The Missing Student
Sometimes Artem had problems when his classes where held on Sabbath. Some of his teachers were understanding about him not coming to school on that day, but others were not.
Artem was an excellent student, and he liked going to school. He had many friends and would often help those who were struggling with their lessons. Sometimes, though, Artem had problems when his classes where held on Sabbath. Some of his teachers were understanding about him not coming to school on that day, but others were not.
One year he had some problems with his English class. There was a big test that all students had to take at the beginning of the year so that they would be placed into the right class level. Unfortunately the test was given on Sabbath. When Artem came to school on Monday, the director assigned him to a class without testing his English ability.
The class met two times a week—on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Artem tried to be assigned to a class that didn’t meet on Sabbath, but every time he tried to explain the problem, the teacher would say, “This is school. You have to be here. You have a class, you are a student, and you must be in your English class on your assigned days.” Then she simply walked away.
Artem kept coming to class on Tuesdays and missing class on Sabbath. Whenever there was a test on Tuesday he did very well, but when it was on Sabbath, he failed because he was not allowed to make it up.
Even though it was discouraging, Artem didn’t give up. He kept praying about the situation and decided to try approaching his teacher again.
“Please, let me explain,” he told her.
This time something was different. This time she was willing to listen.
“Ok, what’s the reason for not coming to class on Saturdays?”
“It’s a religious reason, ma’am.”
The teacher’s face softened. “Oh, that’s good,” she said. “I thought that you were just trying to show everyone how good you are by only coming to class half of the time.”
“I’m not supposed to help you,” she continued, “because this is school—it’s not a religious place. It’s a secular place. But . . . when tests are on Saturday, you can take your test with a different group on another day.”
Artem was so happy! Now he wouldn’t have to miss any more tests. Even though he could only be in class on Tuesdays, God blessed him, and he finished with the top grade.
Since that time, Artem has graduated from Kazan State University. He now works as a computer scientist in geographic information systems, where he is a cartographer (a person who makes maps).