I remember my brother telling me an anecdote about Carl F. Gauss three-four years ago, I want to know if anybody here also know about it, or can provide the source of it. The anecdote goes like this
One day Carl came from school, he was probably a kid of 9 or 10 years, and smilingly handed a letter to his mother and said
“Mother, my teacher has given me this letter and told me to hand over it to you without reading it”.
His mother opened the letter and read it (in her mind, not loud out), after reading it she remain quiet for few minutes. Gauss asked her many times about what was written in the letter, finally she replied
“Your teacher has written that you have far more ability than what the school can offer and develop, so your teacher suggested you to leave the school and work on your own great mind, develop it by your own as no one is able enough to teach you my child”
After that, Gauss became an autodidact, motivated by the letter and did many charismatic works in Mathematics. Things went on good, Mathematical societies were surprised by his discoveries. After many years when his mother died, he became sad and tried to go for her things, suddenly in her old box he found that same letter and read it, something like this was written in it
“We are sorry Mrs. Gauss but your son Carl is a very stupid kid and we cannot keep him in our school anymore.”
Gauss murmured “It’s my mother who has made me what I am, It’s only because of my mother that I have reached here in my life"
Well, the thing is that wikipedia asserts that Carl was a prodigy but being a prodigy doesn't at all means that one would perform outstandingly in school, he might be disagreeing with his teachers and that could have made them angry to write that letter.
Actually, I request you all to tell me if you have every heard this kind of anecdotes about any other mathematicians, as there are chances that my brother could be mistaken, but I'm sure he didn't make up that story, he would have read it somewhere. So, this kind of story is important as it shows up the effect of encouragement in developing someone's life, especially an intellectual life.
Please help me in finding the source of this story or at least let me know if you ever came to hear about an anecdote like this.