I couldn’t get a grip on myself. My heart was pounding what seemed incomparably, faster than the speed of light as I sat in the plastic chair for what felt like eternity: a 9th grader aiming to withhold tears like the strong person I was taught to be. I wasn’t a Trojan being conquered by the Greeks, nor a Native Indian being dominated by the white’s who decided to ruthlessly aim to wipe away their nation. I was a 9th grader who had been waiting for my math result and by the time the math teacher had finished marking I was in the greatest upheaval of states. Over the course of the year, I had had a long, arduous journey with maths and my hatred towards it had only increased, since the first day of the school year, but I had always pretended everything was OK. Now, it was time for the grand revelation: not everything was okay.
The maths teacher which was marking my paper turned towards me and said,in the calmest voice “You got 5 out of 30,”.
There was a flood.
The maths teacher looked at me with concern and spoke to me. I opened up about having difficulties with maths, about the constant pressure I was on, I told him everything. With concern, he looked at me and ripped up the math paper, before throwing it into the bin “I’m a Christian, and I hate lying but I can tell you are facing a lot of pressure,” . The next year in 10th grade, I was purposefully picked to be in his class, and a sort of unadulterated fear seemed to slightly grip me. I knew this teacher; he was notoriously known for picking on your raw spot and working on it, and as for me it was speaking up in math class. And that would mean revealing my lack of confidence with it.The first days, were was what seemed like a preposterous amount of torture, I would mumble my way through answered when he picked me, the image of looking thick-headed in front of a bunch of teenagers who would watch your every move practically made me want to be home-schooled.
But it wasn’t before long before I commenced to admire him, rather than want to run away from his classes. His resilience to asking I questions, knowing that I was completely afraid forced me to step out of my little box, to face the truth and ask myself “What am I honestly afraid of ,”-little by little a new Nyse was emerging in math class. I was no longer the girl who read math books, and how to like math in an endless hope that I would end falling in love with the subject, I was now Nyse the girl who would stay after school night after night researching, exploring the depths of fractions, and observing the unparalleled wavering beauty of statistics and probability. That one teacher made I realise that facing your fears, and jumping into the deep end is not something you should only dream about; be compelled by it, embrace it, hug it, go completely after it. Time passed, and it completely became a thing of beauty, I have asked, hunted and researched about maths. I remember the up-coming math exam, remembering the previous one I decided to say no, and shake off the fear of failure. I remember speaking to him after a Math class had just finished “Even if I get 0 in the exam, I will not be afraid. It’s just a mock, and I can look over it before the real one,”. I remember the day the exam came, I was one of the few bursting with excitement, I was calm and collective, but the ideology of that beautiful piece of paper with problems to solve attracted me. I ended up getting the 3rd-higghest score in the class
One day the teacher had to leave, and move on to another school, with youths who aren’t confident when dealing with maths, just like I was. And perhaps we will meet again, sometime in the future, or maybe we will not. I m have not worked out the pattern in Pi, proved a mathematical theory wrong, or am yet the best mathematician in school; but I am a work in progress and one who is not afraid to go deeper to learn and I have to think that one math teacher for believing in me. That is what it means to be a teacher to me.