seventy nine: a letter for a brilliant teacher

Confession: I really loathe math. And while I’m no longer forced to do long division, I still feel a lingering resentment for numbers.

It all started with a ski trip. While I was earning gold stars in ski school, the rest of my fourth grade class was mastering their multiplication tables. I returned, behind, and frustrated. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to learn them (if we’re laying it all out there, I still get stuck on the x 12’s). And so began my aversion to numbers…

Despite it all, my favorite teacher in high school was a math teacher. My tests were red-pen central (I had a tutor too!), and still I adored and respected this lovely lady. She and her husband have a charming special needs son named Timothy. And the family grew by one in 2010—they adopted a daughter named Rebecca from the Ukraine. I could not be in more awe of this woman—then or now.

March 21, 2011

Ms. Meyers,

I know you said I could call you Kathi at graduation nearly ten years ago, but it still doesn’t feel right, especially  in formal correspondence.

May I just say, I was just thrilled to reconnect with you on facebook! I sigh a little, knowing you are no longer teaching. I’m sure you made the right decision for you and your family, but I just keep thinking of all those troubled students who will never experience math enlightenment!

I am continually amazed by your strength and patience with Tim. I can’t believe how much he’s grown. And that dog of his is adorable! But I was most thrilled to learn about the newest addition to your family. I poured over your blog entries and cried as I read the story of your journey to adopt from the Ukraine. Rebecca is one lucky girl. And you are one selfless lady.

Your courage and conviction are an inspiration to me. Perhaps we will reconnect properly, in person, one of these days. Until then, I wish your whole family continued blessings.

All the best,


Simple Song


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