When I was younger, so much younger than today…

When I was younger, I wanted to be a maths teacher. I loved maths because you could collect up all the numbers, and each number counted no matter how small it was, and you came to the answer. It was the simple concept that it was straight forward with just one answer that I loved. I could get my head around it… until the mathematics became too complex for me to count up using plastic blocks and simple equations.

No one ever told me that needing to use all the counting blocks in the classroom was wrong, that it was a sign of something wrong. The same way none of my teachers ever wondered why I needed to write down ALL of my sums, no matter how simple they were, and take up a whole page until I could get to my final answer. There would literally be a page of lists of numbers and sums as I would build up the answer.

Things got worse in high school when we no longer had counting blocks, my teacher didn’t have the patience to understand and would make me feel two inches small when I got the lowest score in mental arithmetic. I was in the lowest set for maths and I was still too thick for it. I would be berated for needing to keep track of all the numbers and sums and I’d be shouted at for wasting pages in my book when two whole pages were filled with maths that didn’t make sense. I tried to fix that by gluing two pages together and then I was shouted at again for wasting pages. This same teacher would even hover behind me whenever I got a new exorcise book, to make sure I didn’t mess up the first page. I had this bitch for three years and each lesson she brought me to near tears. On some Wednesdays, there were tears!

It took until I was 15 for someone to say “Dyscalculia”, which is basically the number version of Dyslexia. It’s still not widely known today. There’s probably loads of people who just thought they were too thick for maths who had it, maybe even some people got away with it and work in a maths-based job today.

Not me, though. When the maths got too hard, when the teachers didn’t ask or try to understand why I just didn’t understand the equations, that I worked them out in a unique and different way, I lost faith in maths. It was no longer my friend because even 0 wasn’t what I was led to believe. The number 1 was made up with fractions, a more complex equation is needed if you want to divide decimal points together and the speeds of trains passing each other became very important, for some reason. Even though I’m pretty sure there’s technology to figure that out for us…

I found a new friend in English and Media Analysis. They weren’t as good as maths. With English, it’s more in the reasons of why you think it’s possible rather than whether or not somethings possible, and whether there’s evidence to support your reason.

Seamus Heaney was a afraid of frogs, you say? What makes you think that?
Well, the poem were he compares frogspawn to a deadly blood virus was a give away
.

And media was very much the same.

The denotation is that Andrew Beckett and Joe Miller are standing at opposites sides of the office. The connotation of them standing in those positions is that Miller, who creates the distance in the first place, is uncomfortable with Beckett’s presence and is prejudice against gay people and HIV sufferers. I believe that the office is a symbol of a box…

And the further away that childhood dream of becoming a maths teacher went. It’s not the only one I never pursued though. I also gave up my dream of being a house builder, a footballer, an actress, a drummer in a band, a window cleaner, a nurse, an electrics specialist, a magazine article writer and many other things.

Some come again and go again, others I’ve not really given up on, just thought differently about. I’m 22 years old, a Twenty-something, and I still have no idea what I want to do with my life.

Some say that’s okay, and right now, I choose to believe them. And who knows, maybe when I’m 50 I’ll start again with maths and make that teacher dream of mine come true.

Or maybe I’ll become a flamenco dance teacher instead. Maybe anything’s possible.

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