After the midterm test, the students of JS 1B changed entirely academically. They make less noise also. They now behaved themselves and listen attentively in class when a teacher is teaching. Ayomide wasn’t an exception, she took to her studies like never before especially when she has come to know that she would representing her class in the coming mathematics competition. She tried as much as she could to solve any mathematics problem she encountered
. If she’s unable to solve any, she either seek assistance from Mr. Dammy or Bayo. She sometimes go to Funmi in JS 1 A who is also good at solving mathematics problem.
It was during break in school one afternoon when she walked up to Bayo who was leaning on the railings on the second floor.
“Senior Bayo, good afternoon”, she greeted.
“Afternoon Ayomide, another problem right?” He responded and queried at the same time.
“Yes”, Ayo replied. “Sorry to bother you”.
“Oh! It’s nothing. Anything for my little sister”, he said jokingly and collected the textbook from her. He studied the question for a while and started writing in a piece of paper Ayo had given to him along with the textbook. He was explaining to her while solving but Ayo’s mind was far away
. Her mind drifted to the first time she went to meet him for assistance on a mathematics problem.
That fateful day, a day after Mr. Dammy told her she would be representing JS 1B in the coming mathematics quiz. Bukky had persuaded her to go to Bayo for assistance if she was going to win the quiz. She had agreed after much persuasion owing to the fact that Bukky had told her Bayo won the just concluded State Mathematics Olympiad. Bukky had also told her he won the school mathematics quiz for 3 consecutive times right from JS 1 to 3. ‘He is a genius’, Bukky had stated. Ayo had even gone to the school’s hall of fame to confirm and to her suspicion Bukky was right. He was indeed a genius. Ever since, they became closer. Their relationship is like that of siblings. Bukky was left out in the friendship as she was the one who brought them closer. The trio became jolly friends.
* * * * *
“She is not here yet”, was the first thing Bayo said when he entered Mrs. Cole sitting room. “That lazy girl”, he was referring to Bukola.
“Is that how to greet?” Ayo joked.
“That’s no way to talk to your senior”, Mrs. Cole scolded, coming out from the bedroom having heard Bayo’s voice.
“Good afternoon Ma”, Bayo greeted bending a little as a sign of respect.
“How are you?”
“I’m fine ma”, Bayo responded.
“How about your Dad?”
“He’s fine. He said he would be here by 3 PM to pick you up”.
“Alright then, just what I wanted to know”, She smiled and left.
“Since Bukky is not here yet, we have to wait”, Bayo suggested after Mrs. Cole left.
“Of course, we have to”, Ayo replied.
“Do you think you can win this mathematics quiz?” Bayo asked all of a sudden.
“Yes, she can”, Bukky answered as she join them in the sitting room. “She will. Don’t doubt her”.
“What makes you think so?” Bayo queried.
“Because I believe in her”.
“That’s not reason enough”, Bayo probed further.
Ayomide just watched as they talked about her at though she was not present in the room. “You both realize I’m right here with you”, she said waving both hands.
“You know nothing. Those students in JS 3 are geniuses when it comes to solving math problem”, Bayo attired argued further ignoring Ayo. “Especially that short boy. What’s his name again o?”
“Oh! Emmanuel. That one? He’s just a walk over”, Bukky said and hissed afterwards. She so much believe in Ayomide. “I heard he’s one of those representing the school in the State Mathematics Olympiad coming January”.
“Yes that’s true”, Bayo replied.
. “It’s because you don’t know him, that’s why you are taking like this. He has won the annual Mathematics quiz twice already and this year, he’s aiming to win it for the third time just like I did”, Bayo said proudly.
“That’s because he has not competed with Ayo”, Bukky boasted. “Just wait and see”
“Can we study please”, Ayo said feeling irritated. “Senior Bayo, you should know that Bukky will not stop discussing this issue unless you do”.
“Okay, I give in. Let’s study”, Bayo agreed with Ayo. He knew quite alright that Bukky won’t give up no matter what he said to prove her wrong. She could argue all-day nonstop.
“Finally! Somebody decides to have sense”, Ayo exclaimed and sighed.
“So you mean I don’t have sense abi?” Bukky said and hit Ayo playfully. “Look at the person I’m supporting self. Nonsense pikin”.
Bayo couldn’t help but laugh. The three of them burst into a roar of laughter. Both Ayo and Bukky joined in.
*Annual Mathematics Quiz*
Finally, the day has come for the mathematics competition in Nightingale Academy. Of all the 6 participating students, only Ayomide was visibly nervous. She had no idea why. Maybe, it’s because this was her first time participating in a mathematics only competition or not believing in herself.
Ayo was with her classmates when the quiz master called her name. She became more nervous
. She started to fidget. She seemed scared.
“You can do this, Ayo”, one of Ayo’s friend encouraged.
“Don’t be scared”, another said.
“Ayo, don’t put us to shame. Go there and make us proud”, Bukky added.
“I believe in you, Ayomide Cole”, it was Bayo’s voice. Just as if Ayo was waiting for Bayo to speak, she dashed out and took her seat on the podium set for the contestants. All participating students are seated according to their contestant number. The quiz master recalled the name just to ensure they are seated according to their contestant number.
“Contestant one”, he called. “Funmilayo Ogunbiyi, JS 1A”
“Two, Ayomide Cole, JS 1B”
“Three, Bidemi Gbadamosi, JS 2A”
“Four, Daniel Chisom, JS 2B”
“Five, Emmanuel George, JS 3A and finally contestant six, Aduragbemi Sodipe, JS 3B”.
“Last year’s winner, Emmanuel George and runner up Bidemi Gbadamosi are also here on stage. Will the youngsters in JS 1 be given a chance this year? Let’s see if Emmanuel will win the title of ‘Outstanding mathematics student of the year’ for third time”, the quiz master announced
. “Before I forget, we also have Aduragbemi Sodipe, the second runner up from last year. She was also the runner-up during her first year as a JS 1 student. Let’s see if she can beat Bidemi to it this year”.
The principal gave the opening speech. In his speech he stated the purpose of the competition which is to encourage the students and give them insight of what to expect in the State Mathematics Olympiad.
“There are three stages in this competition”, the quiz master took the microphone once again. “In each stage, 10 questions are asked from each contestants and a point is awarded for each correct answer provided.
. In the first stage, two contestants will be disqualified while in the second stage, one more would be disqualified. At the final stage, the remaining three contestants battles until a wrong answer is given by two of them. Then and there, the first, second and third position would be announced”, he explained.
“Are you all ready?” the quiz master asked and the contestants answered positively. “Okay, Contestant one, your question”.
… And so the quiz began.
“Mr. Dammy do you think she can progress past the first stage”, a female teacher seated beside Mr. Dammy on the high table asked.
“Who?” Mr. Dammy asked feigning ignorance.
“Ayo of course”, Mrs. Folarin replied.
“I believe in her. Let’s leave who progress and who won’t to the judges to decide”.
Mrs. Folarin did not believe for a second that Ayo would progress past the first stage but to talk if winning. She believed Emmanuel will win it for the third consecutive time just like majority of the teachers and students of the school.
After about an hour, the first stage came to an end.
“Here are the points after the first stage”, the quiz master announced.
“Funmilayo Ogunbiyi 7 points, Ayomide Cole 6 points, Bidemi Gbadamosi 9 points, Daniel Chisom 5 points, Emmanuel George 10 points, Aduragbemi Sodipe 6 points”
“Now we shall advance to the tie break round between Ayomide Cole and Aduragbemi Sodipe”, the quiz master announced after reading out the points.
Share your opinion on who you think will qualify?