Teach Me a Lifetime

“I wish, really wish, you’d think hard about it, then let us all know.”

I didn’t even understand what a variable is. Fucking teachers can really fuck you up. No matter how hard I thought about it, I wasn’t gonna get it. I couldn’t do algebra. I’d never had a decent math teacher. I’m telling you. They led me down a dark and winding road, collectively hit me over the head, then left me in the bushes for dead. If that asshole wanted an answer from me, he’d better not hold his breath . . . or maybe he should’ve.

“Mr. Prince,” I said, ” I don’t know the answer. I don’t understand the problem.”

“Hah!” He laughed at me in front of the whole class. All you guys looking at me.

“It’s just as all the math faculty know, Christopher. You’re lazy and you won’t learn. Don’t blame your teachers. Blame yourself. You don’t try. And you won’t.”

Hey, in my dreams I always stood up and told Prince to go fuck himself. Then I’d walk out of the classroom, stride off into the sunset, and live happily math-less ever after. Or then I would become a superhero math-lete.

Peggy stares at me. We’re drinking beer at the new Kaka’ako Whole Foods Market. “You’re kidding me, Chris. That’s the most vivid memory you have of high school?”

I love our class reunions. We get to play games like this memory one. Who comes up with these topics?

“Yeah, Peggy, real vivid. The math teachers there practically destroyed me.”

Donald jumps in. “Chris, you’re not gonna say you haven’t got any good memories about art, right?”

Donald ended up majoring in math, but we’re still friends anyway. Interesting, him changing the subject.

Yes, definitely, it just takes one good teacher.

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