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LOS ANGELES — My daughter has to do an individual oral presentation for her second-grade class every other week.

This week, she needs to read a biography and then share insight into why that person is important and worth studying. She picked an autobiography by Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a shark attack at 13 but persevered to achieve her dream of becoming a professional surfer.

The instructions for the oral presentation include boxes to mark the person’s accomplishments. My daughter gushed that Hamilton fit almost every category besides the simple one of “sports”…things like “leadership,” “new ideas,” “being first,” and the one she ultimately marked with the biggest check:


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