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How I beat Algebra

 I disliked Algebra...a lot.  It was heartbreaking to fail.  I had never failed anything before and I felt like a, well, failure. Practicing everyday didn't seem to improve my skills.  Back then there was no Khan academy to turn to.  There were books to read and my teacher to stay after with for extra tutoring.  Mr. B worked tirelessly to make me understand how numbers could become letters.  I made the letters things in my mind.  A became apples and ants.  B became bulbs.  Finally, the letters took shape.  As things, they were no longer valueless place holders.  They were zebras and x-rays and cups that all needed to be multiplied and subtracted.  I ended Mr. B's class with an A.  Both of my own children have A's in algebra now, following my own instruction.  Mr. B would be so proud.  So many shiny apples and bubbles!!!