An instrument of communication 

A recent candid class photo

From about the age of four, and the start of junior kindergarten, the abacus became the go-to toy for Frances when leaving home.

She could count to 100 by 5s and 10s, as well as add and subtract, and it was a means by which you might reach her in conversation because she might demonstrate, without eye contact, if you asked.

Nowadays, she is very protective of her abaci, though she doesn’t travel with one very often anymore. (She will take her stuffed bunny which has been with her non-stop for the past two years.)

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