7. Read the following passage once. Underline the key words while
reading and retell the story to your partner.
It was a dark day when we got our report cards Thesky
was full of gray clouds and it was sprinkling rain. I was over to Clyde's
house and Gloria and Kitty were there. Sam probably would hade been there,
too, only he had got a two-week job in the afternoons helping out at
Freddie's. actually he only did it so that his mother would let him be on
the track team again. Sam and his mother had this little system going He
would do something
good-doing and she'd let him do something that he wanted to.
Clyde's report card was on the kitchen table and we all
sat around it like it was some kind of a big important document. I had got
a pretty good report card and had wanted to show it off but I knew it
wasn't the time. Clyde pushed the card toward me and I read it. He had all
satisfactory remarks on the side labeled Personal Traits and Behavior. He
had also received B's in . music and art appreciation. But everything else
was either a C or a D except mathematics. His mathematics mark was a big
red F that had been circled. I don't know why they had to circle the F
when it was the only red mark on the card. In the Teacher's Comments
section someone had written that Clyde had "little ability to handle
an academic program. "
"A little ability is better than none," I
said. No one said anything so I figured it probably wasn't the right. time
to try to cheer Clyde up.
I knew all about his switching from a commercial
program to an academic program, but I really hadn't thought he'd have any
"I saw the grade adviser today. He said I should
switch back to the commercial program. " Clyde looked like he'd start
crying any minute. His eyes were red and his voice was shaky. "He
said that I had to take mathematics over and if I failed again or failed
another required subject 1 couldn't graduate. The way it is now I'm going
to have to finish up in the summer because I switched over. "
"I think you can pass it if you really want
to," Kitty said. Clyde's sister was so pretty I couldn't even look at
her. If I did, I started feeling funny and couldn't talk right. Sometimes
I daydreamed about marrying her.
Just then Clyde's mother came in and he gave a quick
look at Kitty.
"Hi, young ladies and young gentlemen. " Mrs.
Jones was a kind of heavy woman but she was pretty, too. You could tell
she was Kitty's mother if you looked close. She put her packagege down and
started taking things out. "I heard you pcople talking whcas I first
came in. By the way you hushed up I guess you don't want me to hear what
you were talking about. I'll be out of your way in a minute, soon as I put
the frozen foods in the refrigerator. "
"I got my report card today," Clyde said. His
mother stopped taking
the food out and turned toward us. Clyde pushed the report card about two
inches toward her. She really didn't even have to look at the card to know
that it was bad. She could have told that just by looking at Clyde. But
she picked it up and looked' at it a long time. First she looked at one
side and then the other and then back at t.he first side again.
"What they say around the school?" she asked,
still looking at the card. "They said I should drop the academic
course and go back to the other one. " I could hardly hear Clyde , he
spoke so low.
"Well, what are you going to do, young man She
looked u at Clyde and Clyde looked up at her and there were tears in his
eyes and I almost started crying. I can't stand to see my friends cry.
"What are you going to do, Mr. Jones?"
"I'm -I'm going to keep the academic course,"
"You think it's going to be any easier this
time?" Mrs.Jones asked.
"Things ain't always easy. Lord knows that things
ain't always easy. " For a minute there was a faraway look in her
eyes, but then her face turned into a big smile. "You're just like
your father, boy. That man never would give up on anything he really
wanted. Did I ever tell you the time he was trying to learn to play the
"No. "Clyde still had tears in his eyes but
he was smiling, too. Suddenly everybody was happy. It was like seeing a
rainbow when it was still raining.