So, after we gave a talk on the importance of good grades as an expression of our Christian life in school as well as a means to future prosperity, this girl decided it was time for a change. Last week the schools closed for a 1 week vacation. Emily spent almost 2 hours with me every day studying math, AND did homework every night. She did somewhere on the range of 45 worksheets in one week on top of studying multiplication tables until she could do them faster than Bethany. She walked almost 2 miles twice (once through the rain) to get to our house and turn in her homework and ask for more. This morning I told her I wasn’t giving her any homework, and her shoulders slouched! I could hardly believe it, so I gave her two more worksheets on negative exponentials to work through. She is about to catch her class and when she does she intends to continue the campaign into other problem subjects. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her. More than anything because this decision came from her. She hopes to be baptized on her birthday in August and continues to grow in her knowledge of Christ.
Story: I was timing Emily on her multiplication tables. She has about 1 minute to do whatever hard mix of 15 tables I can give her. It takes me about 45 seconds to do this, and I’m an engineer. At one point she did a set in 50 seconds, and on some of them she called out the answer before I could come up with it. At that point I realized she was getting really good at this… so I did the only rational thing and pit her against Bethany. At first, Emily was intimidated, she let Bethany get a few just by not trying. I encouraged her to do her best, that she could nearly beat me and could probably beat Bethany. She refocused, gave it her best shot, and won! Bethany didn’t give her any space and Emily and I knew it because it went FAST. I have since tried to get the other, older girls in the group to tackle her, but no one dares. Emily, realizing that she’s actually good at something, is on a campaign to do the best she can. Pray that her enthusiasm keeps up long term and that she spreads it to all of school. Pray also that her family members don’t discourage her – this is a constant problem and runs in Nicaraguan culture: If someone does good, then there is little praise. If they mess up, there is a lot of criticism. Emily also has to fight against her own reputation for being a bad student. Please lift her up in prayer.