The post “The Calculator” brought back some memories, some not so pleasant but also awakened a realization. As we travel forward we see our life in a fog, but looking backwards things are clearer and at times we have eagle vision. I realized after writing the post and reading the comments made, I do have something to be proud of, a gift from the Creator.
We are all given gifts. Some people recognize these gifts from the Creator, and excel in life using the gifts. There are a few who never see the gift they possess from the Creator. It has taken me almost a lifetime to see the gifts the Creator has given me when He created me.
The majority of my life, I have considered the gift the Creator gave me to be a hindrance and sometimes a curse. From an early age I showed that I was smart, learned quickly and could put what I learned into practice and expand on what I had learned.
My love for mathematics started before I was in school. I remember watching my dad at the dining table using a ruler to measure lines on a blueprint of some building, writing those numbers down on a legal pad, and adding them up. I would watch, more entranced with what he was doing than any television show or cartoon. I learned my numbers and how to add sums at the dining table, with little answers to my questions from my dad.
When the time came for me to be in school I could count to a hundred, as double digit sums, say my ABC’s and read small words. I remember the trip to the school with my dad. It was almost Thanksgiving when we went to visit and put me in school. Why I was taken after the school year started, I do not know. We went to the office, dad filled out some papers while I watched. Then the lady showed us the kindergarten room. The room was round, apart from the main building. When we entered the room, it was dark as some of the kids were watching a movie, some were playing and talking, a few were literally running around the room. Dad talked to the teacher and then we left. I was to start school the next week, on a Monday.
My first day of school, I remember it so well. My dad was proud to take his daughter to school. I was dressed in a new dress we had purchased that weekend. The dress was white with yellow and blue stripes forming a plaid pattern, new shoes that were white with black, and new socks. I thought we were going to the kindergarten room, and I remember where it was, when I started heading that direction, dad said we needed to go to the office first as the principal wanted to talk to us.
My first trip to the principal’s office, one of three visits I made in my school years. We went the office, the lady my dad spoke with and filled out papers showed us a room near her desk. Inside was the principal she stood and shook both our hands. For the first time, an adult was acknowledging me. She asked us to sit down and she sat down.
” I hear you are a smart young girl.” started the Principal. I just nodded my head yes. In the following minutes she asked me to say my ABC’s, count, do some sums, and read from a small book about a bunny. I only read two pages before she said “that was enough for now.”Looking to my dad, “Mr. Varbel, you do have a very smart young girl. She knows too much for kindergarten as most of the children do not know their letters or numbers yet. I think we need to put her in first grade instead of kindergarten.”
My dad’s response, “Ok, that is fine.” Looking at me with a smile and pride in his eyes, “You are going to be in first grade, a first grader because you are so smart.”
The principal stood up, “We let’s walk her to class, I am sure she is ready to start going to school.” She lead us to the first grade classroom, knocked on the door then went in. We waited at the door for the teacher to meet us. There were children sitting in desks, they were all looking at us, at me. The principal spoke quietly to the teacher and gave her a piece of paper. Then the teacher bent down to say hello, and her name. ” I guess we need to find you a desk. I think I will have you sit at the front of the class in case you need help.” Before leaving with the teacher, dad said good-bye and do your best, then handed me a pencil from his pocket, “I think you are going to need this.” Speaking to the teacher, “Let me know what she needs for supplies and she will have them tomorrow.”
The teacher asked a boy to move to another desk, and said “this will be your desk.” Then she introduced me to the class, and the math lesson continued. A girl sitting across the isle next to me, gave me a piece of paper with a smile.
I began first grade at the age of five years. A year to two years younger than the students in my classroom.
The gift of being able to learn, my brain as I call it, has enabled me to learn facts and knowledge with relative ease. I was a straight A student in school and did very well in college. But it was also something my mom and other students made fun of and put down. One very often heard phase from my mother was “You think you are so smart because you get A’s, but you know nothing.” I grew up learning that A’s did not mean you were smart, it only meant that you got A’s in school, nothing more. Yet, I worked very hard to have A’s on my report card, my dad was proud of my A’s and my hard work, every report card was a time I could make my dad proud, and see his eyes twinkle.
Today, I still fight a low self-esteem put there by the negativity of my mother. But I am finally proud of the gift the Creator has given me. Like my dad, I see this gift with pride. Because I am able to learn, I have been able to make decisions, face life’s challenges with an answer and instill in my children and grandchildren a love of learning. I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed of having a high IQ, or having knowledge, but instead will share the knowledge to help others better themselves or find a solution to a problem.
I do have other gifts the Creator has given me. What gifts have you received? Are you proud or ashamed of the gifts the Creator has given you?