Bad at Math

Bad at Math

Woman Sitting Near Wall

I woke up from a nightmare that I was back in 5th grade taking a math test.

The reason this is significant is because my 5th grade teacher, Ms. Griffin, divided up the class in terms of how well we did at math. Group 1 rocked it, Group 2 needed additional help. It was humiliating after every math test, she made a list of kids who underperformed, and when she called out their names, they’d have to drag their desk over to Group 2, the metal legs screeching loudly on the way to Loserville.

I never left Group 2 until Ms. Griffin decided to put me in my own special group, Group 3. She pleaded weekly with the counselor, “put Erin in the dumb-dumb classes. She doesn’t belong here.” But they couldn’t bc I tested “gifted” and thus expected to attend all advanced classes. Thus Ms. Griffin was stuck with the sole occupant of Group 3 and I was stuck sitting isolated in the front of the classroom as if my close proximity to the chalkboard would somehow make up for my shitty math genes. It never occurred to Ms. Griffin that I was worth more than a test score.

Anyway whenever I’m about to embark on something in my life that I’ve never done before, or is outside my wheelhouse, I have dreams about taking a math test in fifth grade. I suppose it’s a scar that’s never gone away.

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