But I don’t mind too much, since the 25 pages contain loads of fun stuff like fill-in-the-blank sets and subsets, numbers, and numerical word sentences.
A month later, results in, the elementary school principal tells my parents that I’m a math genius.
My parents look at me with renewed enthusiasm (after all, at 11½ I’m a tall, gawky, thick-eyeglassed dork).
Suddenly, my parents ask me about my day when I bike home from school every afternoon. But they don’t want to know about the lunch box snafu when the applesauce container exploded. Or the fact that I traded my bologna and American cheese white-bread sandwich for a pb & jelly. No, they just want to know about the score on my latest math test.
A year goes by. I get taller. Perhaps even geekier. I attend a different school – the one for 7th and 8th graders. The boys ignore me; so do the girls.
So, when the math teacher passes out our first big quiz of the year, I flunk it.
I moan and groan with the rest of the class about how hard it is, and how my parents will kill me when they see how poorly I’ve done.
I get invited to the JV Teen Club, and I become friends with a semi-good-looking 7th grader. Together, we attend the school dance (Judy in Disguise! – we all shout as we stomp). Like the song’s Judy, I’m in disguise, and I wear glasses.
I pick the Petulia Clark song, Downtown, to sing in the middle-school talent show, because I’m lonely, and I’d love to find out how to get “downtown.” (Instead, I learn I’m not a musical genius.)
But I never, ever again understand math.
Even years later, when I try.