Mary Panza

When I quit college for the final time I was so happy. I really hated college. I liked working and making money and living the way I wanted. I had no use for the English degree I was 15 credits away from getting. I spent years promising my mother (May she rest in peace) I would go back someday and finish. She knew I was lying and I knew I was lying but somehow it made her feel better to think that I would get a degree.

Part of the reason I hated school began in grammar school. I know I harp on it but I was fat and Italian. I was the only Italian until a couple of Catholic schools merged and then I was the only fat Italian. Most of the kids I went to school with were Irish, thin, perfect hair and freckles. Oh, and did I mention I was dyslexic. It was a cruel fucking joke how I grew up. So needless to say, I didn’t excel, but like most dyslexics, I could hold my own. I mention all of this because I am reliving the nightmare of school through my daughter.

When I say that this fucking core curriculum sucks, I mean it sucks OUT LOUD!!!!! Like math isn’t hard enough, now we have to find a whole new confusing way of doing things. It is enough to make your eyes cross and not in the good way. I am now forced to learn fucking math all over again and Capri will back me up on this; we hated it the first time around. We had this nun, Sister John Loretta (May she burn) that fucked math up for all of us. Not for nothing, I am a fan of intimidation when it is necessary. There is a time and a place. This bitch nun from hell took and made it an art form. That and she would beat the shit out of you if the mood struck her. The mood struck her often. Sr. John slammed a text book into Capri’s face because she wasn’t moving fast enough. She mocked the little person in our class. She emasculated the boys every chance she got. Sure we all got great grades in math, we were terrified to get one wrong. The thing is we didn’t learn anything. I still can’t do simple math because it was never simple. I use a calculator and hope Sr. John spins in her grave every time I do.

You won’t hear me say this often, but I do thank God for my girl’s Dad when it comes to homework. He is a math and science guy. He did her first shoe box project with her. I am useless in these areas. I lose patience easily especially when there is something good on TV. I wonder all of the time what God was thinking when He made me a mother. I’m guessing there was a lot of laughing going on. I feel like my daughter got the short end of the stick because the only real thing she had learned from me so far is how to be a smart ass. Trust me; she is a master at smart assery.

Still, I keep trying to help her with homework. I go over her study sheets with her and try not to tell her that this stuff is useless and someday I will help you make a budget so you can efficiently run your house and compulsively grocery shop with money to spare.