If you thought the bar was high to get good grades in school, Cedrick Arguetta just raised it way high, like WAY high.
He’s a half Salvadorean, half Filipino 17-year-old from Abraham Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights who was one of 12 students in the world to get a perfect score on his AP Calculus exam. A PERFECT SCORE.
But his calculus smarts didn’t come overnight. “Leading up to the exam we spent about two or three hours every day after school,” he said. That’s like two to three hours too much for us, the mathematically challenged.
And listen to this, he also got a perfect score in the English and math sections of the ACT, a college entrance exam. With that kind of intelligence, we doubt he’ll have a hard time getting into his prefered college, Caltech or getting his dream job at NASA.
Like students around the world, kids in Mexico have been forced to take school online or tune into programming on public TV in order to learn. But that’s just the kids who are lucky enough to have access to Internet or a TV. Many students live in rural areas and lack the adequate resources to continue their studies amid the global pandemic.
But thankfully, there are many good samaritans out there (aka compassionate teachers) who have invented their own ways to bring the classroom to kids wherever they are.
A Mexican teacher was gifted a decked out pickup truck by Nissan.
Since schools were forced to close last year in April, Aguascalientes special education teacher Nallely Esparza Flores, has been driving four hours a day to educate students one-on-one at their homes from her truck bed, outfitted with a small table and chairs.
News of her project spread across social media, eventually reaching the corporate offices of Nissan México. This week, the company surprised Esparza with the gift of a new pickup truck specially outfitted with a small open-air mobile classroom built into the truck’s bed.
“Today I feel like my labors and the help that we give each day to children and their families is unstoppable,” she said on Twitter Wednesday, sharing photos of her new vehicle. “My students no longer have to take classes in the full heat of the sun,” she said.
Nissan representatives said they decided to give Esparza the adapted NP300 model, 4-cylinder truck after hearing her story because she was “an example of perseverance and empathy.”
“When we learned about the incredible work of this teacher, we got together to discuss in what way we could contribute to this noble work,” said Armando Ávila, a vice president of manufacturing.
The mobile classroom is pretty legit and will allow Esparza to continue her good deed.
The decked out Nissan pickup truck has three walls (the other is a retractable sheeting) and a ceiling made with translucent panels to protect teacher and student from the elements while letting in natural light.
It also has retractable steps for easy access to the classroom, electrical connections, a whiteboard and an easily disinfected acrylic table and benches that are foldable into the wall to provide space. The table also has a built-in plexiglass barrier to allow social distancing.
Access to education in Mexico is highly inequitable.
Esparza, like many teachers across the country, found that not all distance learning was equal. Many of her students in Cavillo were from poor families without internet access. So she used social media networks to keep in touch with such students via cell phones, but even that was not necessarily an available option for all — and not ideal. Finally, she decided to solve the problem by hitting the road in her pickup truck.
According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 58% of students in Mexico had a home computer – the lowest percentage among all OECD countries. And only about one third (32%) of the school computers in rural schools in Mexico were connected to the Internet, compared to more than 90% for schools located in urban areas.
A little girl cast as an angel in her very first nativity play is being celebrated by the Internet for flipping off the entire audience for at least 20 minutes. Young Ella made an unforgettable stage debut when she walked out to the stage, sought out to see where her mom was sitting and flipped the bird. “Bless mason and Ella in their school play, it’s just a shame Ella spent the whole time trying to show me she’d hurt her middle finger ????????♀️????????,” Ella’s mom, Carla Bovingdon, shared to Facebook along with the hilarious photos of her angelic daughter. According to Bovingdon, Ella just really likes to show her mom when she’s hurt herself. Once Bovingdon shared the picture of innocence with the Facebook world, little Ella’s debut stage performance went viral.
Now, we’re all hurting with stitches from laughing so hard. ????
The moment Ella walked out onto the stage, she searched the crowd to find her mom and concertedly waved her middle finger in the air for her mom to see.
At first, Bovingdon was horrified and kept asking Ella to put her finger down. “I was thinking, ‘oh god, Ella please stop.’ Because she was doing it so innocently I think most people were thinking, ‘oh bless her,'” Bovingdon told Manchester Evening News. “I was like put ya hand down????????♀️????” Bovingdon later commented on her now-viral Facebook post.
Bovingdon was more embarrassed than amused at first, but after she saw a few people giggling in the audience, she was able to accept that her daughter was not going to let up. “The performance was about half-an-hour long, and I would say 70 percent of it she had her middle finger up. Now after people have had a laugh I can see the funny side of it,” she told the outlet.
All Ella was trying to do was show her mom her “injury.”
“She likes to let me know if she’s at all injured, so she was basically trying to show me what she had done from across the room. It was the tiniest little hangnail as well,” Bovingdon told Manchester Evening News. Later, Bovingdon shared an image of Ella’s tragic injury, saying “This is the tiny cut she was trying to show me ????????♀️????????????.” If you look closely, you see a little bit of redness around Ella’s bird finger cuticle. While Ella just had a hangnail, it’s easy to forget how concerning it probably was the very first time we all had a hangnail or ripped skin around our cuticles. We’ve all become hardened now to the feeling, but Ella was the definition of innocence that night.
At one point, Ella put up two middle fingers just so she could compare her ‘injured’ finger to her other finger.
Little Ella only had eyes for her middle fingers for the duration of the school play. When Ella decided to pull her middle fingers together side by side, essentially becoming the angelic version of Eminem, her mom decided she just had to accept that Ella was going to do what she wanted. At the very least, the nativity scene must have taught Bovingdon the gift of “serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”
“Had to be my kid ????????♀️????” Bovingdon would later comment on social media.
We’re so glad this real-life angel could brighten up so many people’s day.
“Oh my word that is hilarious ????????thank you Ella for cheering up a gloomy Tuesday ????????,” commented one family friend. “This keeps popping up on my feed and I’m literally laughing at it every time ???????????? hilarious,” commented another friend.
The best part about Ella’s stage presence is that, according to her mom, “she was completely oblivious ????.” Her family and friends are suggesting that she hold onto the photos and wait until young Ella is a ripe 18-year-old and can enjoy a proper laugh from her naivete. In the meantime, her mom has tried to convey what it means that she’s gone viral, but she still doesn’t get it. At first, Bovingdon told Manchester Evening News that, Ella “wanted to say thank you to everyone for liking her picture, but then she said, ‘I don’t know what’s funny though’. She doesn’t get what the joke is.”