Office: Frith Hall 416
That is the mantra that Stephen Davidson lives by. He lived by it as a child who proudly wore wrestling and comic book t-shirts to school. He lives by it as an adult who proudly wears wrestling and comic book t-shirts to holiday dinners. And he wants to pass along that message to anyone else who will listen. And if teaching math is the conduit for that message, then he gets to work with math – which he loves – and he gets to make a difference, at the same time. That’s his goal.
What does it mean to “own yourself”? On the surface, it seems simple: don’t be ashamed of who you are. Even better, don’t be afraid of who you are. Others don’t matter. Only you matter. So, be yourself totally and completely. So, yes, this naturally includes expressing oneself honestly. It includes not hiding oneself for fear of others’ reactions. But it also includes not hiding from oneself out of fear or apathy. Don’t hold yourself back and don’t make excuses to do so. Anything can be justified except for fear-based justifications.
Stephen knows that not everyone loves math. He knows that not every student who walks into his classroom is going to use it on a daily basis, once the class has ended. Very few will, to be honest. And his response to this is, “So what?” That’s a justification. It’s an excuse to hide from oneself because of a fear of the material. Nobody would voice dissent towards learning something if they truly believed they were capable of learning it. And he’s here to tell you to quit hiding, because capable you are.
All he asks is to be trusted. To be listened to. Success will not always come quickly. But, with trust and hard work, it will come for anyone who wants it. But it’s important to not only trust him, but to trust yourself, as well. “Own yourself.” You might be surprised by what follows.