He came in briskly. Before we knew it, he was standing on the podium. We waited for him to begin his lecture. It was on Fourier’s Series of Periodic Functions. And he got his nickname that day: Fourier. He knew it, from the way he spoke about it. But the issue is about communication not knowledge. Who could hear what he said? Even those who were sitting on the front pew could hardly get his explanations, as brief as you could imagine. For he spoke rarely, very eager to finish up what he had for us in his lecture notes. I have always found it interesting, the idea of copying notes from lecture notes to the whiteboard and then to our notebooks. Would it not be better if we browsed through where he got them and simply copy them? And can you ask him for clarifications? He is very eager to finish up. You are disturbing the process. So I left after the lecture to my lodge, depressed. After weeks have passed, I forgot about the lecture. So when exams were around the corner, I began to make preparations, only to find out that I have not addressed the issue about Fourier series. I discussed with my friend, a senior student about my inability to understand the topic, no matter how much I have tried. Then he said, 'why not meet Emeka, your classmate. He’ll put you through’. It was then I realized that I had studied all these while on my own. And though I was successful at that method until then, it had not occurred to me to seek out help once I got stuck. Maybe because I had not been stuck. Not that I could remember. So I left immediately for Emeka and told him about my inability in understanding Fourier Series which he explained clearly to me, as he got the concept very well. This brought about a paradigm shift in my study process: that while I can read and understand some concepts, there are others I may not get on the first go, and that the proper way to tackle the problem is to seek out those who understood them better than me for clarification.

And I got a B in the course on Fourier Series.

Ubajaka, CJ.

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