Thanks to Bruce Atchison for inspiring this post. On his blog, he talks about his struggles with math in high school and how he almost dropped out because of that. Although he managed to graduate, he couldn’t participate in the ceremony because he  couldn’t afford a cap and gown. He shares his experiences on his blog and in his three memoirs: Deliverance from Jericho, When a Man Loves a Rabbit, and How I Was Razed. You’ll find links to where these books can be purchased in print and eBook formats. 

I also had trouble with math but not just in high school. In the sixth grade, a teacher I’ll call Mr. Smith threatened me with an eighteen-inch ruler for not understanding long division. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t required to take math past the ninth grade. I had some problems in high school, but because of the love and support of my family, it never occurred to me to drop out. I don’t remember if I had to rent a cap and gown, but I do recall walking across that stage to receive my diploma and my classmates giving me a standing ovation.

If anyone reading this has just graduated from high school or college, good for you. I leave you now with “Climb Every Mountain,” a song I remember singing with the choir at the ArizonaStateSchool for the Deaf & Blind in Tucson one year during its commencement ceremony. Good luck to all you graduates in finding and realizing your dreams. 


Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver



Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir with another novel on the way. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at

2 thoughts on “Graduation”

  1. Thanks for the kind comments about my blog and books. It’s amazing how some teachers can mess up a student’s life while others affirm it. I hope that people in difficult courses will tough it out and bulldoze their way to the end.


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