Math used to be like the big bully waiting at the back of the bus to give me a wedgie. Let’s just say I’ve never been a huge fan of numbers. (This is not something I advertised as I calculated figures for the Microsoft Giving Campaign. I’m excellent with a calculator.)
Words. Words I can do, but numbers, well, they scare me. That’s why the following stuck in my memory.
During my junior year of high school, I’d spent almost every Thursday staying after school trying to master my favorite of the math courses—Plane Geometry. I’d received some Dogs and a few Frogs on my homework and some quizzes. I wanted my GPA to remain strong, but math remained my nemesis. I stared dreamily out the window as Mrs. Lippencott graphed and spoke the foreign language of numbers to me. Fellow classmates tossed Frisbees, lounged on the grass and chased each other to their cars to flee the school zone.
Not me. I was stuck learning about the thing I loathed most.
Our final exam counted for something like 98% of our final grade (you know how that logic goes). My face caught on fire as I hammered out theorems and made pretty shapes on the page. In my gut, I hoped all those hours of staying after paid off.
But then the bell rang. I left school behind and thoughts of the beach flooded my mind.
It wasn’t until later that day, after I’d finished my third bowl of ice cream, that I got the call.
In something like two hours I’d forgotten all about school. I washed all thoughts of the plane geometry out of my mind. But someone else hadn’t.
I snatched the phone when it rang. Mrs. Lippencott greeted me.
I felt like a dump truck slammed a load of parallelograms and rhombuses down on my head. I wanted to forget, I ached to scream. Let me forget. It’s summer for goodness sakes!
But this time the news was good.
I aced my final.
Made the Dogs and Frogs come up to a Bat. I was ecstatic about a Bat.
I remember thinking how cool it was she bothered to call (it was summer for her too). She could have waited for me to see the results on my report card. But my teacher wanted me to know I got an A, to see the results of my hard work. She started my summer with that and I’ll forever be grateful.
Did a teacher ever call your home for a positive reason?
*photos by flickr
**Thank you for your sincere responses to my last post!
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