Let’s assume you’re an average kid who’s trying to manage a social life, sporting activities, puberty and school. Surviving the turmoil of adolescence will most probably put you face to face with the inevitable predicament of having to report on your grades. For most normal kids that implies presenting a grade of a subject in which you excel and another in which you suck. Like really badly. Like bottom-of-a-pile-of-steaming-whale-dung suck. Not that I expect whale dung to steam, but you get the picture.
The challenge would be; how does one present these polar opposite grades, avoiding the risk of being grounded for life. No fear, my child, Ah Dad’s here for you.
Before I supply parental advise on this issue, let me clear up an urban legend. Hiding the sucky grade won’t work. Parents are wiser than most teenagers give them credit for, partly due to the fact that parents used to be teenagers, albeit a century ago.
Random ridiculousness like feeding the paper to your dog won’t work. Dogs don’t like paper. Claiming you lost the test whilst skydiving, or that you’ve used it to stop the bleeding wound of a girl scout, who got run over by a unicycle, are also excuses that’s been used before. No luck there. It’s also advisable not to fake a parents’ signature, as there are still some inmates who’s tried that before. Faking a signature is called fraud and against the law in most countries.
There are really only two options left at your disposal. It refers to the sequence of presenting the grades. The first option would be showing the bad grade first, then the good one. Or vice versa. It’s important to understand that the success of these options are directly proportional to the marginal difference of the two grades that you will be presenting.
Option one would be more effective if Dad wouldn’t expect a good grade. That happens. By showing the bad grade first, Dad will vent and rave as per normal, and as you might be accustomed to this bursts of disappointment it should be water on a duck’s back. The secret of execution in the specific option is timing. You should wait until the colour of Dad’s face change to crimson. His voice should turn into a pitch only audible to the same dog you wanted to feed the paper to. If this doesn’t happen soon enough, just seem bored, like you don’t care about the triviality of school. You might even consider putting on head phones, whilst Dad is ranting. But just before he gets an embolism or goes into cardiac arrest, show him the good grade. Maybe even throw in a little TA-DA!
Dad will be quiet, whilst the blood in his face redeploy to more important areas of his anatomy. It’s pretty common after excessive trauma. What will follow will include a bearish hug, loud screams and a middle aged man jumping up and down. If the grade is really out of the ball park, expect him to make a few dozen phone calls, randomly bragging about the genius that is you. Then he will get a beer and gulp it down with pride.
The second option works well if you’ve hit a puddle. When you dropped the ball because you couldn’t drag yourself away from playing Modern Warfare online. It also works well if the exam where you underperformed was of less importance. When showing the good grade first you’ll need to drape yourself in the anticipation of a small puppy. Practise the wide eyed and bushy tailed stance beforehand. You’ll need to make sure Dad is focused on the good grade by squeezing out every bit of recognition he might have. Once you’ve achieved this, which would be evident by his sheepishly wide grin, drop the bad grade nonchalantly on his lap. And walk away.
As much as timing was important in the execution of option one, the success of option two resides in your ability to act casual. You might get called back, and Dad might even have a frown on his face, squinting at the low grade, but you have to stay strong. And calm. Keep a straight face, don’t buckle under pressure. The secret is to play it down, like an autocratic dictator defending his war crimes. And whilst your busy diluting the importance of the final Math test of the year, emphasise the good grade you’ve just shown Dad beforehand. Also offer to bring a beer, which he’ll gulp down with shock.
For better results in both cases, make sure you have more good grades than bad ones. I should note that there are no guarantees that Dad will react in the way as described above. The only thing I CAN guarantee is that Dad will…react.
It remains important to work hard in school, for no one wants to marry a hobo, irrespective of how gorgeous they might appear during puberty. And you’re definitely not staying in my house forever, irrespective of how much I love you.