From Loser to Winner

Naomi - Falls CHurch, Virginia
Entered on March 22, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

For some people, it is hard to achieve success. For others, it is harder to maintain success. I am part of the second group. I take little time to achieve success and then try my best to maintain it. Now, being on the All A Honor Roll, I understand what it takes to achieve and maintain success. However, sometimes to become the winner, you have to become the loser.

It was the first month of sixth grade. New supplies, new friends and new teachers filled every moment. Ms. Meade was the most feared teacher of all Haycock Elementary. She was a short, stout woman with blonde hair a little longer than her ears. I can’t tell you her eye color because I always kept a safe distance from her. The first day, she slammed the down the rules on the table as if we were juvenile delinquents. “At least she wasn’t my homeroom teacher,” I thought. Ms. Meade told us that we would have a math test every Friday for the rest of the year. Every test would be of the material we learned before and new material we had learned that week. On Thursdays, she gave us packets of math review to practice before the test. The first test I took earned me a solid A. I was pretty sure I would be able to get through Ms. Meade’s class with no trouble at all. Math was a strong subject for me too. Since it was beginning of the year, the packets of math review were fairly easy. As the weeks went by, the packets became bigger because of the amount of material. I constantly studied and received A’s on the tests. It was first quarter and I wanted Ms. Meade to have a good impression of me.

At the end of the first quarter, I knew this class was going to be simple to pass. The concepts were straightforward and the tests were as well. I began doing less and less of the packets, assuming I would get an A since I paid attention in class. Eventually, the packets piled up in my locker and didn’t even come home. I still earned A’s on the test but I didn’t realize they were sliding towards a B. The concepts only got easier for me. I thought I didn’t have to study anymore. The confidence in me began fully emerging and sweeping me off my feet. My once golden grades tarnished. Now, my gold medal was silver. For some people, B’s were wonderful grades but I knew I was capable of getting an A. When you could be getting A’s, why would you ever settle for B’s? Yet, that’s exactly what I did. My motivation to do well turned into laziness. I just didn’t feel like studying anymore. Inside my mind, I knew what I was doing was wrong. Perhaps, I was in shock of slacking off in the first place.

My mom started helping me every day, re-teaching concepts and making me do numerous problems. Ms. Meade gave old tests to practice with. At first, it was hard to study so much math in one day. But, I knew I wanted that A and I would do anything to earn it. I was making progress fast. This helped me build back my confidence. The first test after the confession earned me a B-. Mom, Dad and I covered three sections a day. If I learned new concepts at school, I came home and did practice problems to make sure I knew the concept in and out. My test grades rose. Exactly two weeks before my birthday, I was unpacking my backpack when Ms. Meade came to me.

“What the heck did you do?” she asked me, trying to keep a straight face.

“What do you mean?” I asked, fearing I did worse on my test.

“Your parents are going to be very proud of you. You were the only person in your class to get hundred percent,” she exclaimed.

“Seriously?” I said, shocked. Ms. Meade laughed and nodded. I felt so triumphant at that moment.

“You deserve it, Naomi. I have never seen someone work as hard as you to change their grades. And that fast!” Ms. Meade smiled. She patted me on the back and walked with her stick back to her classroom. I did it! I had finally received an A in math after 5 months! I was ecstatic, delirious and bursting with happiness. I don’t think those words are enough. I just knew I had accomplished my goal. I was proud to be myself again. That was the treasured feeling I had been waiting for!