Beibei F (Julius West MS → RM/IB)

Three years ago at around this time of year, I received two letters that left me dumbfounded and created a clear engraving of an unfortunate memory--- the day when I disappointed my family, friends, relatives, and most importantly, myself. Ever since my eyes scanned the words “you have been placed in our waiting pool” on the letter of Takoma Park Middle School, my heart sank to the pit of my stomach. Since that day, my self-esteem sank drastically; I frequently wondered why I was dumber than the rest of my friends.

Walking into Geometry class one day in the beginning of this eighth grade year, a power point was sitting on the screen of the brightly lit Promethean Board. “So guys and girls, today I am required to show you this informational slideshow on High School Magnet applications…” As soon as the words “high school magnet” registered in my brain, I remembered the past experience and winced. Walking out of that classroom, I promised myself that I would try my hardest to prevent a replay of fifth grade; that is why I decided to enroll in the Dr. Li program.

From what I remembered, the fifth grade experience at Dr. Li wasn’t exactly the most pleasant time of my life, but it helped to adjust my brain to a competitive setting, where excelling kids gather to suppress each other. On the other hand, this recent program unquestionably enhanced my skills with the vigorous mock exams and mountains of homework. From a score of seven to nine-teen, my scores improved rapidly on weekly math drills and vocabulary practices. At home, I tirelessly completed as much homework as I could, accompanied with memorization of vocabulary packets…

After the four fatiguing months of weekend classes and endless work, I felt confident and equipped to start the battle for acceptance.

On a brumal, bitter Saturday morning, I sat down in front of the official test that would determine my high school and my future. I looked around only to see chattering teeth and itchy heads. Ha, at least I’m not the only nervous one here. I thought to myself. When the proctor signaled starting time and after I struggled with the tape that sealed the exam booklet, I realized how similar it was to Dr. Li’s mock exams. Suddenly pumped with confidence, I worked diligently, remembering and applying the test-taking skills I acquired from Dr. Li. At last, I finished the test with ease.

Three years after the brutal rejection letters, I received two glistening acceptance letters in my mailbox. Excluding my parents, who else is there to thank other than Dr. Li? As Henry Adams once said, “a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Thank you to all the teachers at Dr. Li’s programs that have made my dream come true, and influenced me for eternity.