Exams Coming Up?

My grandfather, a mathematician and a coach to students, had a favorite saying. Confronted by a student's despairing failure to solve a problem, my grandfather would counter with a vigorous, "Oh, but you could, very easily!"

Through much use this became shortened to "could very easily," and as such it grew to be a catchword among his fun-loving classes. "Could very easily!" they would chant whenever failure stared them in the face. Thereupon my spirited grandparent would advance with relish upon the blackboard and, with a few swift flourishes of his chalk, demonstrate just how easy the solution was.

He could have worked it all out in his head, such was his remarkable gift, but the chalked-up answer was, of course, necessary for his students. This dedicated man regarded a mathematical problem as an enjoyable opportunity to exercise his dominion in this particular field.

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Speaking Up for Our Faith
November 16, 1974

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