Interview with Vanessa Venable
QUESTION 12
INTERVIEWER:

YOU TOLD ME A STORY ON THE PHONE ABOUT A WOMAN, ABOUT A STUDENT, WHO WAS- WHEN THE SCHOOLS WERE REOPENED, WHO COULDN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON IN MATH CLASS: PERSON OR PERSONS WHO SUFFERED DURING THE TIME THE SCHOOLS WERE CLOSED, CAN YOU TELL ME THAT STORY?

Vanessa Venable:

Well, I was a teacher of mathematics and when I came back to Farmville, something—well I didn't come back for something like seven or eight years—and I had a class of eighth grade math students. And going through the usual routine of checking up on them, I had this young lady to join some other students at the blackboard to work out some exercises. And I noticed that the others were writing and going ahead with their work, but this particular girl was simply scribbling, making marks. And I turned to her, because they always said I had a very rough voice, but with it, I had no trouble with the discipline in class. So I turned to her and I asked: "Why don't you write your numbers, honey?" And she continued to scribble, and I turned to her a second time and I said: "You aren't doing anything, why don't you write your numbers?" At that point she'd become quite exasperated herself, and she turned on me and she said, "Mrs. Venable, I don't know anything about writing any numbers. I've never been in school; nobody's taught me how to write any numbers." And she started crying and started crying. So we both just sat there and cried.