Saturday, March 20, 2004
As Nikki and I are en route to the ice machine, I see Fisherman, an older gentleman, which I had spoken to earlier in the day. Because the weather has now turned a little chilly and it rains a cold rain, Fisherman says that we will talk when I return from the ice machine. I smile and agree as Nikki and I continue on our quest for ice.
While Nikki hobbles and I trudge back up the steps, I look up and notice Fisherman smoking his cigar at the top of the steps. We begin briefly chatting back and forth about his day, his fishing experiences and the NCAA tournament on television tonight. He asks me about our experiences so far in the great town of Padua and I say that it’s been great so far, even if we have not done a lot. He jokingly replies that there is not much to do! I laugh and we continue our chat.
When I tell him that we are communication majors, not mathematics majors, he is surprised. We begin chatting about our mathematical backgrounds and he expresses firm belief that math is important, but not something that he is fond of. He enlightens me as to his educational background. It is an almost sad but rather common story. Fisherman grew up in a small town, Logan, WV and then later transferred schools during his high school years to a larger, more developed school in the state’s capitol (Charleston).
Fisherman remarks that while he was in elementary school and junior high school he did not receive a very good math education in Logan and that when he transferred to the Charleston he was behind the students there. His math teacher did not enable a desire within him to study math. The teacher didn’t seem to work well with his needs nor did Fisherman do well when he tried to catch up on his own.
His beliefs on math education seem to stem from his past where his math teachers did not provide a great background for him. He is intelligent and has a good job as a supervisor at coal mine. Fisherman believes that math is important in his life. He thoroughly loves Padua and will undoubtedly continue his trek in and out Padua till his dying days.