The Calculus of Friendship
The Calculus of Friendship: What a Teacher and a Student Learned about Life While Corresponding about Math
by Steven Strogatz
One of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. The utlimate social network – letter writing, provided a deep connection between student and teacher, scholar and cheerleader. Makes you realize how important it is to share intellectual passion and encourage those you teach. We all need a Mr. Joffray in our lives and can learn from the lessons Steven Strogatz shares. I’ve been blessed with parents who both remind me quite a lot of Mr. Joffray.
Mr. Joffray is the perfect mentor. With subtle actions and words he encourages a young mathematician and finds loves that his protege far exceeds him in talent. He is thrilled to turn the tables and learn from the student. Perfect reward – lighting the spark in someone and then feeling the warmth from the fire you started.
Note to self: hand write a letter to someone who inspired me.
P.S. Ignore the math problems, unless of course you love Calculus – they simply provide the backdrop for a beautiful story.