Plotting performance on the graph

Fadzayi Maposah Correspondent

I met a woman that I was in high school with more than 30 years ago.

Those who were born in my last year of high school are adults now. Some are even parents which is why I do not wince or frown when I am called Gogo!

It was wonderful seeing this woman. Occasionally I meet her cheerful mother who knows me from my high school days. When we meet, we stop briefly to chat. She will ask how the girls are and I will check how she is and the family members too! The moment I saw this classmate; I was back in high school! I let out a scream just as we did in our very noisy teenage years.

When you are young, screaming seems to be a way to communicate. When you are older screaming actually shocks and scares you. Maybe it is because as you get older, the ears are affected greatly by the screaming. Another reason could be that you have heard screams and what followed the screaming was unpleasant news. I think some screams can actually give one mature person something very close to a heart attack.

When one is young, the noisier the better. When older, peace and calm will be the best choice. So life goes full circle. Babies can start crying when there are shrieks and screams. In the end the old people struggle with getting up just like they did when they were babies.

I digress…..

Meeting my classmate made me a teenager instantly. We hugged tightly while shaking our bodies in a small dance! We must have been a spectacle as this was outside a popular shoe shop. We were not concerned about what people thought of us. We just needed to give one another a proper greeting. I am sure we hugged more than three times each time accompanied by giggling and hearty laughter. As we hugged in our minds we went down memory lane. Back then we hugged tight when school reopened or as goodbye when we went for the holiday. As we hugged her mother laughed and said we just remembered each other as young girls and the grey hair meant nothing.

We agreed with big smiles on our faces that as long as we lived we would just think of one another mainly in the context of high school. That we had grown children would not deter us from being children ourselves! We knew each other as children a long time before we had families. The strange thing is that even after so many years she was just as I remembered her. Everything was the same; how she smiled, laughed and talked!

We contributed to noise pollution in the very short time that we were together. We had very little time yet both of us wanted to know how the other was and how they had been. So many questions yet so little time. We planned that we would make time to see one another before she went back oversees as she is currently in the country attending to some family issues.

When her mother said we were noisy, we did not dispute that. Infact, we laughed and said one of our former senior masters when we were in school would have agreed with her because whenever he walked into our class h would think we were contributing to the noise.

We laughed when we remembered the day he walked into our classroom and called out names of the girls that he was sure were responsible. This classmate had gone to him and tried to explain that she was not making any noise because she had a sore throat and was struggling even to talk.

The senior master did he not believe her but said that he was sure that she had a sore throat from too much talking! He said he knew the talkers.

Even without a voice she joined the noisy makers who were sent to pick up litter around the school. We were like the “Ama2000” when we suggested we capture the moment and took a couple of selfies. Then after promising to meet again, we parted.

I am looking forward to the meeting and I have started preparing psychologically for it….

When I got back to work, I could not for a long time stop smiling as I remembered how good it had been to meet my former class mate. High school was wonderful. She was one of the girls who was extra sharp at Mathematics. I am sure she could have gone on to become a Mathematician easily but she did not. Her love for Maths ended when she left high school.

Back in high school, Maths was rather complex. We wondered where later in life we would use and apply the equations that some of us struggled with. Was it not just enough we could do simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division?

I remembered intelligent girls drawing graphs on the board and plot with so much ease. As my lunch break came to an end I drew my little graph on a piece of paper. Not much improvement from my high school.

I decided to get information from the period calculator and plot it on the graph. My ordinary level teacher would have marvelled if she had seen the graph. I plotted the duration of the menstrual period every month. The dots were plotted neatly. When the period was absent the dot rested comfortably on the zero line. Then to end it all, I joined the dots and looked at my menstrual performance. The graph told a story. When I meet my school mate again, mathematics will definitely be on my mind…….

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