Sunday, August 11, 2013


     My junior year, in early April, I got the kissing disease, mononucleosis, without having kissed anyone. Rip off right? It took quite a while for the various doctors to pin point what I had because a lot of the symptoms seemed like the flu. One day, however, after a dizzying episode in church someone wised up and did a blood test. It was nice to know that I wasn't imagining being being sick but I started to panic when the Doctor told me the remedy was sleep. I didn't have time for sleep. I was in the middle of several college courses, and precalculus. I had lots of homework and finals were fast approaching.
     I was scared to death to stop and sleep in the middle of all of this. I was determined to get some kind of scholarship and I feared that my grades would slip if I stopped to rest. But I NEEDED the rest. I remember that my mom had to go talk to a lot of my teachers and explain the situation because I was so out of it. I woke up some time after she had been to the school and my mom explained that all of my teachers were willing to work with me to accomplish the grades that I wanted. Their cooperation ranged from less work, to extended deadlines, to alternate assignments. This was all great but I was scared to death of math. Now, I have always been fairly good at school, however, math is not necessarily my strong suite. I was worried that even with extended deadlines I would fail because math was not a subject that I could teach myself. Enter Franklynn.
    I met Franklynn in seventh grade when he said some less than nice things to me. I suppose I wasn't nice to him either but I guess we were/are over that. Academically we had always been similar and so had always been in a lot of the same classes; it wasn't any different that year. I think he was in all of the classes I had that merited worry. I also think that he was the answer to my prayers.
   Before I finish the Franklynn part, I want to explain how my days went. When I woke up in the morning I would decide how I felt. If I wasn't feeling okay I just went back to sleep. If I was, I went to school, stayed until I got tired and/or dizzy, then took my magic hall pass down to the office and checked myself out. Either way, a large majority of each day consisted of sleeping.
   Luckily for me, Franklynn showed up at my house after school every day like clockwork. He brought me everything that I missed in my important classes, then he taught me precalculus.

  -Side note: Franklynn is rather brilliant when it comes to math. I had almost every math class with him between seventh grade and graduation. It seems to me, that he slept through every lecture only to wake up when it was over and finish his math homework before the bell rang.-
  Anyway, while I had mono, my mattress was downstairs. This made it so that when Franklynn came over after school he could pull out the giant whiteboard in my basement and try to teach me how to do precalc. Sometimes he would write on the board and I would take notes like normal class. Sometimes he would walk me through my homework. Sometimes he would wring his hands in exasperation when I didn't get what he was talking about. And sometimes, he would bring his play station over and play with my brothers until I woke up. He was really quite resourceful considering what a comatose student I was. Once, I woke up and he was talking to Candace, my eight year old sister. (She often brought a small chalk board down when Franklynn was teaching me math.) Franklynn had drawn the pi symbol on the board and was explaining to Candace that it meant 3.14. Candace was nodding at him with a thoughtful look on her face.

   This continued for almost two months while I recovered. At the end of the year, I passed all of my finals and managed to get straight A's in my difficult classes. I take very little credit for this. If it hadn't been for Franklynn's willingness to help me get through math, my teachers willingness to give me the benefit of the doubt, and my mothers willingness to make sure that I got better and had the things that I needed, I don't think the year would have ended so well.
   I don't know that Franklynn would appreciate knowing that he was an answer to my prayers but he was. Not only did he save my butt in math, which ultimately helped me get scholarships, but, he was a great source of comfort and friendship. A lot of people were a little scared of me while I was sick. It was so reassuring as a teenager to have someone I wasn't related to, care about me enough to be there regardless of what was wrong with me. 
    I have been thinking about that experience lately and have decided that I want to learn to be that source of comfort to those around me. I don't know how to do it yet, but, I think it is a worthy goal.

1 comment:

  1. you know what I like most about your blog . . . learning things I hadn't known before. I've enjoyed getting to know you again.