Jesse sent me this link on Facebook to see if I have ADHD. I watched it and was amazed at things that I thought were normal – well they are if you have ADHD – exactly that - they are if you have ADHD. It does help explain a lot. One of the things that finally I understand, whenever I ask Chuck, “What are you thinking?” And he says, “Nothing.” And I say, “You can’t possibly be thinking, nothing that’s not possible. Let me give you an example of how my brain works.” I then proceed to tell him how one small thing, I might see or think, leads me on many rabbit trails like the guy in the video. It’s crazy. If I ever thought nothing – I would think I was dying or something was seriously wrong.
For some reason this video, and a book I'm reading, brought back a memory from 2nd grade:
I can’t remember my teacher’s name but I do remember what she looked like. She always wore a long black skirt and a crisp long sleeved white shirt. She had a bouffant, or teased really high, black hair. She had black eyes that always looked extremely angry. I don’t ever remember her smiling. I thought she looked like a witch and called her that but never out loud. I was too afraid of her.
I really struggled with math and making sense of numbers. They always seemed confusing and the more the numbers the more confusing. She would write several problems on the chalkboard similar to the one below:
Remember, this is 2nd grade. She would write about 6 – 7 different problems and then she would call kids up to the board at the same time. I kept hoping I wouldn’t be one of them - but no such luck. I was the last name she called. We stepped up to the board and started working on the problems. I would start adding and then get confused and have to start over. I don’t know what it was but the numbers seemed to run together. It was like they were laughing at me.
I bit my lip as one by one the other students sat down and I continued to work. I finally made it through the first row of adding but got lost in the 2nd and had to start over with that one. The teacher kept saying, “Aren’t you finished yet?” Which would make me lose my place - yet again. I don’t know how many times she asked but I started silently crying and just gave up. She made me stand there and told me I couldn’t sit down until I finished. I laid the chalk in the metal tray and just stood with my back to the class.
I refused to try to finish because my brain just was overloaded with fear, confusion, and frustration. She left me there while the rest of the class went onto other subjects. I don’t remember how long I stood there but it seemed like forever. Finally, she let me return to my desk. Red faced, tear stained, and humiliated I walked back to my seat with my fists clenched, and sat down.
The only other memory I have of her class was our next math test.
Our desks in our class were big enough for two people to share. I sat next to a girl in the class who was supposed to be the smartest in the subject of math. I will call her Cindy, though I don’t remember her name. I decided that I was not going to be humiliated by the teacher again. I thought if I copied Cindy’s paper I would get 100% and the teacher would leave me alone. I was really not thinking too clearly but I did learn a lot from that experience.
After the teacher graded our papers and was handing them back out she waited to give ours to us last. She said with great emphasis and dramatics, “It seems someone in the class decided to cheat and copy off of someone else’s paper. The only problem was - if the other person missed something – so would the person copying because no two people will miss the same thing and have the same exact wrong answer.” I was petrified. I looked at the Cindy who also looked terrified and I knew I couldn’t let her be blamed for my stupidity. I admitted I cheated but I wasn’t going to let the teacher see me cry. I know my face was bright red.
Mrs. Wicked Witch of the West berated me in front of the class and then made me go sit on the stool in the corner. I sat there until the class went to recess. She made me stay inside but I was allowed to go back to my desk. It’s weird because I do not remember anything after that experience about that class or that teacher. I do remember that I felt a great deal of anger and the emotion of hate comes to mind, which is sad for a seven year old. I never cheated again and was terrified of even thinking about it. Writing this, I finally understand my dislike of math. I also think it might be assoiciated with my fear of public speaking too.
I asked my Mom if she had any photos from my
2nd grade class. She only had this from my first grade
class. My first grade teacher I really loved. She
made learning fun and she always had a smile on her
face. I think she loved her job and her kids.