Join Free! | Login    
Happy 4th of July!
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Hugh McCracken, iRobin Leigh Miller, iJames Steffes, iChristina Neely, iM. Andrew Sprong, iDr. Stanley Crawford, iMartyn Kinsella-Jones, i

  Home > Memoir > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Darlene M Caban

· + Follow Me
· Contact Me
· Articles
· Poetry
· Stories
· Blog
· Messages
· 54 Titles
· 173 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Before 2003

Darlene M Caban, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

The Infamous "Potential"
by Darlene M Caban   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2005

  Print   Save    Follow    Share 

Recent articles by
Darlene M Caban

Factory Lesson Number One: Milk The Job
Why I Am A Pro-After-Lifer
Massachusetts to Dialysis Patients: Keep Sitting On Your Butts
St. Blase's Day, or "But why does the priest wanna cut my head off?"
There's Such A Thing As Too Much 'Concern'
How Life Would Change Under Dictator Dar
Will The Real John Kerry Please Shut Up?
           >> View all

Teachers said it every year...

"She's not working up to her potential."

Every year, this was written on the back of my grade-school report card. Every year, I pondered the Catch-22 quality of this statement-- how did the teacher know what my potential WAS if I never worked up to it?

At an early age, I decided that the 'potential' bit was an effort to 'CYA' on the teacher's part... the teacher would blame me for not 'applying' myself during the first grading period, so any failure on my part was due to my own laziness and not any deficiency in her teaching methods-- ingenious! A scholastic version of 'blame the victim!'

I never understood whether the 'not working up to her potential' was a slam at me or my parents-- or both. It almost seemed as if the teacher was saying, "Hey, you idiot parents, can't you see how much POTENTIAL this kid has? Why don't you make her work harder?" I doubt that my fabulous 'potential' included blindly obeying the rules of a teacher who seemed to enjoy starting trouble between a student and her parents.

Every year would start off well, with my getting high grades on the aptitude tests, but within a few months my grades would sink and I'd stop handing in homework. This was back in the 70's, when a child's home life was never inquired into-- whatever problems you had at home weren't 'supposed' to affect your schoolwork. I'd have greatly benefitted from a home study, but that was years away... so I continued to have the 'potential' baloney written on the back of my report card. "Report Card Day' would remain a source of anxiety for my entire school career... it seemed the only 'potential' I ever worked up to was the potential for getting hit when my father saw my grades.

I truly hope that teachers today don't write this idiotic phrase on report cards-- I'd like to think that education has evolved sufficiently to equip teachers with better ways to motivate students. "Potential" should be left to Science class.

Reader Reviews for "The Infamous "Potential""

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Reviewed by Hilding Lindquist
OK, you definitely have "potential" as a writer ... in this essay, it is "realized" potential.

This was about as good a piece as I have read in a long time ... clear concrete language with active verbs ... with an interweaving of issues ... the next to last paragraph beginning with "Every year would start off well, ... " is an excellent example of that dynamic, leaving the reader hungry for more.

I will definitely look for "more".


Hilding "Gus" Lindquist
Reviewed by Jennifer Butler
Poor thing. My mother always told me that it was not the grades but what I learned that really mattered. I did well until a teacher gave me my first bad grade ever for a misused comma. An "F". I left the room crying. Then the teacher told my friend, "She's too hard on herself."
Popular Memoir Articles
  1. 華商 ICCHS Class 74 a special
  2. Things just Ain'twhat they used tobe
  3. They Died With Their Boots On.
  4. Gifts and the Parable of the Talents
  5. Stonewalled--Book Review
  6. God and Satan
  7. A Stop Sign Is All That I See
  8. 9/11 Memorial
  10. Brainwrecked

Igeret Hamassoret by Avraham Anouchi

Igeret Hamassoret is a memoir written in Hebrew. I grew up in Haifa, Israel...  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Bawlmer, Merlyn - Home of The Hons by Tom Hyland

"Bawlmer, Merlyn - Home of the HONS" - A Synopsis By: Tom Hyland - Email: Copyright: April 29, 2003 Each and every life on this planet is..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.