Hello! It's an hour later, you know....
When I was a wee nipper at primary school, I didn't understand multiplication and it's relationship to adding, because no-one told me.
Our teacher, Mrs Llewellyn, started talking about something called 'Times Tables'. I thought this was interesting and wondered if they were special pieces of furniture that you did your sums on, or something like that, as she talked about these tables in the maths lesson.
I sat at the back of the class, while everyone started chanting a very long chant:' One-six-is-six, two-sixes-are-twelve, three-sixes-are-eighteen, four-sixes-are-twenty-four': on and on it went, till in a triumphant flourish, my classmates chanted, 'TWELVE-SIXES-ARE-SEVENTY-TWO!'
I was mystified as to how they had learned this long rhythmic chant and how they remembered it.
Mrs Llewellyn didn't understand the way I put this question to her and looked at me, baffled.
As the days went on, I used to sit and blub at the back of the room, excluded from the hidden meaning and mechanism behind the eleven long multiplication chants that everyone understood apart from me.
About four or five years later, I finally worked out that in order to join in, you simply had to add, very quickly, the starting number firstly to itself, and then to the combined total, twelve times.
I thought about this quietly for days.
This is what is called 'being a slow learner'. I am still like this in many ways. I do not understand visual puns in advertisements and frequently misread sentences and misunderstand their meanings.
It is also why I cannot read music, as its logic escapes me, though, of course, I understand Logic Audio and many other computer music programmes that are to do with organising sound.
I think slow learners are frustrating to be around and can sometimes be annoying in a group; as a teacher I have learned to say things several ways to a group of students, until all of them tell me that they understand.
It takes me ages to get angry, because I can't work out the mechanics of the provocation and trace it back to its source, and by the time I have, the moment has passed. I have had to learn to be patient with my own 'stupidity' and therefore sometimes people think I am unnaturally patient with what they perceive to be their own.
Sometimes I long to scream and stamp my feet with rage, but by the time I have summoned up the energy, I can't remember what it was that made me feel like that in the first place.