Student Testimonials Vol. 15
How Kumon Shaped Me…
Rizza Mae Tan
This progression of self-learning slowly shaped me into becoming a better individual.
- 8 years old (Grade 2)
I was NOT an instant success.
And the other awardees and completers were also NOT an overnight production of all centers in the Philippines. We have trudged on, journeyed along the hard, winding Kumon road to make it here. Some took five years, even ten. I did it in seven.
“Kennin-fubatsu” is the Japanese word for perseverance. There is no other word to describe the journey.
I started the Math Program at the age of eight, in the summer of 2003. I knew it was something I could never learn to love nor be ecstatic about because while others were having fun, I, a second grader at that time, needed to contend with numbers. Poor me! I found myself wondering why I was enrolled in Kumon. However, after months of going to the center and doing my worksheets, my grades improved immensely. THAT made sense to me! I must admit, Kumon was really helping me. Sometimes, I got weary of having to correct my mistakes over and over again, but those mistakes motivated me to strive harder. Looking back, I remember the satisfaction I felt whenever I saw a big red circle drawn on my worksheets, and seeing how much all my hard work was paying off. “Nanakorobiyaoki” – I stumbled seven times but recovered eight.
I learned the value of discipline and patience. I used to be hopelessly frustrated whenever I had to repeat things. But my long stay in Kumon made me realize the value behind those repetitions even if in the beginning, they could really be so boring. Doing advanced work gave me confidence, especially when I got to be among my class’ top students.
It was an advantage I used to help my classmates tackle difficult assignments.
Kumon taught me endurance, fortitude, hard work, and appreciation for what I have. I learned to take smaller, achievable steps to reach my goals. I went back to the dreams I have abandoned in my younger years because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. Today, after the skills I have acquired, there will be no unreachable star, no more impossible dream. I know I can become whatever I set my heart to do. After college, I want to be a successful businesswoman owning restaurants and clothing stores. I also want to tutor kids who need special assistance. Or maybe, I can be all three!
To end my piece, let me quote Johann von Goethe, “There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance. Strength is the lot of but a few privileged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly with time.”
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