When I was in first grade, my mom told me that the teacher made me sit in the corner and wear a dunce cap during math. I actually have no memory of this - the only thing I remember about my first grade teacher was that she had black hair. I have heard this story often, and my mom tells me that this is the origin of my 'math fear'.
This is such a cruel and horrible story that part of me simply doesn't believe it. I mean, what kind of person would do that to a child? My mom is also prone to exaggeration; I have stood beside her during conversations, and she will come away with a completely different experience and outcome - sometimes adding parts that didn't occur.
During this last school year, Girl attended a Saturday workshop for a social studies project. The teachers that were there were introduced, and one of them had the same name as my first grade teacher. I thought, "This couldn't be the same teacher, could it?"
I decided to approach her; she was a woman in her late 50's or early 60's with black hair. So I asked her, "I heard your name, and was wondering if you ever taught at _____ Elementary School?"
She replied, "Yes! That was my first year teaching..."
So, here is where I wonder whether this is my moment of truth: Do I lay into this woman for an experience that I don't remember having? Anyone who knows me also knows that I hate conflict or confrontation. I'm all about rainbows and butterflies. I am a total lightweight that would rather move than deal with an uncomfortable situation.
In the end, it occurred to me that it wasn't my moment of truth - it was my mom's. And I can say with confidence that had my mother been there, you would have seen some old ladies brawlin'.