Paper has become my life.  Someone is always handing me paper with important information on it that needs my immediate attention.  The computer age was supposed to make the world paperless, saving millions of trees.  Well you couldn’t prove it by those who keep handing me paper. Of course Algebra, that very important school subject, was also supposed to turn us all into Einstein’s. I can attest factually, that also did not happen.  Not that my math teachers didn’t try.

I am a numbers gal, doing “books” for the business’ we have.  I have always liked numbers for some magical reason.  Never had any accounting training, just kinda fell into the position when I got married.  My new husband had the idea that if you just drew a red line in the checkbook at the end of the month and started over that was good enough.  I said that wasn’t going to work so he pushed the check book my way and said have at it. I did and I have not given back the control in over 38 years.  Now I tell you that to get to the jest of numbers, teachers and algebra.

We recently traveled to Idaho to attend a funeral.  Saying goodbye to the mother of a good friend my husband had gone to high school with over 50 years ago.  Building and racing cars together they stayed in touch over the years.  After the services, during the food part, (there is always food after a funeral – like a rite of passage) my husband sat down across from a man he didn’t know and they began to talk. I like to meet people and so as they talked I flit, meeting and talking with people I would probably never see again. I met a couple of elderly women who were sisters that had married brothers and between them there was 103 years of marriage. Wow.  It was like they were married all their lives—moving on.

The men’s conversation revealed that the man talking with my husband had been my high school math teacher.  Turns out he is married to my husband’s friend’s sister’s husband’s sister. Got it? (You might need to draw a tree!) He and his wife, a real kick in the pants gal, traveled from Las Vegas to attend the services. Yeah, small world, I know.

As I flit by their table I was asked if I recognized the man across from my husband and was given a few clues.  I looked at him and there was a tiny bit of recognition on my part. I said Mr. Powers, and I think he was surprised.  I said my maiden name and he returned my recognition of him with a blank stare.  Out of over 3000 students he had taught I was but a fuzzy face in a chair.  That’s okay by me. I would rather not be remembered as the one who didn’t think algebra was all it was cracked up to be. I did not take advanced math or calculus to be remembered by. Nor was I a jock or teacher’s pet.

However, there has always been a very important math question I was going to ask if my life’s path crossed with my math teacher. Voila!  But being a flitter I did not take the opportunity to ask the question. It had something to do with figuring reverse percentages. As I sit here today I cannot for the life of me remember what the question was.  But I bet it had some algebra in it!

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle.  Share your thoughts and opinions with her at