Summer. School is out. Report card time. Memories surface from a hundred years ago (Please tell me you recognize the exaggeration). I held my report card close to my face as my fingers opened a half inch for a sneak preview. I exhaled when I saw passing grades. Enter a new century (literally) as this nontraditional student opens her report card.
I click on my computer Internet icon, open bookmarks, scroll to a college website, and follow log-in prompts. I search the menus for anything that resembles grades. Nothing. Click Student Services. Click Records. Click Transcripts. Continue to Academic Transcripts (Is there another kind?) More menu choices. Open Unofficial Transcripts. I repeat the scenario from years ago, ready for the first peek. Not yet. Select Year appears, then Select Term (Choice? Summer is in session and fall is two months away). I negotiate the final screen in the baker’s (student’s) dozen.
Eyes riveted on the screen, I scan left to right, the way we read in the U.S. I recognize the 3.0 units “Attempted” and “Earned” (Whew!) sandwiched between undecipherable numbers, flanked by a tiny “A” on the right. Next, I smile at my perfect 4.0 grade point average (I admit “Craft of Writing Fiction” was my only class). I exhale and click Exit.
My computer screen reverts to the digital photo I snapped one handed out the passenger window as I drove 70 miles per hour on a California freeway. The hills dotted with scattered trees remind me that paperless is a good thing.