Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
In the Fifth grade, Benjamin Carson thought he was one of the dumbest kids in his class. His classmates thought he was one of the dumbest, his teacher thought he was one of the dumbest, and he thought he was one of the dumbest. Therefore, when he brought home a report that reflected poor progress, Benjamin was very philosophical about it. He told his mother, “Yah, you know it doesn’t matter very much”.
His mother had a different opinion. Having only a third grade education, Mrs. Carson knew that her children’s only chance to escape poverty was through a good education. Her two boys were not reaching their potential at school, and she knew that if they were going to get a good education, it would have to start at home. She began with three rules. Rule number one, the boys would only be allowed to watch two pre-selected TV shows per week. Rule number two, the two boys would have to finish all their homework before they could watch TV or even play outside. Rule number three, the boys would have to read two books from the library each week and write a book report on each of them.
Benjamin was dismayed at these new rules and tried very hard to talk his mother out of them. She stood firm, and not thinking to disobey his mother, he followed her rules. Before long he saw the fruits of his labor, when he was the only one who knew an answer to a question the teacher asked the class. Then there was a second question only he knew the answer to. His teacher and rest of his classmates were surprised that he knew the correct answer to such hard questions. He was even a little surprised himself, but he knew his knowledge came from the books he was reading. He began to surmise that if he could learn just a few facts from books at the library, he could learn anything.
Benjamin continued on his road of growth and became an academic leader in his school. He had learned to love reading and realized that he could channel that love into learning. He did not let the labels and jeers of others, forever box him into an unproductive and unfulfilling future. Mrs. Carson did not settle for less then her boys were capable of being, she demanded that they take their education seriously and gave them a structured way they could do it. Today Benjamin Carson, the boy who thought he was the dumbest boy in his 5th grade class, is a world famous surgeon at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland.
What was Benjamin’s first reaction to his mother’s rules?
How did Mrs. Carson help her sons realize their true potential?
What was the incident that made Benjamin’s teachers realize his true potential?
What is the tone of the passage?
Why did Benjamin’s mother insist so much on proper education for her sons?