A step ahead

Seventh grader excels in advanced math

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Photo by Alyssa Kift

Story by Joseph Asher, staff writer

Soaring through his mind are thoughts full of numbers and equations. His eyes scan the board looking for the best way to solve a problem. He is unstoppable as he solves math equations with such precision and speed.

John Thomas Borowitz excels at math because he is taking Algebra II, a high school level course, as a seventh grader, while most students in his grade are in pre-algebra.

He first discovered his mastery of math at a young age and ever since then, he has done nothing but grow.

“When I was about 4 or 5, I discovered I was really good at math,” Borowitz said. “When you were 4 or 5, you did math flashcards, I kinda just figured out I could do them quicker.”

However, being the best at math didn’t mean everything came easy to him. Borowitz experienced his first set of problems in kindergarten.    

“Ever since kindergarten when I was with the second graders, it was difficult,” Borowitz said. “This was mainly because they could all read and write, and I wasn’t at that level of reading and writing.”

Most people give off negative feeling toward math, but math makes Borowitz feel right at home. Solving equations is something that comes naturally to him, almost like a second language.

“Math has always been my favorite subject,” Borowitz said. “It’s the one class that I know I can do my best in, and that’s what really matters to me.”

With everyone expecting him to do his best at math, pressure starts to build.

“Sometimes I feel a little pressure since the kids are a lot older than me,” Borowitz said. “But I’ve gotten used to all the pressure, and I really just do my work and don’t let everything get to me.”

From being in classes with his peers to classes with complete strangers, the transition from middle school to high school is a little rocky.

“It was kind of an odd feeling being in a high school class,” Borowitz said. “I didn’t know but a few people in the class, but Mrs.  Ayers has helped with making it feel easy. Overall, I really like it so far.”

Math is what makes Borowitz who he is, what has shaped his hope to attend Duke University to pursue a career as a math professor.

“For me, math is more than just a school course,” Borowitz said. “It’s like my superpower, and with it, I can do unstoppable things.”