Staff Goodbye: Make the World a More Beautiful Place

Staff Goodbye: Make the World a More Beautiful Place

Mr. Boothman, Math Teacher

As I’ve grown into my role as a teacher, I’ve settled on a few key life lessons that I strive to impart to my students. 

The first: the value of perseverance. I’m the first to admit that the courses I teach can be difficult to comprehend. Calculus especially is so different compared to anything we’ve studied before that it’s easy to just go through the motions of a process or give up entirely. But I urge my students to push through this. 

What, in life, is easy from the start? What are you going to do when you encounter an enormous challenge in college, or your career, or with your family? Such obstacles are inevitable, a simple fact of living. Are you the type of person who gives up? Or are you going to put your head down and push through anything that stands between you and the success and happiness I wish for you all? The act of persevering, even in something as seemingly inconsequential as a high school class, trains us for those later, larger trials, much like the one we as a society face right now.

Photo credit: Mr. Boothman

The second lesson is also one that I believe speaks to this current moment in history, and it comes from my answer to a question I hear often as a math teacher: “when will we ever use this?” Why, I respond, does that matter (I have a real answer too, of course, but this is far more interesting)? Why does something only matter if we can use it? The eloquence of a Shakespearean monologue, the weight of a pivotal moment in history, the elegance of a mathematical proof…these, along with the art and culture we create and consume every day, are what give beauty to the world and meaning to our lives. They are what makes our lives worth living. 

As you graduate and begin your life beyond Agua Fria, take the time to look for that beauty around you, in whatever career you choose, in the people you share your life with, and in yourself. Make the world a more beautiful place. Make your life worth living, just as so many of you have made mine.