I was in tenth grade when my world history teacher asked the class a question. We were going over the Roman Empire, which I liked studying about, so I knew the answer. The question was, “What did the Roman motto SPQR stand for?” A few people made guesses that were wrong, and after that it got quiet. After a minute or two I realized that we weren’t moving on until someone answered the question correctly, and that I was the only one who knew what the answer was. So I raised my hand, and the teacher asked me if I knew what it was. I told him, “SPQR was Latin for Senatus Populusque Romanus, and it meant The Senate and People of Rome.” He said that I was correct, and then we went on with class.

I remember my classmates just looking at me and I swore I could hear them all thinking the same two things. First, “How did he know that?” And, “Of course he would know that.” At first I felt embarrassed because I had shown everyone up, including the other two of the three smartest people in class. But then I realized I had nothing to be embarrassed about. I had answered the question correctly, and helped get the class going smoothly once again so that we could continue to learn. Thinking back on it, I realize that what I did was the right thing, because we needed to hurry the class up so that we could get through the subject and work on the next topic.