Christy Li/Robert Frost MS/Gr8/2019 Jan

My Experience with Math/English Contest
Christy Li
Robert Frost MS
Grade 8

It is often said that true competition is the struggle against not the strengths of others, but against the weaknesses of oneself. It was not until I chose to challenge myself by participating in this contest, which tested me in various subjects, did I truly understand this sentiment.

The math section, while containing no ideas foreign to me, forced me to apply what I did know in efficient and creative ways. Unlike the typical standardized test that simply has the testee ingest information and spew it back out, I needed to find ways to problem solve: a much more valuable skill.

In preparation for the English section of the test, I was tasked with reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Normally, an old-timey classic as such would not be my first choice of literature. As the story teaches us, though, first impressions are often mistaken. In one of the most famous first lines in all of literature, Austen writes, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (Austen 1). By the opening statement, Austen already has the reader, myself included, caught by her subtle wit and satire, the irony here being that it is usually a woman who wants a rich man and not the other way around. Had it not been for this contest, I would have known neither the bright but biased Elizabeth Bennet nor the arrogant Mr. Darcy, nor the transformations each respective character underwent to ensure one of the most fulfilling happily-ever-afters in written work.

This contest has challenged me to problem solve and exposed me to a new side of literature I have never before experienced. Regardless of the physical outcomes of this competition, I am left richer in experience.