Please Take Out Your Protractors and Your Holy Water

“Debbie is a great student. She’s a joy to have in class. But, when it comes to math, it’s as if the Debbie I know leaves and someone else takes over her body.” – My fourth grade teacher, in conference with my mom

Clearly demon possession was the only explanation for my exceptionally flimsy grasp of fourth grade mathematics. But, why did I have the misfortune of getting possessed by a demon kid who sucked at math instead of, say, a demon kid who was super good at kickball? Only my fourth grade teacher, in her infinite wisdom, would know the answer to a profound question such as that.

But, the reason this comes to mind after all these years is that my daughter is struggling with the very same demon.

She tries hard at math, but she just doesn’t get it. I didn’t either. My daughter and I have both turned in more than our share of math assignments stained with tears.

While everything else came easy for me, mathematics took a gargantuan effort, and sometimes I’d give up before I began.

That’s why my dear Michael gets the unenviable task of helping Charlotte with her math homework. Believe you me, this is for the best.

You see, I’m not much help when it comes to fourth grade math, because I was out of my body that year…

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