When we were in Gulfport, Mama gave me a stack of memorabilia including photos, notes, etc.
Not that she’s parceling out her things in preparation of “the Great Beyond.”
No, these are my things. Things she was tired of saving for her nomadic daughter.
Looking through the pages of history, I was stunned to find a letter from when I was fifteen.
“Your daughter Debbie has done outstanding work in my Geometry class in high school,” the letter began, and it was signed by my teacher and the principal.
Me? Outstanding work? In Geometry?
If the letter hadn’t had my name on it and hadn’t been in Mom’s possession, I’d have thought it was a note meant for somebody else’s parents about some other student.
But there it was.
“This record is a tribute to both student and parents, and represents a high performance level in academic work and in school citizenship.”
If I ever saw that letter, I surely don’t remember it.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked Geometry. I just didn’t understand it.
Not that I didn’t try.
And my teacher was fabulous — a tiny gnome of a man who drew spirit cartoons in colored chalk on the board every football Friday, who tried his level best to make the subject interesting.
Math should have been right up my alley. It was all black and white, right or wrong, with no grey areas. And unlike English class, you couldn’t talk or write your way out of knowing the answers!
When Domer was in high school, he got gazillions of this kind of letter — in every subject. I’ve saved ALL of them, so he won’t have any reason — ever — to doubt his abilities then or capabilities now.
Maybe if I’d known of my letter, I might have had the confidence to pursue a different career path. Maybe I’d have been an accountant. Or a stockbroker or an architect.
Who am I kidding?
I’m a writer, for Pete’s sake, and one complimentary letter about my mathematical abilities can’t change that fact!