I used to be good at algebra, although I do remember quite a few times grabbing my friend Susan Andrews the genius (May she rest in peace.) and asking her to PLEASE explain this concept to me again. She was a brilliant woman and she could explain things better than any of the math teachers. Besides that, she was patient and kind and didn't mind my frequent requests for additional explanation. Of course, she was so good at boiling it all down it only took her about five minutes to sum up what the teacher had been confusing me with for an entire period. OK. Let me restate that. I had good teachers. It only took Susan about five minutes to figure out where my glitch was and to clarify. In my teachers' defense, it also would have helped if I had paid a little more attention during class and spent less time talking to my friends. The fact that I knew I could always fall back on Susan's laser explanations probably gave me permission to focus a little less in class.
Susan died a few years ago of breast cancer. She had become a doctor which was no surprise to me. She had also been my lab partner in biology. While I squeezed my eyes shut during dissections and moaned and groaned, Susan would just laugh and gently encourage me along.
May she rest in peace, my math friend and biology lab partner. Oh Lord, please remember the kindness she showed me and others. May she even now be seeing you face to face, praising the Author of all math and science.