I went to "Back to School" night last evening. Man, going back into the high school again really makes me remember tons of feelings of my own. I remember the great teachers that truly inspired me and influenced me in my subsequent decisions of life. I also remember the bad ones who were a waste of time. In one sense I have great appreciation for some of the teachers who really do try daily to "teach". I also have a great animosity for some of the teachers who are there simply "putting in the time". I guess that's true for most professions - it's just obvious with this particular one. You can see it so quickly in a "Back to School" night.
I came home and my son was really struggling with his College Algebra homework. Being the "math whiz" that I am not, but that he thinks that I am (since I have an engineering degree) I eagerly sat down at the table excited to bestow my wisdom onto the next generation... But I got stumped on a few problems and one concept in particular and it bugged me. He could tell I was frustrated. I WAS frustrated! There was no textbook, nor examples - just a list of problems. He could see how I was getting frustrated. I WAS FRUSTRATED! I hated to see his realization that his " Old Man" couldn't help him and he'd have to go in during lunch and actually talk to the teacher.
It bugged me so much that I couldn't sleep. Typically I fall asleep thinking of my angst and my own problems of "the issue" (that is the subject of this blog) and reasoning things out and talking to the Lord about them - or sometimes feeling less inspired and dropping off into a repeat same-gender fantasy of some sort - when last night I had to work out the math problem. I couldn't sleep until I knew the answer! I had to have the answer! And the answer had to be true and right! It was for my son's sake, not mine, and I had to know...
And then it came to me - it was clear - I propped myself up in bed and wrote the solution to the problem in the air above my head. It worked! I slipped quietly downstairs and pulled out his assignment and put pencil to paper so that I wouldn't forget. It was 3AM. I was so excited that "inspiration" had come. I finally went to sleep - and I had no feelings of angstiness or fantasies. All other "issues" seemed to disappear.
Morals of this so profound little story:
1. High school can be really fun, but for the most part, is not a life I would like to repeat.
2. Your "Old Man" knows most of the answers, but not all. Be patient with him as he's trying to do his best.
3. The best inspiration comes at 3AM in the morning.
4. There's nothing like a good math problem to clear the mind of all other "problems" in life.
5. Sometimes our answers come after really sweating over them, and working them out ourselves - without a textbook or example problems - and coming to our own realizations with a little help or inspiration along the way (how does it go: "97% sweat, 3% inspiration"?)
6. Is there a corollary here to how we learn from our eternal "Old Man"?
Happy new school year for those of you returning to the books... Glad it's you and not me!