A ten year old public school boy
was finding fifth grade math to be the challenge of his life. His mom and dad did
everything and anything to help their son...private tutors, peer assistance, CD-ROMs,
Textbooks, even HYPNOSIS! Nothing worked.
Finally, giving up they enrolled him into a small Catholic school to await another
At the end of the first day of school the boy walked in with a stern expression on his
face, and walked right past the parents and went straight to his room -and quietly closed
the door. For nearly two hours he toiled away in his room -with math books strewn about
his desk and the surrounding floor. He only emerged long enough to eat, and after quickly
cleaning his plate, he went straight back to his room, closed the door, and worked
feverishly at his studies until bedtime.
The parents were not sure if they should comment on the boys extra efforts for fear of him
losing this new found fervor, so they seemingly ignored it. This pattern continued
One day the first quarter report card came out. Unopened, he dropped the envelope on the
family dinner table and went straight to his room.
His parents were petrified. What lay inside the envelope? Cautiously the mother opened the
letter, and to her amazement she saw a bright red "A" under the subject, MATH.
Overjoyed, she and her husband rushed into their son's room, thrilled at the remarkable
progress of their young son!
"Was it the nuns that did it?", the father asked. The boy only shook his head
and said, "No." "Was it the one-on-one tutoring? The peer-mentoring?",
asked the mother. Again, the boy shrugged, "No." "The textbooks? The
teacher? The curriculum?", asked the father. "Nope," said the son. "It
was all very clear to me from the very first day of Catholic
"How so?", asked his mom.
"When I walked into the lobby, and I saw that guy they'd nailed to the plus sign, I
knew those people meant business!"