Student Testimonials Vol. 17
Quitters Never Win
Jasmine Patrice Manejero
If others have done it, there was no reason for me not to do it.
- 9 years old (Grade 3)
My mother enrolled me in Kumon the summer after my second grade in elementary school. She noticed that I was having difficulty with fundamental math operations. I would count my fingers—and even my toes!—when asked to add and subtract numbers. I would refrain from solving problems on the blackboard and would always pray that the teacher will forget about flashcard drills for the day. I then started with Kumon Math Program and I breezed through my worksheets and thought that this was so easy. I always looked forward to those times when I would get perfect scores in my work, and would be commended by my Instructor.
I had such a good experience with the Math Program in my third grade in elementary school, I requested my mom to also enroll me in the Reading Program. I thought that if math was easy, there was no reason why I couldn’t do reading at the same time. I was again proven correct because the levels I started doing were also very easy for me. However, my euphoria was short-lived. The worksheets became more and more difficult. I had to do critical reading, character analysis, and know the elements of literature! I thought to myself, what do I know about these? The lessons were way beyond my years. I had to read the works of Shakespeare like Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and Hamlet, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I lost my drive and my focus. I was in sixth grade then and vying for class valedictorian. I had tons of schoolwork, academic requirements, co-curricular activities, and extra-curricular activities including weekends spent at a dance school, which I couldn’t and wouldn’t give up. And so, I let go of Kumon.
My Instructor called me up when she noticed that I was absent, and advised me to return and finish the Reading Program. She told me that one more level, then Program Completion is at hand! She also told me that if others have done it, there was no reason for me not to do it. THAT hit me. Here was somebody who believed in my capabilities, who wanted me to be a Completer and what was I doing? Honestly speaking, I also wanted to finish the Reading Program but I was not determined enough. I gave way to mediocrity, the habit of half-hearted performance which is the number one enemy of excellence.
So I psyched myself up, and even though I was adjusting to the first few months of high school life, I decided to go back to Kumon. I did my worksheets patiently and diligently. And finally, I was able to complete the Reading Program. I am very thankful that I went back to Kumon. I now realize just how close I was to success when I nearly gave up. I am also very happy and very proud for accomplishing what I now consider as one of the “greatest achievements of my life”---the completion of the Kumon Reading Program.
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