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You May Not Put Down Your Chalk!

“You may not put down your chalk. You may not return to your desk until you have correctly solved the math problem!” bellowed Sister. Once again, I was losing the math relay for my row of students.This scenario played out again and again throughout my parochial school years. Math, for me, was a language from another planet. No amount of study or tutoring could make me understand. One Sister, in particular, was merciless in her attempts to make me learn, and those feelings of inadequacy followed me through college and into adulthood.Marriage and motherhood were wonderful and gratifying additions to my life in the years to come, but I still lacked the self-confidence to fully enjoy life. Seeking therapy was a huge step forward, and I eventually decided to find my former parochial school principal. She not only remembered me, but she also apologized for the torment I had endured at the hands of the Sister.Time passed, and the notes from my old principal stopped. Worried, I phoned the retirement center to learn she was very ill and had been moved to a nursing facility for retired nuns. I continued to write …

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