Thursday, July 25, 2013

How the big guy rolls

Mr. Sophanne stopped working in February.  Early disability retirement (a knee) was granted and it seems that this is the way it will be.  As it turns out, if he earns more than $1/4x (one fourth of his retirement) in any given month, he loses all benefits for that month. 

He's been talking about what he might do since February.  It really can't involve extended standing, walking etc.  He does have an undergraduate degree in mathematics education and a masters in computer science (albeit the 1995 version of computer science which is somewhat dated.)

In pure Mr. Sophanne fashion, he stopped in at the local private college (Waynesburg University) and visited the math department offering his services, looking for a salary of $1/4x or possibly tuition credits.  Two days later, the chair calls and says "we need someone to teach college algebra for 1/4x."

That's just how it rolls for him.  It will be quite a different experience from the railroad.  3 days a week, an hour a day in the morning.  This morning he woke up and said

"Do I really want to do this?  What if there's something I want to do that day?"  to which I replied,

"WTF????  Youve been talking about this since February and it has fallen in your lap.  I think you can work around 3 hours a week plus a few office hours!"  to which he replied

"What if I don't have anything to wear?"

"We'll figure it out." 

He's taught college level courses before (CS5 and CS15 as well as statistics).  It's just been a while.  He starts every class with "Hello, my name is Mr. Sophanne and I have a speech impediment.  I was born in Brooklyn."  I am certain when asked by friends how it's going, he will start every conversation with the same anecdote.  It makes me laugh and I love that I know him so well.

I'm also excited about the idea of him having to interact with people.  Firstly, they will love him.  Secondly, he will come closer to realizing why I need a nap every afternoon.

What makes me laugh is the following.

He is a mathematician.  He understands statistics up and down.  He knows that the dealer (or slot machine as it were) always wins in the long run, but the most exciting thing for him about a little extra income on the side (accrued by teaching mathematics) is that it will fuel his Tuesday Knit Night casino nights!  That's how he rolls and he cracks me up


Anonymous said...

I suspect that Mr. Sophanne needs to go back to school shopping. From what I remember from my undergrad math lectures, the professors wore the same thing every day - cardigan/blazer, oxford and khakis. Granted it was in a huge lecture hall with hundreds of other hungover students, but that's still my wardrobe suggestion.

Sunshine said...

I am so proud of him! That is really great! What a guy!!!!!

Becky said...

He's going to need a pair of corduroys that are so old that they are thread bare at the knees, a jacket that is fraying around the cuffs, and a weird outdated hat of some sort. My mom works at a university, when we walk around campus we play "homeless person or professor?" Since the campus is in rural Delaware, the answer is almost always professor.

Roxie said...

Is this a community college? He can go in his railroad clothes if he wants. Adjunct professors just don't count. They are desperate to get anyone who can put up with the brainless, unmotivated, sullen College Algebra students. Kids with any math skills are already into upper divisional classes. Th high point of his day will be when someone realizes that X can be a different number in every different equation. It will be interesting to see how long he sticks it out. (I used to work at a community college.)

The fact that it's a morning class will work to his benefit. The chaff will miss so many classes that he can drop them by mid-terms.