The Words of a Math Professor

By Vic Odarve

Like the ghostly particles neutrinos that are able to oscillate – flip from one type to another – during flight to the earth from the sun; words of a math professor do also change the behavior of the students, pierce their hearts and minds, and bring power and wisdom.

At Classroom

At Classroom

 The words of the math professor really change the student’s behavior. It was the start of the semester. The room was crowded with 450 students. A big class size to handle! A little bit noisy! After writing on the board on a course and its outlines and some brief introduction, classroom discussion started. With my thundering voice, I reminded the class with this statement, “There is no way to pass this course except to study your lessons!” The noise subsided! Silence engulfed the class. They felt a new class environment! And maybe some feared for the unknown because of the telling words. A new sense of environment for they felt the tough times ahead!

 That’s how our first day of the class started. Catching the attention and stern warning for those unwary! This telling introduction meant that grades are to be earned and not just to be given by other means. First impression lasts! It

African Professors on Tour

African Professors on Tour

really changes their behavior.

The spoken words seemed piercing the student’s heart and mind. A day after the opening of the class, one student who wore an Igbo dress (native Nigerian) visited my office trying to learn more on the course. “Sir, I have poor knowledge in my previous course and I find difficulty on this course Calculus, what shall I do?”He was very serious and seemed to be afraid on my introduction. He looked worried and told me he was about to drop the course. Then I told him” Don’t be absent in the class. Just follow up the lessons and study your notes daily. Make it a habit and surely you will pass!”

After a few minutes of silence, he stood up with head low, thinking deeply and went out at my office without a word. So, be it!

Caritas University Professors with Students

Caritas University Professors with Students

The words of the math professor also carry powers and wisdom. Teachers are second parents for the university students. Their words carry powers that influence the lifestyle of the students. Much more if you are an expat lecturer! African college students’ love expatriates!

Gifted lecturers sometimes work like dictators. Their words are treated like coming from God. Hitler, Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito did the same thing. They had been revered by youths during their times because their words had a power of persuasion! Their remarkable speeches catapulted them into power. They heightened the population’s nationalism!

Jesus, too, spoke words with too much power and wisdom that even fisherman Andrew with his brother Simon and tax collector Matthew left their jobs and followed him without any second thoughts. Even in synagogues, learned theologian listened to his teaching attentively. Others just listened and watched an error or mistakes against the Roman laws on his teachings in order to become a ground for his arrest. And they found nothing! His words bring new hope and new life for the sinners. The wisdom that his words offer to his listeners is endlessly repeated for many generations. He is what He claimed to be! Jesus is God! He is supernatural and his words will last forever even to the ends of the earth!

So, what about my student who came to my office? Truly, he did follow my advice. I saw him sitting silently in front of the class. I knew he was studying hard at the student’s quarter. During the end semester final exam, he was one of the top 5 performing students posted in my blogs. When I met him, he was grinning from ear to ear!

His dream comes true. Indeed, words of a math professor do influence the behavior during the start of the class, pierce their hearts and minds, and bring power and wisdom to the students.

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