The all-boys Catholic school where I spent my formative years was a traditional establishment. The air was thick with chalk dust and a steady tension between a rebellious student body and an establishment which resorted to corporal punishment to maintain discipline. However, a second line of defense for the authorities was the issuance of report cards every six weeks. Twice a quarter, the Headmaster would stride into the class room brandishing a batch of colored cards to be signed by parents and returned. A rare pink A-Card, containing all 8s and 9s would be a cause of domestic celebration. A B-Card, colored blue, would contain some 7s and would generally receive little comment from my parents. A green C-Card, was a more serious matter requiring more elaborate explanations at home. For most of my school career, it was B-cards, but the Headmaster seemed to enjoy my nervousness as he toyed with the cards before revealing my fate.
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