Genius Fundamentals - Chapter 20
Short tables and chairs, a clean blackboard. Air smelling faintly of books. It had been a long time since Lin Zhao Xi had sat down in class at eight in the morning, she felt a little nostalgic.
She rubbed a twenty-cent coin in her palm, then stuffed it in her pocket, and looked out the window. To the northeast was Zhuan Zhu Lane, but she couldn’t go to Old Lin yet, because she was now Little Zhaoxi and had to go to school properly.
It was 8:20, and only half of the students had arrived for the Mathematical Olympiad class.
After scanning the classroom, she flipped through her Olympiad textbook, ready to prep ahead for what she was going to learn in class, but mainly to find out what it felt like to be an honors student.
The last lesson was about flowing boats, and the next would be about flowing boats too…
Hands on her textbook, the thumb turning the pages suddenly paused.
Two pages in, Little Zhaoxi, wrote in a crooked font.
1. Finish the flowing boat exercises after the first class.
2. Think about an additional question.
3. Send the sign-up sheet next class, and make sure you pass the exam!
She rested her chin and looked at the childish font that belonged to her, the exclamation mark glowing under the sunlight.
She’d never actually been this driven as a child, thought Lin Zhao Xi.
The thought of really wanting something, accomplishing something, never occurred.
She sat like that for a while, until someone sat down next to her and elbowed her, knocking the hand that was holding her head. She stumbled in her seat, turned her head, and saw a plump little kid.
The kid had a big face and small eyes, like a white bun dotted with two black beans. He was staring at her angrily as if she would be done for if she crossed the 38th Parallel* between their desks again, so cute.
*38th Parallel: the military demarcation line between North and South Korea, 38 degrees north of the Earth’s equatorial plane.
Lin Zhaoxi reached out her hand and cupped the child’s cheek. There was a bruise there. She hit it yesterday.
Yes, that’s right, the student who had been selected for the Olympiad class along with her in Red Star Elementary School’s tenth fifth-grade class was Lu Zhihao, the homeroom teacher’s son and Little Zhaoxi’s number one enemy.
She smiled and greeted him, extending her hand for a shake, “Lu Zhihao, you’re here.”
Lu Zhihao The Kid perked up and slapped her hand away, “You’re insane!”
“Psycho, it’s not a crime to hit you.” Lin Zhaoxi quietly said, turning her head to flip through the book.
“Parentless psychopath!” Lu Zhihao blew up and yelled at her.
The classroom suddenly went quiet.
“Lu Zhihao!” On the podium was the teacher who had just entered the room, pale and furious.
Lin Zhaoxi looked up sharply. She wanted to tease Lu Zhihao, but his mother suddenly appeared.
Lu Zhihao’s mother, Mrs. Xu, put aside the textbooks and the stack of graded exercise sheets in her arms and stomped on her heels to their tables.
Lin Zhaoxi reckoned that if she was at home, Little Lu’s butt would have blossomed. But they were in the classroom, and Mrs. Xu had to keep up appearances for her son’s sake.
“Apologize to Lin Zhaoxi.” Mrs. Xu’s eyes were cold and serious.
Lu Zhihao was shocked. His frightened eyes reddened. He reluctantly turned his head and sobbed, “I’m… I’m sorry…”
“Your schoolmate’s background is not a reason for you to mistreat her.” Mrs. Xu concluded. She was also speaking to the rest of the class.
Lin Zhao Xi pursed her lips, she was actually a bit upset when Lu Zhihao said that just now.
But not at all now.
It was the second lesson on flowing boats. At the heart of all flowing boat problems were two formulas.
Downstream (speed) = boat speed + water speed
Upstream (speed) = boat speed – water speed
Lin Zhao Xi had learned what Mrs. Xu was lecturing about on the podium ten years ago. At that time, she thought that the lesson was complicated, and the speed of a boat going downstream or upstream was particularly hard, but now that she was learning it again, it was all clear.
That was not to say her IQ was any greater than when she was in fifth grade. What differed was her ability to understand the problem.