Sometimes Life is Pain and Sacrifice

By Vic Odarve

She was one of my best math performers last year. That’s why after every school exams and quizzes, I always checked her papers first over the others. It gives me the thrill to scan over her solutions; watches the steps involved, and the way she presented her mathematical manipulations until arriving her final answer.  Except for a few cases, she always got a perfect score. So I thought that I am one of the lucky professors to have this student under my course. Her performance becomes a barometer on how effective my teaching strategy is!

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A Math Professor

That’s it. I am comfortable on her way she acted as a student taking up an engineering course…a course where some stupid ones failed to graduate because of math. In one of my visit to the university library to read some local newspaper, she requested me to have some explanation on the math solutions previously discussed in the classroom. “Okay, what part of the topic?” I told her. She opened her notes and showed the steps where she got the problems. After some explanation and discussion, she was contented. Feeling satisfied, she said, “Thank you, Sir, I understand already”, she said. Then I said,” What was the result of your last quiz?” “I got 90 % score, Sir”, she smiled. “Good, and on next quiz, you must get a perfect score”, I replied. Then she slowly walked and slipped away out of my sight. I paid little attention. She got a good score. So nothing to worry!  She may just serious enough and want to do more on her study every day.

Then, the next quiz came. Only 2 out of 54 students in a class got a perfect score. And she was one of them!

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After pain and sacrifices, life is beautiful

It was then that I gave her an attention. I noticed that during the class session, she sat at the end of the last row of the seats in a packed and overcrowded room. She listened intently and focused on my discussion. No friend, no talking even on her seatmates as if she knew none of her classmates! “She must be too shy”, I guessed.

The semester math course was about to finish. I gave a quiz before the final exam. “This would be the last quiz”, I told the students. Then what was the result? She got perfect score again! She had done it! “She is a good performing student”, I told myself.

The next meeting I returned the quiz papers/scripts. She was absent. For almost two weeks, I could no longer see her. Then I inquired her classmates what happened to this girl. To my surprise, none of her classmates knew her. She vanished and I received no word from her and her whereabouts! I was completely pushed to the wall blank!

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An African setting. My class in Math usually consists of 300-400 students.

After two weeks my phone rang. The girl informed me that she does a part-time job in an instrumentation company to support her schooling financially and thus, she failed to attend the class. I was dumbfounded and could not believe it. Lately, I also found out another student who often absent during my class lectures is also doing a part-time job in a food chain restaurant.

Sometimes we feel that life is a pain but for these two students who did sacrifices mark that they are really great. Students engaging in this task will reap in joy and bountifully. The Bible puts it,

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” – Psalms 126:5-6 (NKJV).

So be it! Sometimes we feel life is a pain but in the end shall reap in joy.

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