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The Statue of Jesus Christ on the Cross in 798 Art Zone BeijingLittle Josh just wasn't interested in learning math. Rosh had been busy at work all last year, so he hadn't had any time to teach Josh.

Isha had tried everything to get Josh to learn: reasoning, incentives, bribes, threats.

Nothing had really worked. This worried Isha.

Josh had been enrolled at his local Catholic Kindergarten. She had wanted him to have a solid grounding in literacy and numeracy before he started his kindergarten.

Josh loved reading picture books, but learning counting and doing math were quite another matter. So, not much progress was made on that front.

Soon, Kindergarten began.

After his first day there, Josh arrived home with a very serious look on his face.

He answered none of Isha's questions, didn't eat, didn't hug her. He went straight to his room. She thought nothing more of it as household chores preoccupied her mind and she knew his moods.

The day passed quickly. When Isha didn't see Josh for the rest of that day, she came to check up on him.

Math books and flash cards were spread out all over the room. Little Josh was hard at work.

Isha was pleasantly surprised. She quietly closed his door, and backed away, not wanting to disturb him.

She called him down for dinner when Rosh arrived back from work. To the parents' shock, Josh ate his dinner in silence and marched back to his room the moment he was done.

When she checked up on him again after doing the dishes, he was back hitting the books as hard as before. After hugging him and remiding that it would be his bed time soon, she left him studying.

This routine went on for the next couple of days. Isha was delighted with the change. He had really got stuck into math. But his continued silence bothered her.

The next day she tested him on his times tables. He came through with flying colors. Then, as he walked wordlessly back towards his room again, she could no longer hold her curiosity.

"Why the silence, Josh?" she asked him. "Is it the teachers?"

Josh looked quietly at her and shook his head.

"Well then," she queried, "is it the new books?"

He shook his head again.

"The other kids?"

"No."

"The discipline? Environment? What is it, my child?"

Little Josh finally burst out.

"Very first day of kindy," he cried out loud, "when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around with math."

Next: How Was I Born?

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