Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mrs. Gemrotova

Whew! I just returned from my last Math tutoring session before I take the SATs for the second time on Saturday. Ever since I got a 420 on the Math section, my goal has been to yank that thing up to at least a 500.

SO, this summer my dad asked the math teacher at the high school where he works (BMA) if she would be willing to tutor me in math. She was willing. So once or twice a week we met and practiced math for two hours at a time. Things were slightly complicated because Mrs. Gemrotova does not speak a word of English and I had to translate every single problem into Czech. BUT we stuck it out.

The whole experience has been super important to me, not only because I believe I have become a better mathematician (we will see on Saturday), but also because of Mrs. Gemrotova, my teacher. I must tell you about her.

Mrs. G is an older lady, but she has so much energy. After two hours of math she is still raring to go on indefinitely, whereas I am wilting. This may be because she is addicted to coffee. Before every lesson she offers me tea or coffee, and then jokingly remarks that she absolutely must have coffee, because she just loves it so much.

Almost everything she owns is red; from her lipstick to her little red car to the sweatshirt she wears on Sundays. But even more striking than her love of red is her goodness. You know how you discover someone's true character when you see them in a trying situation? Well, I can assure you that for any math teacher, I Lucy, am a trying situation! I have always struggled in math, but moving to the Czech Republic has just set me even farther back, and going to an art high school doesn't help.

So Mrs. G has had so many opportunities to be frustrated with me, but she never is. If I get completely lost during a problem on say, functions (my ultimate downfall) instead of giving me up as hopeless, she pauses, says,"OK. I see that we need to approach this from a different angle." If I forget that rule about exponents for the millionth time, instead of whacking me on the head and rolling her eyes, she smiles as if we are sharing a joke and tells,"Lucy, this rule is still the same as it was yesterday." Towards the end of to hours she sees my eyes glazing over and motivates me to hang on for the last few minutes. And if I do get something right, she says,"Lucy, I really like the way you went about this problem."

She spends every night before our lessons going over the points where I am still unsure. She sacrifices her Sunday mornings and her vacation days to help me. In addition to all this, she refuses to be paid. In my life right now there is no better allegory of Jesus. She has His patience and His loving yet firm teaching style. And just like with Jesus, I have no way to ever repay Mrs. Gemrotova. I pray that she will know one day what this summer of grueling math has meant to me.

P.S. Please pray that I do well on the SATs Saturday the 6th. Thanks!

In fact she refused to be payed!

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