I was smart for 6 – I could do this…Cursive.

I sat with the example in front of me
And studied it.
With a bit of trepidation I began.

“A” and “a”, I wrote,
Carefully copying from the example.
It looked OK. Pleased, I felt my confidence growing.
After all, I was only in first grade – cursive wasn’t on the curriculum until second.
But I had always been precocious – I could read Ferdinand the Bull at age 3.

I went to “B”…then “C” and on,
Copying capital and lower case.
By the time I got to “T”, I was on a tear, copying letters with ease.

After I finished, I surveyed my work. It was lovely.
I was so proud.

Since I loved critique –
Actually praise –
I immediately decided to show my work to Mrs. Renzema,
My first grade teacher.
She had been with me since kindergarten – we didn’t even move classrooms.
Just a pack of five and six-year olds
Crammed into the same room.

I boldly went up to show her,
Fully expecting her to lavish praise on me.
What I got instead was a scolding!
“Rickey, this isn’t first grade work!
You must not do that!”

I was crestfallen. And confused.
Here I had excelled past my level,
And all I received was chiding.
This had NEVER happened to me before!
I had come to expect praise for advanced work.
I wasn’t quite sure how to process this.

By sixth grade,
I received an “F” in penmanship!

© Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD CPC, 2016