Assalamualaikum, sir.. Sir, I had changed my mind. I don't want to go through the question that i chose just now on "The person that I admired". Here, I wanna go on with the essay on "How an Elderly Person Has Changed My Life". But, I changed it's tittle to "How an Elderly Person Had Changed Alice's Life". Hopefully, you enjoy it! hehe..=) Thank you..

**How an Elderly Person Has Changed Alice’s Life**

“Ring…ring…!” The school bell shrilled. The school sessions had ended. Students began running out of their classrooms. Alice’s Mathematics handsome teacher handed out the marked Mathematics test papers and left the classroom. Alice took a peek at her test paper. A bright red ‘F’ stared back at her. Alice was devastated. She had failed her Mathematics test again. She kept the test paper in her bag and walked out of her classroom. “How can I tell my parents I failed my Mathematics again,” she mumbled to herself. As she was down the stairs, she banged a boy, the top student in their class and his books and files tumbled down. “Hey, don’t you have eyes? Can’t you see me? Huh! Move on!” nagged him while picked them up. Alice said sorry and moved on. She regretted for not focusing as she walked just now.

Alice walked aimlessly down the street, not noticing where she was going. In a blink of eyes, there was a loud honk and she felt herself thrown to the ground. She fell onto the grass kerb. She had inadvertently stepped onto the road. A car had whizzed past, missing her by a whisker. A kind Michael had pushed her to safety. The kind man helped her to her feet and asked, “Are you all right? You walked right into the traffic. Is anything worrying you?” At first Alice shook her head. Then slowly, she took out her Mathematics test paper inked with a bright red ‘F’. “I wasn’t looking where I was going. I was worried about my Mathematics results. I am ashamed …,” Alice said, tears brimming to her eyes, “to show this to my parents.”

The man said kindly, “Well, failing a test isn’t the end of the world. You can try harder. I am sure you will pass the next time.” “But I have failed my Mathematics test three times in row. I have tried to memorize the formulas and worked examples. It just doesn’t work,” said Alice. “Maybe you should try to understand the formulas and equations. Mathematics is not just about memorizing,” the kind man advised. “I will never pass my Mathematics test. Mathematics is weird with all kinds of strange symbols and incomprehensible operations,” Alice ranted. The kind man rummaged in his briefcase and took out a triangular-shaped soft pink paper.

“I think you need a lucky charm. This paper amulet should do the trick. My son used to fail her Mathematics tests too. I gave her one of this amulet and she never faced that problem again. But remember, study hard and try to understand your Mathematics. You will pass your tests,” the kind Michael said. As the Taiwanese saying goes, striving drives us to success. He gave Alice an encouraging smile, handed her the amulet, and walked away. Alice stared at the paper amulet. She unfolded it and saw weird looking characters scribbled with black Chinese ink. She could not figure out the writings. It was Greek to her. Bewildered, Alice walked home. Alice kept the paper amulet in her pocket, hoping it would bring her good luck.

She borrowed many Mathematics books from library. She did her Mathematics exercises. But more essentially, she tried hard to understand the symbols and mathematical operations. Her mathematics teacher was surprised when she asked him for assistance on topics she found difficult to understand. In no time, Alice sat for another mathematics test. To her surprise, she could answer most of the questions. “The paper amulet is indeed a lucky charm,” she said. The amulet never left her pocket since. Alice studied hard and always got good results for her Mathematics examinations.

One Sunday morning, Alice went swimming at a stream near her house. The water was so cool and inviting Alice dived into the stream. She had forgotten to take the paper amulet out from her pocket. When she came out of the water, she suddenly realize her folly. Her paper amulet was dripping wet. She quickly unfolded her paper amulet and was shocked to see black blotches instead of the bizarre writings. The ink had spread. Alice thought, “Surely I will fail my Mathematics test again.” Alice worried all the way home. She did not look where she was going and soon bumped into someone. Alice remembered the boy that scolded her as she banged him last two months. So, she immediately started to apologize, “I am so sorry ….”

She did not finish her sentence. Standing before her was the kind Michael. The man said, “What a coincidence! We meet again. You look worried again. What is the matter?” Alice told him the unfortunate tale. The kind man said sympathetically, “Don’t be sad.” “But what am I to do? Surely I will fail my Mathematics examinations again,” Alice wailed. “But the amulet had nothing to do with your passing the Mathematics examination. It was just a piece of paper with some Chinese calligraphy that my son wrote. I gave it to you just to boost your confidence. You passed your tests because you had worked hard,” the kind man said.

“You have understood your Mathematics and you should not be afraid of the Mathematics examinations,” the kind and wise man continued before hurrying off to catch the oncoming bus. Alice was truly baffled. Should she believe the kind Michael’s words? She would soon discover the answer. She had a Mathematics test the next Monday.

Alice studied hard. During the examination, Alice tried as best as she can. In fact, she never did have the time to think about the amulet. When the results were out, “Wow! My heartiest congratulation to you, Alice,” the arrogant boy said to Alice. He granted Alice a box of Ferrero Rocher with a cute love-shaped card on it and presented her a charming smile. Alice was disbelieved that she had passed with flying colors and scored the highest marks in her class. “Believe the unbelievable, Alice,” said her teacher.

Alice was over the moon. Hard work and determination did bring her success and victory! Now she believed in her own ability. The song ‘I believe I can fly’ best reflected her feelings then.

I believe I can fly

I believe I can touch the sky

I think about it every night and day

Spread my wings and fly away

I believe I can soar

I see me running through that open door

I believe I can fly…

“There miracles in life that I must achieve. But to do that, I must have faith in my own capabilities,” Alice said to herself. As the Japanese saying goes, I must believe that I can succeed if I am to succeed. Alice excelled in her studies, especially in Mathematics. She obtained her Mathematics degree from Harvard University of London. Today, she is an eminent researcher in computational Mathematics, at the pinnacle of success, with many patents to her name. This is how an elderly person, Michael had totally changed Alice’s life.

Nik Aisyah Amalien Nik Mohd Asri

SMKA Naim Lilbanat

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