A week earlier we had taken a religion test and one of the short answer questions was: "What is the Eucharist?" So, being the typical seventh graders we were, this seemed like an easy question. Most of our answers were along the lines of, "The Eucharist is a symbol of Jesus," or "The Eucharist symbolizes the last supper and Jesus giving of himself."
So, when our teacher came in jumping up and down yelling, "Jesus IS the Eucharist!!! It's not a symbol!!! Jesus IS the Eucharist!!!" We seriously thought she had gone off the deep end.
See, the thing with catholics is that we see the Eucharist as a little wafer and think "symbol." that's because, well, let's be honest, it looks like cardboard, feels like cardboard, and tastes like cardboard, we think "how can this be Jesus?" It took me a long time before I believed that the Eucharist was really Jesus. In seventh grade, I couldn't figure out why my teacher was getting so worked up about a silly test. Yes, everyone in the class got that question wrong, but I couldn't see how she could really believe that little wafer was Jesus.
"When Our Lord said, "This is My body," the entire substance of the bread was changed into His body; and when He said, "This is My blood," the entire substance of the wine was changed into His blood." (Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism)