When I was a real little kid, I was way into planting stuff, so a good report card (i.e. one that didn’t have the usual “needs improvement” listed in the “plays well with others,” “is pleasant and cheerful,” “shares toys well,” or “pays attention and follows instructions” categories) often resulted in a trip to the general store to pick out some seeds to plant. (Yeah, I know. Poor little redneck country cracker is me). I would merrily study the seed packs, pick just the right combination of flowers and vegetables, rush home, find the sandiest, least appropriate place in the world to plant them, dig a three foot hole, dump all the seeds in, run hose water into the hole until it was a mud bath, and then completely forget about the fact that something was supposed to grow from my labors. I honestly can not ever remember seeing anything that I planted result in anything other than a sinkhole to twist your ankle in weeks later.
I bring this up because I got my grades on Friday and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I maintained my 4.0 grade point average through another semester. I had felt good about my prospects for an “A” in one class, but wasn’t so sure about the other. I guess my final paper must have a been a hit, because I don’t think my final exam was. But I’m not complaining. 34 credits down, 12 to go. And of the 12 left, four are “pass/fail” for the master’s essay, so all I’ve got to do grade-wise to finish grad school with a perfect score is nail two more A’s in a pair of seminar classes. Self-imposed pressure’s on. In five weeks, anyway.
At the end of my first year in grad school last May, when I reported my 4.0 to my mother, I was rewarded with a package in the mail a few days later with some choice flower and vegetable seeds. Amazingly enough, with Marcia’s assistance (she’s the master gardener), I actually managed to produce some visible growth this year in pots that we placed around our patio. Ain’t nothin’ growing in Albany at this point, but here’s hoping that if I nail those last two A’s, come May I’ll get another bunch of Burpee packs, just because nothing says “job well done” for me like a muddy hole in the ground with some drowning seeds swirling around inside it, into which I will trip and fall three weeks later.
You can take the redneck out of the trailer, but you can’t take the trailer out of the redneck.