The Drowning Gull 1 - Page 69

Zone. Do Not Enter.” So English and History won by process of elimination. Thanks again, Miss Blackheart.

One woman out to prove a point at the expense of a happy little girl limited my choices in high school, college and beyond. In our house, Dad always managed the money. Mom had trouble balancing her checkbook. They were typical of the ideal families portrayed on “Father Knows Best,” and other popular TV shows. As a mother of girls I wanted to be a role model who dispelled stereotypes that held women back. But when my children needed help with math or science homework, they went to Daddy. I couldn’t help. The aftershocks of Miss Blackheart’s confidence-shaking persisted.

In my forties, I purged her from my system. As CEO of a non-profit I learned to develop and manage a multi-million dollar budget.

When Carla, our fresh-out-of-school staff accountant, gave me draft financials, I’d review them and suggest changes: “Let’s allocate 80% of the deputy director’s salary to program expenses, 20% to admin.” I might ask, “Couldn’t we spread this expense over two quarters?”

Then I’d present the financial statements to the board of directors. Did I worry that these business leaders might ask questions I couldn’t answer? Did I dread that part of the meeting? Nope, not at all. Rest in peace, Miss Blackheart!

Issue #1