opening, allow me to repeat the old adage: “enthusiasm is contagious.” Fads,
fashion, popular music, and political movements are all testament to the manifest reality of the actuality of this statement.
To this, however, I would add that it is true enthusiasm that is contagious. True enthusiasm, in fact, by its nature cannot be contained. It is not the self-oriented, reflective, devotional enthusiasm of the spiritual acolyte, nor the diligent
yet solitary labors of the mathematician in his cloister (though these are most certainly valid with respect to their own
spheres). True enthusiasm is the eruption, the endless font of satisfaction,
of enjoyment, and of happiness due to participation in or experience of some thing, and the desire to share those feelings
and experiences with others.
same is true of enthusiasm for mathematics; it is the realization of the relevance, the awe, the wonder, the beauty, the practicality,
the ubiquity of and inherent in mathematics coupled with the desire to share those realizations with others so that they may
also find the pleasure that lies therein.
the modeling of, the guiding of students through, and the explicit explanation of the proper execution of the processes of
logic, reasoning, organization, recognition of relevant information, and thinking in general, I will impart to my students
the capacity to succeed, not only in mathematics, but also in their other intellectual,
scholastic, and life endeavors.
student’s own recognition of these successes (particularly with regard to the completion of a problem they previously
viewed as being beyond their capability) carries with it the satisfaction of the realization of a job well done, of setting
a goal and reaching it, and of overcoming obstacles, and entails the pleasure that comes with the awareness of one’s
own ability, with the sense that yes, I can do it.
there is a fundamental, instinctual aversion to pain and penchant for pleasure inherent in mankind (that is, in all human
beings as such), any student, upon experiencing the pleasure associated with success
in mathematics, will, by nature, be drawn to it, will have a thirst for it, and will have a deep-seated desire to feel that
pleasure again, only to be regained through the praxis of mathematics.
is through these parallel states, implicit and explicit, passive and active, through the provision of the capacity for success,
that I will impart to my students my love of and enthusiasm for mathematics.