Cassie: I don’t know…how to talk I guess. I never stopped talking around you. Talk, talk, talk…all the time.

Charlie: No verbal self control, right?

Cassie: (chuckling) Right. (Pause) Let me tell you a little secret, Char. Between you and me.

Charlie: Yea?

Cassie: I’m not so worried about those “N” marks in Verbal Self-Control.

Charlie: You’re not?

Cassie: Nope. I can see how inappropriate talking in the class can be and how it’s totally disruptive to the other students and possibly quite annoying to the teacher…that it can be a huge hassle if you overdo it. (Pause) But, I might be a teensy-weensy proud of that “N,” you know? I absolutely love that you are so verbal.

Charlie: Cuz you are too?

Cassie: Yea. But you….you, kid, are off the charts with the smarts and the verbal. You are off the charts.

Charlie: Anyway….a report card doesn’t tell everything about all the things that you are. It’s just a report card. It’s just one person’s judgment.

Cassie: That’s so true, Charlie. Like I said…off the charts.

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