As much as I hated waking up for school growing up I knew it was going to benefit into my adult life one day. “Wake up, wake up”, my mother shouted. Getting myself and my oldest brother up for school was like a tornado, a complete disaster. One eye opened, one eye closed saying, “yes right now”, always led to falling back asleep. It wasn’t because we slept late or ate too much the following night, it was just an ordinary child not wanting to wake up. My mother, a hard working women, single parent of three, did her best to get us to where we are now. No doubt that handling 3 kids on her might have got her some gray hair. Always telling us it was for our best to go to school, I know now the meaning of that.
The year had come. Learning my multiplication table was just a horrible year for me. I was nine years old at that time when I had to learn them the easy way or the hard way. Every day when I got home from school we had to do our homework if we wanted to go outside and play. That was a house rule my mom decided to have for as long as I can remember. So there I was studying so hard finishing up the last of them (so I thought), when my mom enters the kitchen and asks me if I learned them. I genuinely replied with a lying yes. She proceeds to take my word and told me she’s going to quiz me. My jaw dropped. I had barely finished learning my five’s and she was about to find out. I sucked it up and did my best, but of course I failed. For the next week I was grounded and every day when I finished my homework I had to study for an hour.
As I was getting the hang of the word “study” I was actually liking it. Within a week or so I had learned my multiplication tables by heart. I wasn’t ready to take my mom’s quiz just yet. I was enjoying the time I was getting alone to learn something new, like the time tables. When I told my mom I was ready, I remember her having a sheet of paper tallying up how many problems I answered wrong. I was more concentrated in that sheet of paper, or should I say terrified of that paper than her quiz. I failed her quiz once again not because I didn’t know them, but because I didn’t concentrate on what I needed to concentrate on.
Eventually I got bored of studying. I disliked seeing my siblings and cousins outside playing, yelling having fun like a child is supposed to do. I knew I had to pass my mom’s quiz, but just thinking of her and that sheet of paper gave me the goosebumps. My older brother, (then ten years old), asked me if I needed help. I curious said, “yes”. I didn’t want to be grounded anymore so he started to teach me his way he learned them. I proceeded to answer all of them right. I was happy and we both cheered and clapped like if we were celebrating a won victory. I was content for having my brother help me, but even more because this time I was ready for mom’s quiz.
My mother got home pretty late from work this specific day and I was not going to sit grounded for another week in that crusty black chair. I told her I was ready and she said not today that she was too tired. With a frown, I told her that I wasn’t tired that I was ready to pass her quiz. It took me maybe an hour or so to finally convince her to quiz me. She was probably over it as much as I was.
She started off with the easiest ones, mumbling her numbers and yawning at the same time. I was confident then. She had her sheet of paper next to her like before, yet this time there were no tally marks so far. I remember one specific time tables that I dislike every time she mentioned, eleven times twelve. She asked me and I stood quite. Counting with my fingers I spilled out one hundred and eleven. It did not sound right to me. A gut feeling told me I was wrong. She picked up her pen, first tally.
Of course I passed her quiz this time around, or should I say the third time. Very proud of myself because I knew that I was doing a good job in school and a good job outside of school. Friday finally came and I had a big times table test at school. I was so confident because I had just passed my mom test the night before. Now I was ready to show her that all the studying had finally paid off. Cheering at the last bell ring, I ran home ready to show my mom. With a big smile she gave me a tight hug and told me I can go play outside after I finish my homework.
I enjoyed learning and studying ever since. It takes a lot of dedication and time to get good at something. For example, the time tables chart has a lot of big numbers and many of them. It’s not easy for someone to learn them right away, it takes time to memorize it. If I didn’t have my mother or brother giving me the help that I needed, I would of had to learn the hard way, after school tutoring. For that I am grateful for the family that believed me in their own kind of way. Being the eldest of the girls of my siblings, I take my time to show them or teach them whenever they need help. There is never a wrong answer or a wrong question, help will always be there.