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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mrs. Sigfreed My High School Algebra Teacher

Mrs. Sigfreed My High School Algebra Teacher 03 04 2010

Mrs. Sigfreed was my High School Algebra teacher. I struggled with the algebra equation X over Y equals A over B, with some numbers in place of some of the letters. For the first time in my life I might not have passed a class. I could not grasp this. So with a great blow to my pride I needed to be tutored, and luckily the tutor was Mrs. Sigfreed, one in the same.

So I was required to stay after school and be tutored in algebra. There were three of us that were tutored in that class after school. Kenny a bratty mean only child and Wayne a black kid who probably had a mental problem, I say this because he would groan loudly in class to be disruptive and annoying. But Mrs. Sigfreed identified him and yelled at him and he didn't do any more after that.

Mrs. Sigfreed sat real close to me. I could smell her breath while I tried to understand. Her breath wasn't too bad. Kenny was seated on the other side of the room, and opportunistically he would say snotty mean bratty things to me, in the quiet room after school.

X over Y equals A over B with some numbers substituted in place of some of the letters. I could not understand it. Maybe I had briefly once but then lost the concept.

"I can't get it." I said on the verge of weakness.

With a stern voice she said, "Yes you can."

I tried some more to think X over Y equals A over B.

On the verge of crying from shame I had to admit to her, "I don't think I am going to be able to understand this."

"You can too." She said in a stronger stern voice and turned her head the other way incidentally in the direction of the envying eyes of Kenny.

All of a sudden it came to me. I understood it, how the equation worked. I kept the learning with me all the way home and reviewed it later that night, with a sense of pride and elation.

X over Y equals A over B with some numbers in place of three of the letters. Multiply the diagonal parts together and the part the part with the letter now attached to it, divide the other side by the part next to the letter, and the equation is solved. You have the value for the single letter.

I had learned the basis of Algebra, if I could do this I could learn the rest of it I said to myself.

Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy

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