Today was the last day of school, and the end-of-year assembly. Marcus took a starring role, going up for three different presentations. I wasn't there, to my regret, so I am piecing this together from Elf's and Marcus's descriptions.
He was called up to get a certificate and medal for the UNSW Maths Competition. He always does very well, and was awarded a little medal last year - this year it's a whopper, about 8cm across, in a plush case. Again, we don't exactly know what it means, but it looks pretty special!
On his way back to his seat Andrew Wilkie MHR winked at him.
Next there were prizes awarded to the students who, across the school, demonstrated the highest achievements in Sports, Art, and Music. Then a Powerpoint slide went up for "Academic Achievement", listing all the prizes gained by this individual this year. They went on and on - Elf thought "maybe this is more than one person".
Then the principal did the big reveal - "Marcus Rees!" He went up and didn't grandstand (like Michael would have) but neither was he bashful. Elf says it's clear from the reception he got that he is well liked by everyone - which is my impression too. He was given a certificate and a $50 bookshop voucher donated by Rotary. He has stated his intent to get a couple of books and spend the rest on lollies, showing he has a bit to learn about bookshops.
Elf was bursting with pride. When she got back to work she related the events to her kind and thoughtful workmate Ange, who also felt very proud and in fact went straight out and brought Marcus five bags of lollies.
I took him for a lime spider after school - (it really is hard not to reward kids with sugar). I told him I was very proud too, and thought it was terrific that although he is naturally talented in quite a few areas, he always works so hard at everything he does.
I am harsh on him sometimes - he is the kind of gifted kid that gets over-excited quite easily, and his manic voices and fidgeting do wear thin. I yell, regularly.
But he is so clever. He has just taken to the piano so easily - his handful of tunes get a little repetitive but he plays them differently every time. He burns through books - he literally finishes them off faster than if they were consumed by flames. He does not have Michael's eerily photographic memory, but he does remember the things he reads, so he is a walking encyclopedia of history and has very good general knowledge.
So, in closing … Marcus Rees. I'm a big fan.