Among the many topics of mathematics that make the study of economics possible are such areas as calculus and statistics. However, economics would not be able to move beyond the first days of Principles 101 were it not for the concept of the intersection of lines. The math behind such ideas as supply and demand creating an equilibrium, as well as the intersection created by the IS and LM curves of macroeconomics, studies the intersection of two functions created when such functions attain the same value of a dependent variable from identical values of an independent variable. I found myself thinking of this recently as a beloved administrator at my daughter’s school prepares to leave. As she packs up her office, I find myself thankful for the fact that my daughter’s life intersected with hers.
It was not all that long ago that we realized that my daughter was not in an environment that helped her to learn in ways that respected her own unique learning differences. When we moved her to a much larger school, I was fearful about what kind of reception she would receive. After all, some teachers at her previous school had asked me, as I handed them their end of the year gifts, “why don’t you want your child diagnosed?” I hoped that in a larger school, her uniqueness would be respected and perhaps even celebrated.
This one administrator played an important role in helping her make the transition to her new school, something that I know was not always easy for all involved. Moving to a new environment with different rules and many more students made the change difficult for her. This woman, however, had a repertoire of approaches to help her as she made the transition, which she shared with some of my daughter’s teachers. My daughter responded well and always felt welcome. Indeed, I think she thought of this woman as a friend, as well as an authority figure. At times, it seemed that this woman loved my daughter almost as much as we did. The fact that the new school was much larger made her peculiar learning needs seem to be not as huge of a concern. Other students like her had passed through the school, and it was clear that still more like her would be seen in the future.
I was terrified for my daughter those first few weeks, but under the direction of this woman, the transition went well. Under her guidance, my daughter was has always been respected and celebrated for the unique person that she is. I am infinitely grateful for having found her new school and for having found this very special woman. Unfortunately, she is leaving to take a position that is quite a promotion. We will all miss her tremendously.
However, she is not going far. Her new position is with a high school that I predict my daughter will one day attend. I am confident (and happy at the thought) that someday in the future, our lives will, most likely, once again intersect.
MULTIPLE: President, Los Angeles Harbor College, President, Los Angeles Southwest College, President, Los Angeles Valley College