Who would have ever believed that he, Yitzy Levinson, the boy who never paid attention in class, could have done such a thing?
As he handed in his math test, Yitzy was in a panic. He simply had to know if he got a hundred or not. He took a deep breath. He was pretty sure he had done well on the test, but doing well wasn’t enough. In order to win the building, he needed to get 100 percent, and nothing less. It usually took a few days for Mr. Goldfarb to grade and return tests. Yitzy knew that if he had to wait a few days to find out his mark he would go crazy. He had to speak to his teacher.
The bell rang. School was over. As the all the other boys filed out of the classroom, Yitzy headed to his teacher’s desk.
Mr. Goldfarb was busy straightening out a big pile of test papers. Yitzy didn’t know what to say, so he just stood there silently, watching Mr. Goldfarb pick up the papers and put them in his briefcase.
It took Mr. Goldfarb a few seconds to notice Yitzy standing there watching him.
Mr. Goldfarb smiled. “Hello, Mr. Levinson,” he said. “Congratulations. I heard you won the Mishnayos competition.”
Yitzy smiled back at his teacher. “Thank you, Mr. Goldfarb,” he answered. Then he went back to quietly watching his teacher pack up his things.
Mr. Goldfarb stopped what he was doing and looked at Yitzy. He couldn’t understand why his student was standing silently next to him, watching him pack up. “Mr. Levinson,” he began, “is there something I can help you with?”
“Yes, there is,” Yitzy answered.
Mr. Goldfarb waited for Yitzy to speak. Unfortunately, Yitzy did not say another word. He just stood there staring at the briefcase with the test papers inside it.
Mr. Goldfarb noticed what Yitzy was staring at. Suddenly, it became clear to him what was on Yitzy’s mind.
“Are you worried about your math grade?” he asked.
Yitzy’s head bobbed up and down wildly. He was very worried about his test grade. That grade was the most important test score of his life.
Mr. Goldfarb looked at Yitzy Levinson. He had been teaching for many years, and had many students, but never had he taught a boy quite like this. Many of the boys he had taught did not care about their test grades. Many of the boys he taught had cared very much about their test grades. Never had he had a student who cared so little about his grade for most of the year, and then suddenly during the last few weeks of the year, his grade became extremely important to him.
Mr. Goldfarb looked into Yitzy’s eyes. He could see how anxious the boy was about his test score.
“Okay, Yitzy,” he sighed. “Bli neder I will make sure to grade your test tonight. I will give you your grade tomorrow.”
Yitzy breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thank you,” he said.
As he walked out of yeshivah, his head felt like it was spinning. On the one hand, the Mishnayos competition was over, and he had won. That was incredibly good news. Who would have ever believed that he, Yitzy Levinson, the boy who never paid attention in class, could have done such a thing?
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 770)
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