My Citrus Story - Mohamad Trad
As if they are now, and later they shall be
Perhaps the most amazing thing about life is that it is so unpredictable. I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I like mathematics – it has the advantage of being predictable. After all, growing up in Lebanon, a country torn by unending civil and religious unrest, I could see that the odds of becoming victimized by one group or another were ever escalating. So I immigrated to the United States with the hope of finding a safe and secure place to go to college and build a future. It was not easy. I had to work at a series of odd jobs to earn enough money to attend Citrus College–everything from working as an usher in a movie theatre to running a cash register at a truck stop in Fontana.
The first class that I took at Citrus was English 040 in the Basic Skills Program. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to earn a passing grade. I was disappointed, but by that time in my life I understood that grades were only a form of feedback, not a judgment on my intelligence or potential. So, I rolled up my proverbial sleeves and tried again. That first failing grade actually helped me put things in perspective. I took advantage of services such as tutoring and counseling, went to study groups, and met with teachers during office hours. The result was that I never failed another course. In fact, I became so proficient in math that I started tutoring other students. Two of my mathematics professors, Alan Tussy and Ralph Tippins, inspired me to become a teacher.
I finished my A.A. and A.S. degrees at Citrus and transferred to Cal State University, San Bernardino, where I ended up earning my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in math with a grade point average of 3.96. The improbable journey from Lebanon to Azusa to San Bernardino ended back here in Glendora at Citrus College where
I became a mathematics professor almost nine years ago. Professors Tussy and Tippins are now my peers. At Citrus, I’ve tried to be the type of professor who makes a difference in his students’ lives and careers. Though it may not seem possible at the moment, hard work and perseverance (with a little help from others) eventually pay off. I am living proof of that.
I thank all the professors and staff members who helped me while I was at Citrus College to become the man I am today. You not only changed my life for the better, you’re still helping others through me to become better men and women.
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