Dr. Agboola and Lesson of Small Steps

1498772One of the lecturers that I can’tquickly forget  is Dr. Agboola of Mathematics Department in my alma mater – FUNAAB. This man strolls into the class already with cynical thinking that everyone here knows nothing except first class “hustlers” who take the front rows. Those at the mercy of constant disgust are the Engineering students. He wonders if we can ever piece together all that he’s trying to explain. Yet, we want to get away with a Bachelors Degree in Engineering

So what does one as a student do? It is to act like one knows nothing because Mr Agboola faces the blackboard whiteboard solving complex equations leaving you to fix the loose ends. When the exams come around, one does not ask for an “A” – except the First Class chasers. 40 marks out of 100 will be fine; anything that makes one escape a re-sit is fine.

So, I had a cool understanding of how to pass Agboola’s exam. It is about forgetting the answer and focus on the steps. The likelihood that you will get the final answer in Agboola’s exam is very slim, why disturb oneself? All I do is to try hard, to go far and when the road forks and I get confused, I abandon it and find another question. So if I attempt the four questions and I half-solve them, I will be fine. Interestingly, by God’s grace, it worked. I got lost in one recurring Laplace Transform which I was already bragging about, I quickly left it and move on.

At times in life, business and relationship, we underestimate steps/actions and focus on the answers/outcomes and results. The aspect of trying, giving it your best deserves a pat on the back. We like to focus on the result and discount the steps that one needs to get there. This how a society plays itself, never taking account that those that even failed made an attempt. To most people it is all about the result, but we need encouragement at every turn of action.

If you train yourself to be emotionally rewarded for actions taken rather than outcomes you may be able to lengthen the time you can spend in active “failure” and increase your chances of success.

When it is not working, never discount that you are at least taking action, mounting steps, it is part of the story. It is part of the outcome. It is part of learning and it the story that will be told when everything good comes. Keep walking. Keep trying.

Recommended Reading: http://getpocket.com/a/read/625732738


12 thoughts on “Dr. Agboola and Lesson of Small Steps

  1. Laplace transformation was all I could understand during MTS 304 chai….with Agboola in class, u go just fear. to the life lesson, I quite agree with you.. always give it a try..

  2. please do not misinform readers about him writing on a black board, FUNAAB wasn’t like that in our time it was a white board, and the Dr agboola you talk about is just a struggling average lecturer just trying to feed us crap formulas he doesn’t know, he wasn’t a genius . He never explains anything, just writes from his lecture notes onto the white board giving quick and uncompleted answers to questions from students telling them to go and read on their own. “Na only God save us from the man”, he didn’t know how to lecture us well back then, don’t know about now.

    • One thing you cannot take away from Agboola is that he knew his mathematics. I was a 200/300l computer sc student when he came sometime around 1994/95, and at that time it was a single department for maths, statistics and comp sc., so I was exposed to the man in full force, he wasn’t even Dr. at the time, he wasn’t in anyway like-able or nice, but he knew and loved his mathematics, and I have learnt that in life that is often enough too get to the top so I am not surprised he rose to the top of his career. Just go online and read his published papers, especially those on fuzzy logic, you might be tempted to use the word ‘genius’

  3. From my elementary to secondary I was always the best until Agboola made me struggled & settled for 40. Thank God it is now story and lesson.

  4. Seun, what a good remembrancer of my alma mater. I was not an engineering student, so i never got a full dose of his bitter pills.
    However the lesson highlighted is worth treauring-the little steps that lead to a set goal is just as important as the goal itself. Most time we concentrate on how unattainable a goal is that we forget to perfect the steps toward the prize. How true in all spheres of life!
    Nice writeup Seun. Just to add that he is now Prof AAA Agboola (Professor of Algebra, FUNAAB).

  5. Seun you brought back my memory about this agbalagba called Agbo. with his popular slogan “you are stupid, i will slap you. omo those days boiz no dey smile at all cos awon eleyi(mr agbo) n yegi fun anybody. Twuale baba!!!!!

  6. wow!! for the new 2015/2016 set of MTS 101 STUDENTS, Prof AGBOOLA is really hacking off all the set professionalism on our fresh heads; well we are not settling for less and please we need all the prayers. Thanks sir

  7. hmmmm,agboola is d man ,2015/2016 session was not what I expected d man go enter class we go dey fear ,assignment wey u go solve for days and u won’t solve more than half ,d test was not hard but I calculated my score I was saying I will manage to score 12 d result came out i scored 10 I wasn’t dat happy until I was told 11 is d highest and am 1of highest in my department omo dis man turn us into living algebra.

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