Anyway, at this same time, my younger brother (Brother #1) was establishing himself as the family math whiz. I noticed how good he was at it, and (as often happens with siblings) I was terribly jealous. Secretly, I would do extra math homework, hoping that if I just did enough extra problems, it would cause the magical math switch in my brain to click on, and I would gain genius-level math skills, while still maintaining my exceptional reading prowess. When my efforts failed to produce this result, I determined that I would probably never have a very good aptitude for math, and after mourning this for awhile, I went on my way.
I continued to struggle with my math classes, having a particularly hard time in Pre-Algebra. I did marginally better in Algebra, but by the time I started high school, I had pretty much consigned myself to a life of math mediocrity.
And then everything changed.
My 9th grade Math teacher was Mrs. Thomas. Now, I don't know if she didn't realize or chose not to notice that I had some math struggles. All I remember is that as she taught me, Mrs. Thomas made me feel like an absolute geometry genius. It was as if I could do no wrong in her class. Suddenly I was writing theorems and postulates and doing proofs as if I was born to do nothing but geometry. I'd never felt more secure in my (math) abilities before. I felt brilliant. It was absolutely wonderful.
I went on to further math conquests from there, eventually taking Trigonometry, and College Level Statistics and Calculus, earning A's and B's in each class. Now, twelve years later, I'm an accountant*. I work with numbers all day long, and anytime anyone here at the opera needs to figure something out that requires algebra, they come running to my office as fast as their little legs can carry them. I think about that sometimes, and the fact that it all started to happen because one teacher took the time to give extra encouragement to one single student. Wow.
I'd like to get in touch with Mrs. Thomas and thank her. Trying to track her down however, has been kind of tricky. Apparently, she retired a few years ago, and moved. I think she moved to California, but I'm not positive of that. Regardless, California is kind of a big state, and so that's about as far as I've gotten so far. I've tried google-ing her, I've tried calling the School District Office, and I've tried calling the High School. So far I've been unsuccessful in tracking her down. But I'm not giving up. Actually, part of the reason I'm even posting this is because I know that there are Cedarians (and transplanted Cedarians) who read this blog. I'm hoping that one of you will know a little more about the whereabouts of Mrs. Thomas than I do.
As for the rest of you, well, I guess I just felt like sharing.
May you all have a nice rest-of-the-day,
*In case you are wondering, Brother #1 took his genius math skills and became a structural engineer.