Maths and Oranges

By Alecia Tsai, Taiwan

A box of fresh oranges was pushed into our classroom when the bell rang, and it was our math teacher who pushed the box in. Everyone was so awed that the usually noisy classroom became extremely quiet and still. None of the students has seen anything like this before, it would be seen as a blessing if the math teacher was smiling when he/she walked into the classroom right after the midterm.

“Everyone come take an orange and go back to your seat,” I can’t believe what I just heard, and the classroom was filled with chatters and dramatic expressions, but no one took a move. “Come take the oranges, quick, I don’t have a lot of time waiting for you guys!” “Where are our exam papers?”someone asked the key question finally.”I’ll tell you later,”slowly people started gathering in front of the blackboard and took their oranges.

“Now you all have an orange on your table, and I want you to give it to the person that you appreciate the most,”the teacher said. The classroom was suddenly in an uproar, and after a few minutes everyone quieted down again. Afterwards, the air was frozen when the teacher gave us back the exam paper.

“The reason why I asked you guys to give the oranges to before handing you back the exam paper is that I want you to give the oranges to the ones who you really  appreciate the most, not the student with the highest mark. You should know that there will be one day when your grades and transcripts do not matter that much any more, and until then it is your characters and attitudes that truly matter. No one is going to admire you just because you did well in school, but people will look up to you if you have the right mindset and appreciation is the first step to start with.”