Dear Jennifer Denney,
You may not remember me, but I was that shy blonde eighteen-year-old who walked into your class in 2007. I admit, I wasn't happy about having to start off at the very bottom level math course offered at Grossmont College, but I stalked you on ratemyprofessors and everything on there was positive about you(including that you were hot. But hey, I wasn't there for that!), so I decided to talk your class. That day was the day that changed my relationship with college for the better.
I was never a great student, but I was a particularly horrible math student. So horrible, in fact, that my husband has memories of me having to leave class and cry outside the room because I just didn't get it. Everything I learned made sense, but when I was expected to replicate the formulas, nothing would come. It was just not clicking.
And I began to despise math. I was that student that HATED math and everything it had to offer. Until your class. You showed up to our class and even though we were the rock bottom math students, you embraces us. You didn't once make me feel like I was in a remedial class. Instead, you smiled, you laughed, you pulled out fifteen different colored white board markers, and you taught us how to change our thinking. I say that, because you didn't teach us math. We already knew how to do math. You taught up that numbers weren't scary. And that fractions....were....fun.
I began to get 100% on tests. Things clicked and I noticed how I my whole attitude with school changed. I copied your notes exactly how you wrote them, even with all the different colors. Do you know to this day, when I do math, I still use the things you taught me?
I had the pleasure to follow you for two more semesters in different math classes. But I wasn't alone. Many other students did the same. And you were so positive. People were actually disappointed the few times a sub was sent in your place. We didn't want anyone else. We wanted you to teach us. How often does that happen?
I went on to take more math classes at Grossmont and eventually transferred to Austin Peay in Tennessee. I even changed my speculation TO MATH so that I could share that passion that you instilled in my that math wasn't supposed to be scary. That we could change that negative math stigma. I continued to score above 98% in every math class. And even showed up with my many colored pens to take notes, despite the fact that none of my other professors ever used anything other than blue, red, or black.
Something special happened in your classes. It wasn't just about teaching us math with you. It was about teaching us how to overcome challenges. I hope you continue to spread your brilliant love of life with the world, especially to those who are struggling in college right now. Change how you think. Change who you are. You taught me that.
Sarah Jones (Taylor)
A PICTURE FROM MY NOTES THAT I STILL KEEP. JUST IN CASE.