I was a young punk who thought for herself and told people all about my thoughts. I was a young goodie-goodie who was very smart and I wanted to be recognized as such. Punk meets goodie-goodie, both at the same time.
I was a math genius by grade two. I was excited by numbers and how they could tell us stories about physical aspects in our world. I always was tutoring my classmates on basic math skills. By the time grade four came around I was practicing grade seven math for fun, basically without any instruction from adults. In middle school I would automatically come to answers through my own way of thinking. I had a hard time "showing" my work but I needed to show the teacher I understood concepts. Eventually all of my math teachers would allow my way of working because I could articulate how my thought process worked.
But let's go back for a moment. I believe it was in grade four, we had a substitute teacher in for a week. We were learning about how to treat decimal points based on 10 to the power of 2, 3, 4, -2, -3, -4 rules. I distinctively remember that at one point in the lesson the sub was teaching us wrong decimal points. I put up my hand in panic and I told her that she was doing it wrong. She fought me, clearly, because how could a young 8 year old be right over a teacher? She persisted and so did I. I even went up to the chalk board with vigor and I wrote up the correct method of how to figure out decimals. I was very concerned for my classmates and our collective learning. She then sent me to the principal's office for being so defiant and disrespectful. I went to the office, and yet again with intensity, explained that the substitute was teaching us incorrect information. The principal then came to our class and asked to see the two methods. The teacher's and mine. The principal then corrected the teacher and affirmed that I was right. While most of my fellow classmates didn't really care either way, I did. I was passionate about math, and I didn't want all of us learning wrong techniques. I am not sure how the rest of the week went or how the teacher reacted but I remember that I was proud of myself to stand up for what I knew as truth.
Since then, I have stood up to teachers, employers, and peers when I truly believe that something is wrong and that perhaps, my way of critically thinking would benefit situations, policies, and relationships. Whether it be behavior, knowledge, practice, or speech, I am passionate about challenging what media, academia, politics, tradition, heteronormativity, patriarchy, and colonialism stuffs down our throats as truth. When I have a truth bubbling inside myself, I try to express it and show folks other ways of thought processing or truth. This is not always met with acceptance and sometimes I don't have a "higher" person of authority to back me up on my knowledge like I did in elementary. Sometimes it is just me and my beliefs standing there waving in the wind. I hope I always have the human right to think for myself, to express myself, and to challenge authority for a brighter future for us all.
I invite you all to critically think about your inner truth and share it with folks in the world. We need more of that right now! I don't want people to stop thinking for themselves. Question authority, question policies, question normative belief systems, question your own integrity. Stand up for others, yourself, and collective human life.
Maybe one day I will get back to a math practice, but for now, I choose to be obsessed with all the colours of the rainbow and all facets of human sexuality. Hoping that we all can be comfortable in ourselves as happy sexual beings that are safe and loved.
With loving intrinsic truth,