Math Survival Guide: I Was a Mathphobe! 07

:: I Was a Mathphobe!
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"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

          I leaned over and whispered to the student next to me, “Last semester? 

Do you know what he’s doing?”  She quickly shook her head, “No.”  She had

the same horrified “deer caught in the headlights” look on her face that I did.


          The teacher was in rare form that day, my friend – all hopped up on

coffee and donuts and covered from head to toe with chalk dust…  “And you

remember this type of linear blah-blah whose graph is clearly blah blah

blah…”  “Clearly.”  Uh… Yeah.  Good thing I had the Rolaids with me.  This

guy was a major grouch who obviously had some sort of deficient childhood. 

Yes, he had scared the living crud out of me.


          After class, the other clueless student and I cautiously approached him –

much like one would approach a live grenade or a baby that was accidentally

fed chili.  We got our nerve up and told him that we hadn’t taken any math the

previous semester and that we didn’t recognize anything he had just done on

the chalkboard.  He gruffly told us that we’d never be able to pass and that we

should drop the class.  He wasn’t exactly kind about it.  I think his exact

response was, “You’re going to fail this class.  Get out!”  OK, maybe it wasn’t

that bad.

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