Number Story

   Today, I start a math class. I haven’t taken math since high school ( which was a long time ago, considering that I have a college aged child now). I haven’t enjoyed math for some time, either. I did, once. I can remember being a small child and taking pleasure in the order of the numbers. I whizzed so easily through the full year of math work in the first few months of school, that it was decided I should skip the next grade and go straight into sixth grade in the fall (instead of fifth).
   Once this was decided, I was placed in a fifth grade reading and math class to prepare me. The reading was no problem, but in the math class they were reviewing what they had learned all year…what I had NOT yet learned. I did poorly…for me, anyway. I struggled to get a C. I was mortified and miserable, and no help was offered- either at school or at home.
   This was when math ceased to be enjoyable for me. Those orderly numbers became a foreign language, and I decided that math was hard, and I hated it. Several poor math teachers in high school confirmed my suspicions.
   I am only just recently putting together the story of my high school geometry teacher. My sister had him a couple years before me, and on the first day of class he confirmed that he remembered her. I didn’t find out until years later that she had tried to convert him to Christianity during her time as his student. At the time, I couldn’t understand why he seemed to have a grudge against me. He would take me desk and put it outside for such crimes as having finished my math homework and be working on another subject, or sitting sideways in my seat. I have now pit two and two together, and thanked my sister for being the cause of such a prejudice against me. Years after I graduated high school, I was working at a theme park in the wardrobe department. I went to help an employee one day, and it was the self same geometry teacher who had tortured me so. My knees literally buckled, and I stammered out his surname. He simply smiled and said we were on a first name basis there.
   I never quite forgave him for the way that he treated me, but I was able to finally realize that numbers were not the enemy. I have come full circle to once again enjoying their order and organization.

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