Tuesday, January 7, 2014

pioneers and college algebra class


It has been awhile since I posted.  Although I gotta admit, I  do not feel bad about it because I met my blogging goal for 2013 and needed a little downtime with my family.  I was completely off the grid and it felt great!

We watched a cool thing transpire this last semester and are using it to parallel a story from Brent's family history in our trek program.  I wanted to document it here.  It's one of those lessons I want to be able to look back at and remember.

I registered Tanner last summer for College Algebra through Collin College.  He had not taken the prerequisite course but scored so high on his math entrance exam that the HS counselor and I thought it was probably okay.  We knew it wouldn't be easy but we thought he was up to the challenge.

Well, after about 5 weeks, Tanner was exasperated!  He was completely discouraged and overwhelmed.  Not only did he fell he did not have the knowledge to complete the class with a decent grade, his professor was from another country and spoke with a VERY thick accent.  None of the kids could understand her and so everyone was dropping the class left and right.  Every day he would go back to class and more kids had dropped it.  He came to Brent and I and said he really felt he should drop the class.   It was so much harder then he ever thought it would be and he really didn't think he could complete the class with his GPA in tact.

We counseled with him a little bit, discussing his options,  told him we thought he could do it if he put his mind to it, and asked him to think about it over the weekend.  When Monday morning came, he decided he would just push through and give it his best shot.

I watched that boy struggle and study through the last few months of that Algebra class and I was so awestruck.  He would come home every day and sit in front of our home computer and teach himself college algebra.  What he couldn't understand, he asked his favorite math teacher - Mr. Gomez - about.  Mr. Gomez was Tanner's pre cal teacher and a super nice guy.  He offered to help Tanner anytime after school and so Tanner took him up on it when things got overwhelming.  

And he did it.  He pulled it off.  He got out of that class with a B+ at the end of the semester.

Brent gave a spiritual thought at our last trek correlation meeting and I coudn't help but see a parallel.  Brent's great great great grandparent's (Joseph and Rebecca Argyle) came across the plains along the Mormon Trail in the first handcart company.  It was such a hard journey for them.  The struggled with lack of food, physical exertion, illness, and harsh elements.  At one point, their 2 year old daughter became so sick that they thought for sure she would die.  She was definitely too sick to walk so Rebecca carried her daughter in her apron along the trail for the better part of 8 weeks.  (She was pregnant at the time!)  Can you imagine?  

One day, Rebecca let it get the best of her.  She eased her way to the back of the trail and decided to crawl among some rocks with her sick daughter and die.  She stayed there for quite some time and waited to succumb.  Eventually, Joseph realized she was not longer with the company and he went back to find her.  He reminded her of the promise they had been given that their entire family would survive the journey and that she had to get up and perservere.  

And she did.  They caught up with the company and continued on.  When she arrived in Salt Lake, Rebecca delivered that baby she had been carrying too.

Life can hand us trials that sometimes feel like they are more than we can bear.  I know that from personal experience.  But if we just take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and trust in the Lord.  He will see us through.  

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