A ten year old public school boy was finding fifth grade mathematics to be the challenge of his life. Science? Piece-of-cake. Geography? No big deal. Spelling? Ha! You gotta be kidding me... but Math? Oohh, devastating!!! Not only to him, but his mum and dad too!! It's not that they weren't doing everything and anything to help their son. Private tutors, peer assistance, CD-ROMs, textbooks, even hypnosis! Nothing worked.
Finally, at the insistence of a relative, they decided to enroll their son in a private school. Not just ANY private school, but a Catholic school (with Nuns, weekly mass).
Well, the first day of school finally arrived, and dressed in his salt and pepper cords and white wool dress shirt and blue cardigan sweater, the youngster ventured out into the great unknown. His mother and father were convinced they were doing the right thing.
They were both there waiting for their son when he returned home. When he walked in with a stern, focused and very determined expression on his face, they hoped that they had made the right decision. He walked past right them, and went straight to his room - quietly closed the door.
For nearly two hours, he toiled away in his room - with math books strewn about his desk and the surrounding floor. He only emerged long enough to eat, and after quickly cleaning his plate, he went straight back to his room, closed the door, and worked feverishly at his studies until bedtime. This pattern continued ceaselessly until it was time for the first quarter report card.
After school, the boy walked into the house with his report card - unopened - in his hand. Without a word, he dropped the envelope on the family dinner table, and went straight into his room. His parents were petrified. What lay inside of the envelope? Success? Failure? DOOM??!!
Patiently, cautiously, the mother opened the envelope, and to her amazement, she saw a bright red 'A' under the subject, MATH. Overjoyed, she and her husband rushed into their son's room, thrilled at the remarkable progress of their young son!
"Was it the nuns that did it?" the father asked. The boy only shook his head and said, "No."
"Was it the one-on-one tutoring? The peer mentoring?" asked the mother. Again the boy shrugged, "No."
"The textbooks? The teacher? The curriculum?" asked the father.
"Nope," said his son. "It was all very clear to me from the very first day of school, that these folks in Catholic school meant business!"
"How so?" asked his mom.
"When I walked into the lobby on the first day, the first thing I saw was that guy they'd nailed to the plus sign!"