In 2007, I tried for a second time to pass Pre-Calculus, I met a man who would leave positive mark on my life – Professor Brian Jones. It shocked me that no less than thirteen months later, Professor Jones was gone from this world. A week after hearing the news, I wrote this blog entry.
Most of the time I write, it’s pretty light hearted. I’m not trying to be all-serious, and bring the world down with my problems. But I have to make this blog in dedication to a great teacher, and a great friend.
I found out this past Monday that my Pre-Calc teacher, and easily one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met, Prof. Brian Jones died. Stuff isn’t sounding right, but all that matters is the fact that a good person, a family man, and one of the realest teachers I’ve ever known is gone from this world. Lately I’ve been going through some stuff and haven’t had the chance to e-mail him to see what’s up. I guess it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
One of the best conversations I had with Jones was about the status of black men, and the downfall of the true gangster – a ruthless individual who used his intellect over brawn and violence. Jones didn’t live a life that was the most honorable in his teenage years, and he talked about it because he, with the help of his mother, pulled himself out of the thug gutter to become a respected math teacher who easily could teach a stupid monkey how to do algebra. Well, o went on, and he, in that deep, gravely voice told me, “Mr. Bullock, you know these cats don’t know anything about what it is to be a real gangster. Instead of using their God-given intellect to better progress themselves through life, they walk around here actin’ and talkin’ like fools.”
“Like common picannies,” was my response.
I still remember the smile he gave me when he nodded his head and sighed, “Indeed. Indeed.”
Like myself, Jones understood what it was to fight. We didn’t need guns. We didn’t need knives. All we needed was what God gave us: our body and a fighter’s instinct. Mr. Jones tried to instill in each person he came across that your ability to fight and think could be utilized to grow into a person who could and would honor his or her family. He wanted us to know the passion that comes from perseverance, and the genuine feeling of succeeding when you should’ve fallen off. Looking at the times I’ve faced, currently facing, and will, most likely face in the future, Prof. Jones’ words will stick with me until I leave this world.
This blog is dedicated to Mr. Jones: the man, the myth, a math legend, and a man who I’ll work to honor for the rest of my life. Rest In Peace…Indeed.
To learn more about the man who inspired this piece, please read his obituary (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=24797010).