As an academician, I think Mathematics is an intriguing and absorbing science. However, many of my students consider it an abstract science and they hate it because the equations are too difficult to absorb and to remember. I think my students would laugh if they knew how I became so interested in Math.
When I was a freshman in college, I also believed Math was a mere abstraction. Studying it was like falling into a spinning abyss of numbers and symbols. Just thinking about it seemed like an abuse of my brain. However, my entire tuition was financed by an academic scholarship, so I had to maintain high marks in all of my classes, including Math.
My most abstruse class was Advanced Calculus Mathematics. It was taught in a large lecture hall which abutted the North access gate of the University. Unlike the many absentees in my class who often abstained from attending the boring lectures, I dared not absolve myself from this responsibility. Any degree of absenteeism would probably cause me to fail Math and to lose my scholarship. I was so afraid of failing that I even pledged abstinence from my abundant supply of alcohol.
It wasn’t until the fourth week of Math class that I met the wonderful person who would accelerate my interest and understanding of this absurd subject. She was a foreign exchange student from Beijing. She was also a brilliant mathematician. She would come to class everyday in a colorful silk scarf that accentuated her lovely smile.
It was so nice to meet someone from my home country. She inspired me to love Math. Although we now live and teach in different countries, I still see her smiling face between every number I write!
absenteeism n. 旷课，旷工
abstinence n. 自制,节制(禁欲,戒酒)