Immediately after my geometry teacher had us sit down in our seats, he bombarded us with the dreadful news, notifying us, “You will have a Chapter 1 final in a few days.”
Instantly, my heart dropped. Couldn’t he tell that there was at least one student who was going to fail? Me?
My teacher, oblivious to my internal cries, smiled and continued on, “Anyone who needs additional help is welcome to come in during lunch.”
Distressed, I immediately put my head down on my muddy colored desk. Although it was only the third week of geometry, I was already struggling desperately with the class. Theorems and postulates were aliens that suddenly intruded into my tranquil and normal life. Mentally reflecting on the daily quizzes that I had failed in class and predicting my grade on the approaching final, I profoundly contemplated over whether I should drop to regular Geometry.
As I reminisced the relaxing days I had spent in Algebra I Honors, I intensely desired to understand geometry like I had done with algebra. In algebra, I had perfectly conquered all the standards, acing all my tests effortlessly, due to my dad’s diligent teaching of polynomials and factoring during the summer. Geometry was different though. My dad, unfamiliar with the course, just bought me a workbook and advised me to preview all the postulates, theorems, and formulas.
Instead of gladly thanking him for the workbook, I snickered, “Dad, I don’t need this. People told me that geometry is a piece of cake!”
Clearly, I was mistaken. Geometry was incomprehensible. Impossible.
Switching back to reality, I observed my classmates react to the news, envying their cavalier and indifferent attitudes, and decided to get more aid during lunch. After breezing through my classes and the school bell rang for lunch, I entered the capacious math classroom with a massive, green chalkboard and bright polyhedrons dangling from the ceiling, finding myself the only student in the classroom.
Feeling humiliated because I was the loner needing help, I mumbled emotionlessly to my teacher, “Hi.”
I then received a packet of extra problems and immediately began working on them. When I attempted to solve the first proof from the packet, the problem refused to budge open, like a locked door. Only when I asked for aid, did my teacher, a quirky and helpful man, facilely open the locked door with his golden key and solve the proof. However, despite getting continuous help from my teacher, I struggled with the rest of the problems, not being able to grasp hold of my golden key to open the locked doors.
After finally getting through the school day, I quickly went home, eager to comprehend geometry. In order to efficiently study, I headed to the sink, splashed some water on my face, and loudly coached myself.
“Don’t try to understand geometry. Understand!”
Once I headed for my desk to study, I spied a yellow geometry workbook lying on the ground. Remembering how I defiled the workbook, I spontaneously regretted my words and ashamedly opened the book, hoping desperately that it would give me some aid. Once I began reading the pithy explanations of the postulates, theorems, and proofs transcribed in the book, I remembered my teacher’s silky, smooth explanations and belatedly heard the click in my brain. Comparing the book’s examples to my teacher’s and suddenly comprehending all of them in one sitting, I became excited and realized the workbook was the one extra tool that allowed me to have the unexpected epiphany. Once I randomly began attacking problems in my workbook, like automatic sliding doors, they opened up waiting for me to easily walk through and solve them. Although it did take some time trudging through the doors, my slow and steady steps allowed me to strut with ease and confidence. As I tackled other proofs and geometric problems pleading to be solved, I mentally decided to thank my dad for the workbook. With enough studying and preparation with the book and at school, I will definitely be ready for the test.
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