The pleasure of calculation first came to me in the second grade. Sister Madonna had just taught the class multiplication with the number 2.
That night before dinner and then after dinner, I was thick in a calculation frenzy. Starting with 1 times 2, then 2 times the result, then 2 times the result, and so on until the multiplicand was wider than one line in my copybook. At the end of that night, I was thoroughly and completely confident that anything to do with numbers I understood.
Of course, I was wrong. A few weeks later after Sister had us memorize the twelve times table, I got into a big argument with my parents. I insisted that no way could 12 times 12 be equal 144. My mother tried to convince me, but I wouldn