Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Tour Bus

I went to a very prestigious university. One that prides itself on the rigor of its academics. And on its basketball team---but that is not the point of this post--not really.

While I was a freshman at this university, I signed up for math. I faithfully showed up at my class with a professor whose home language was not English.  His accent was thick. And I STRUGGLED to understand anything he said. I was so upset over this because already I wasn't good at math, and then to have a teacher whom I couldn't understand---I was doomed. (I find it extremely funny that I never thought I was good at math when I was younger and now I am a math teacher!!!<----- find="find" funny="funny" i="i" if="if" my="my" nbsp="nbsp" of="of" p="p" parents="parents" students="students" the="the" this="this" wonder="wonder" would="would">
Anyway, I had a made friends with a pretty good (and popular) athlete that year and as I came back to my dorm and the cafeteria after class, he was sitting at a table eating and waved me over. Almost in tears, I told him my story. He got so excited. He said, "Come with me to math this afternoon. I have the BEST math teacher. It will be hard to get into his class because it fills up quickly, but I will put in a good word for you."

So off I went. I sat in on the class with my friend and his other friends....these guys....

Literally,  as I sat down by my friend, there were legs everywhere.  Legs of these basketball players.  I was sort of in awe--you know my love of this sport!  :)  Anyway, back to math...

This professor said (and I quote), "We are going to go on a tour bus of math.  In other classes, you might get off the bus and really dig down deep to find the answers.  But here, we are going to stay on the bus and drive by those sights and snap pictures.  We won't go as deep as other classes but we will learn a lot, I promise."  (I know, you might be wondering about rigor here...just smile and go with me...)

I got into the class.  And math was never so easy to understand.  This professor was a great teacher.  He had a great sense of humor too.  I blew off a study session for a test and ended up failing the test.  I wrote on the bottom of my test (and I quote...as this is one of my finest moments), "At the last rest area, I got off the bus to go to the bathroom and you left without me.  I have been trying to catch up ever since." 

He gave me an A for artistic flair and and F on my test.  BUT he did let me drop that test (a policy he did not allow in his class) and count my final for 2/3 of my grade. 

I have told that story a lot over the years. It is a favorite of my husband's.  He is an engineer.  No, not a train engineer.  The kind of engineer that works with numbers all day long...big numbers in hard equations with letters thrown in there for fun.  Then he takes those equations and builds things with them.  Like real buildings, roads, bridges.  He LOVES to tell this story.  It drives him nuts that our children think I am a math guru because I TEACH math...I see it going over and over in his mind, "But you took the tour bus!"

Sunday night I started a six week Beth Moore Bible Study on Deuteronomy.  Beth Moore started out the video saying that she did not do an deep study because she didn't feel like that was what God had called her to---so she was releasing her first six week study--this one.   Imagine my sheer joy and DELIGHT when I read this at the beginning of the study: "Rather than take a true journey through the Book of Deuteronomy (the ideal), we're going to embark together on more of a scenic bus tour." (emphasis mine)

I knew, immediately, that this was meant for me!!  I mean, who doesn't like a tour bus that plans an amazing trip?!?!  :)

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1 comment:

  1. God's sweetness to you!

    And, why didn't you tell ME about that math class?!?!? Freshman calculus did me in. MWF 8am. Killed me and made me hate math forever. I missed high school math so much.