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Young Mathematician

April 15, 2012
Red Flowers

These gorgeous red flowers have appeared all over town. This one sits in the middle of the road near the school.

The quizzers always make everything better. Today I had about eight kids on campus with me. Most of them hadn’t been there on Friday so we redid permutations and combinations. Saye was one of the few who had seen it once but he didn’t take any notes. Today he was engaged and writing furiously. Then he stopped, “But Ms. RB, we’ve already done that one.” I smiled, “I know. I want to know if you can still do it.” He stared at me, “Ehhhhh god.” Then he got to work and solved the next three perfectly, each time grinning in surprise.

He was at the board two hours later when Festus, my top student, came in.  “Oooo! Saye is solving!” he smiled. Saye glanced over his shoulder bashfully. “Young mathematician!” Festus yelled, clapping, “Ms. RB, you’ve done well.” “Exactly so,” Saye said, “I’ve never scored above 40 in math. Now? 105!”

It’s been such a pleasure to watch so many of them struggle and finally blossom. They’ve put in all the hard work. I’ve just supplied some practice and a few suggestions. As bittersweet as the past few days have been I can never forget that they’re the reason I’m here.

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