Grading my own papers in life

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Trey Gowdy is a Republican representative from the Palmetto state. That’s South Carolina. He speaks with an expected southern drawl and always says “Yes Ma’am.” That might be considered old-fashioned for the politically correct crowd, but I like manners like “No Sir” and “Yes Ma’am.”
Gowdy is currently making news as the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, but he turned a phrase that caught my ear this week.
The situation was the unreleased, or even deleted, emails of one Hilary Rodham Clinton. You may have heard of her. She is married to a former president and most recently served as a senator and Secretary of State under the Obama administration. Ms. Clinton has breathed some rarified air!
She also might be the next President of the United States and the first woman president. That is, if she can convince enough Americans that she was not playing shenanigans with her emails.
That’s where Mr. Gowdy comes in. He wants the emails; not just those Hilary deems germane, but all of them. Now, here comes the phrase that Gowdy spun that I liked. He said that Ms. Clinton does not have the right to pick and choose which emails are appropriate for release and which ones can be protected.
“We don’t get to grade our own papers in life,” Gowdy said in his homespun drawl.
I started thinking, “Why not?” My grade point average in my educational pursuits would be worthy of Summa Cum Laude. That’s Latin for “Holy Smokes; What a Genius!”
I can imagine my senior year in Pelham High School. My very tough English teacher, Rebecca Turner, after reading my assigned essay on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, returns the essay with red marks all over it and a comment at the end, “You must be kidding.”
Even though I did not take French and know nothing about French except the fries from the Dairy Queen, I say, “Miss Turner, ‘Au Contraire,’ perhaps you would like to see my assessment of this essay. As you can see, I have judged it to be one of the finest works of English since Shakespeare himself. I have graded my own paper, and ‘A+’ is almost too low!”
“Mr. Roberts, do you see the door? You have made the trek to the office many times. Go, once more,” she said with quite a large amount of gusto.
Ah, to be able to grade one’s own life. How many of us would fail?
Someone asked me about church. “How was the service this morning?”
“Tremendous,” I reply. “And you should have heard the sermon! How anyone could sleep during that rousing rendition of the Gospel is beyond me. I would grade it right up there with a Billy Graham sermon.”
And what about our annual job review with the boss?
“Lynn, you’re late too many times, your fellow employees think you’re lazy and I get complaints about your indifference to our customers all the time. Tell me why I shouldn’t fire you right now,” the boss says.
“Sir, with all due respect, I have a different assessment of my employment. Without me, this company would close. I am the hardest working, most loyal and gifted employee you have, and if you offered to double my pay, I would feel better.”
Does anyone out there want to hire me? I just found out that Trey Gowdy was right. We don’t get to grade our own papers in life. And who grades Trey Gowdy’s haircut?

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