I’m The Only One Like Me “Part III”

Part III
“Sok Weeze teech Ya”

This story takes me back to my days in STEM.

It was June ninth, 2004 three days after my High School Graduation, and I was about to enter my first College class Math 1113 or Analytical Geometry, with some guy named Dr. Freddie Frazier. Escorted by my parents, and already late for class, as my plane had just touched down in Bush International Airport about an hour earlier, I knocked on the closed door of Room 106 hoping this Frasier guy would not be pissed off for being late to his class.

The door opened…

And out walked (in my opinion) an old man dressed up prettier than could be.

“What can I do for you?” he asked with crackle in his throat and a deep southern farm accent.

“I’m Brian Gruening, is this (I looked down at my schedule) Math 1113?”.

“Why you Betcha come on in”.
Now I normally do just fine in front of crowds, in fact I rather enjoy it, but this was different. Dr. Frasier led my parents and I into the obvious math room. “Hav’a seat”. I sat down in the closest seat (the first row). Dr. Frasier then turned to my parents. “You folks r welcome ta sit in and listen to the class, get a little taste of Dr. Frasier”. Ok I had only met the man two minutes earlier and he had already invited my parents to sit through my college pre-calculus class and see what it was like. Either the man was as cool as can be or he was going to be a bitch, I thought.

“Ok I gots ta axe ya, where you from son” Dr Frasier pondered along with the (I’m sure) confused class of all black students.

“Wisconsin” I said as politely as possible ever so aware of my surroundings. “Youze done com a long way now hant ya?, well youll like er here at Prairie View, Now weeze got some mat ta do”.

And just as fast as I had been introduced Dr. Fraiser was up at that black board with a pice of chalk working problems. Luckily I had brought a notepad and pen with me, as I tried to frantically copy his examples.

Somewhere about half way through the two hour class, Freddie Frasier, finishing a problem, walked over to me and extended his fist out in front of me and excididly said

“Hit me One”.

"Hit me one"? Thoughts of a well placed Math Teacher's head at a Gallagher show ran through my head. Dumbfounded as to why he had his fist out in front of my face. He looked at me, I looked over my shoulder looking for another class member to give me some hint of what was going on. With no reinforcement from the class I looked up into Freddie’s think framed glasses, down at his still extended fist, back up to his eyes.

After what seemed like an eternity I extended my hand toward his in the traditional hand-shake formation, when.

He and the class burst our into laughter. Regaining his composure Freddie and my black class mates thought me my first Black southern handshake. Entitled the “Hit me One”

Since that day I have come to know Dr. Frasier as a good friend, one of the best teachers in the world. As I have never been an excellent math student (actually taking Algebra 2 twice in high school) but this man can teach math. I ended my first semester of college knowing everything there is to know about Pre-Calculus and Algebra.

I would later find out that this Dr. Frasier is world renown as one of the best math instructors of all time. Teaching the math professors at such universities as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and MIT the Frasier way of teaching math.