Let's go back in time 23 years to 1987, when I was a 7th grade student at St. Vincent De Paul School in Stirling, New Jersey. The assignment was to read a science fiction novel and write a book report about it, using a structure of a Q & A, summary, and opinion sections.
I fudged the entire thing and still got an A.
This is my book report about the movie Back to the Future.
Please click on photos to enlarge them to readable size.
My Report about My Science Fiction Book Report
by Colleen Kane
May 17, 2010
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
- Did I read the entire book? / Obviously not.
- Did I deserve the grade of A? / No.
- How much text of this report is devoted to simply running down the characters of the movie/book? / Seven out of the ten questions and an additional sentence or two of the summary.
- What are some other ways you can tell I didn't give this assignment my all?/ I forgot to include the bibliography and answer # 10 until that day at school, then wrote them in with pen.
- Is there racially charged wording in the opinion section? / Yes, but chalk it up to naivete.
- How is the world of 2010 different from the world of 1987? / Back then, teens wore puffy vests that looked like life preservers and used colloquialisms such as "heavy." Now they wear checkered Vans and use colloquialisms such as "rad."
- Did I write an entire book report about a movie, and then all but spell out that fact to the teacher in the opinion section? / Yes.
- Did I get the best education available by attending St. Vincent de Paul school? / No.
If memory serves, I didn't finish reading this book in time for the due date. I may have read the first few chapters and flipped through the rest.
The teacher probably gave me an A because I was a sweet bookworm and drew a cute cover. Thinking back, I probably skated by this way a lot in school. But she did a disservice by giving me a grade I didn't deserve. The adult me of 2010 would not want to spend X thousands of tuition dollars sending my kid to a private school and then discover they weren't being challenged and graded with a critical eye. There may have been a grading curve in effect, too, because this report was still probably much better than some of my classmates' in our 7th grade of less than 20. Some of them were, how do you say, not so sharp. It must be difficult to teach a class of such varying abilities, but I think one lesson learned by going back in time to 1987 is to group students by ability.