Saturday, December 1, 2012

AMC 8 National Honors For Alex



Song:  Book Of Days

Artist:  Enya


The results had come back for Alex's latest Math Competition 
(It was taken at school).

This particular competition was AMC 8
(American Math Contest for up to 8th grade).

First of all...
this contest was more of a wake up call to us than anything else.

You see...
although Alex got National Honors...
he missed getting Honors with Distinction (top 1%).

He fell into the top 5% range (National Honors range).

However...
in almost all of Alex's rankings in most of his specialized tests...
he consistently ranks in the top 1%.

Even in practice tests for the AMC 8...
he was getting in the top 1% range
(although, he was only practicing for a short while
before this actual test...another matter we will rectify for the future).

We have been having him practice mostly his fundamentals in Math
in an attempt to have him advance his upper mathematical skills.

Of course...
this is in no way Alex's fault.

As always...
he constantly strives for excellence in everything.

As he is in the 7th grade...
he may try again next year for a better standing.

In the meantime...
he will be attempting the AMC 10 (for up to 10th graders)
in a couple of months.

Even though it involves higher math than the AMC 8...
we will have him do more specific practice for this contest.

When Alex got home from school yesterday...
he only reluctantly told us his score in the AMC 8.

It was one of his lowest scores.
Although he knows we know he did his best...
he also knows that he has done better.

Alex felt he had let us down.
We assured him that he never does.

Especially in this case...
it was we who had let him down.

Before anyone thinks that I am playing the social game of false modesty...
I am not.

I don't believe in false modesty...
or for that matter...
in any of the many social games many people play
(although I understand why some do)...
and so, the reason I am perceived as arrogant...
or at least...a little strange.

Alex, and I, are very similar in this respect
(Although, I am sure Alex is never perceived as arrogant.
Alex is naturally a very quiet and modest person.
Me?  I've had to work very hard at developing
my special type of arrogance  :)

In order to correct situations...
an accurate assessment of the situation must be made
in order to properly identify the problem so rectification may take place.

Simply put...that is all that this is.


Last night...
Alex's math competition teacher had E-mailed the results to the parents
of the Math Club.

One fact I hadn't known about the math competition before this last one
(American Math Challenge...the one where Alex placed 1st in the State...
and 10th in the Nation in the individual category)...
his school MathCounts Club had placed 3rd in the Nation in their class category 
(Coral Academy of Science - Coral Falcons).

This means that as a whole...
there are many bright students in his math club at 
Coral Academy of Science.

This is a high honor for his school...
3rd in the Nation for the math club as a whole.


And, of course, for the AMC 8 competition (this last one)...
Alex got...

National Award - Honor Role...
and his school's first place winner.

While, initially, Alex felt a little down about his results...
he soon perked up and studied extra hard afterwards.

This is Alex's personality...
he is naturally optimistic.

He knows the key to success lies in daily training.
He knows that while he will sometimes falter...
 in the long run...
he shall succeed.


Intellectually...
he is naturally curious and studious...
a natural Tiger.

(a picture from years gone by)

Emotionally...
he has a pure and light heart.
He is as playful as a Tiger Cub.

This slight set back has stimulated his appetite.
He is now even more hungry to compete in future competitions.

Most of all...
he knows that to fear failure is to almost guarantee it.

He looks to the future...
prepares for it...
accepts set backs as an indicator of places to improve...
reformulates his plans for excellence...
follows through to fruition
(NEVER giving up)...
step by steady step.

With this path firmly embedded in his mind...
his long range plans are just a steady walk forward ahead.
The results...
an eventual foregone conclusion.


2 comments:

  1. It is good that Alex is so self motivated, and that he is even more motivated by this very slight setback instead of becoming discouraged. So far, he is holding up well to all of the very stiff challenges thrown at him, and it speaks well for his ability to continue to do so well as the challenges continue to get harder.

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  2. One of the chief things that makes teaching Alex relatively easy...is that we merely need point him in the right direction by giving him concepts. He then takes off and runs with it. Although he may sometimes deviate from the most efficient path...with just gentle correction...he takes off once again.

    He loves learning...that has always been the key. He hates losing. However, what sets him apart is that he doesn't get angry...he just gets more driven. He then uses that drive to practice all the more.

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