About half-way through the meal, he said,
“I don’t know what the big deal is. All they give you is a piece of paper.”
We suspected he didn’t really mean it, but talked about how important recognition is, praised him, and continued our meal.
When we walked in, the huge auditorium was already brimming with excitement. The students were a little more dressed up than usual, and the parents were beaming.
You wouldn’t see as many cameras poised to flash, click, and whirr at a Presidential photo-op.
When our son got his first piece of paper, I clapped and his father clicked. When he got the second, I cheered and his father clicked again.
Then it was time for the best piece of paper of all, the one my son wanted most.
My heart pounded as the administrator said something like this:
“This award goes to a distinguished student who excels in mathematics, someone who enjoys the logic of math, and who shares his knowledge with others. This award goes to an eighth grader…”
My pulse slowed. My son sat quietly for a moment. Then he leaned over and whispered, “I’m gonna get that reward when I’m in eighth grade.”
My son went home with two wonderful pieces of paper and a new goal.
What do you do with the paper in your office?