Math was a subject I dreaded when I was in the fifth grade. Addition and subtraction confused me, multiplication and division boggled my mind and the word problems just added to my own problems and made life more depressing.
Every day, I’d come home and curse every mathematician I knew and shout in fury at my lifeless book as I did word problems for homework. It was exhausting – the shouting and the calculator-less calculations.
I’ll never forget the day I was humiliated in front of the whole class. We were asked to memorize the multiplication tables of sixteen through nineteen. As expected, I punched and screamed into my pillow each time I messed up the seventeen times table. Although I ended up with a sore throat because of all the screaming, I survived that night.
The next day in math class, the teacher had to pick me out of the forty students in math to recite the seventeen times table. The moment I got up, my mind went blank. I just stood there with my mouth half open and demonstrated to the class how brown could turn red within a matter of seconds. I left the teacher with no other choice but to make me write the multiplication table five times.