Ms. Barnes had no enthusiasm or passion for algebra, but even worse was how she assessed us on the material. We took tests in groups, with no measures to be sure that everyone participated. Some tests were open note and open book, which doesn’t test your knowledge on anything. I found myself dreading math, a subject I had loved for years.
On the contrary, the best educational experience I have ever had was Chemistry II with Mr. Ferrin that same semester. I despised my first chemistry class in high school and Ferrin’s Chem II class had a reputation of being the hardest class at Century. Ferrin assigned tons of homework every night and expected your best work on every assignment, which lead to the reputation. However, he was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about chemistry. I found myself enjoying my homework and even smiling during quizzes (causing the quote in the title). Ferrin earned the respect of every student and controlled the classroom. Mr. Ferrin’s passion for chemistry is the reason I am majoring in Chemical Engineering.
Looking back on that semester, I am amazed that one man and his class completely changed the direction of my academic life.