Friday, 7 December 2007

A tribute to Kerri Ferguson

Today I have the opportunity of writing about Kerri Ferguson, who was my mathematics teacher at Mzimba Secondary school in Malawi about 20 years ago. She and the husband came as Peace Corps from Canada to teach for a few years in Malawi. She was a mathematics teacher and the husband was a physical science teacher. Imagine she made sure we had finished the form 4 syllabus for mathematics by 1st term of form four. She introduced me to additional mathematics (calculus and trigonometry), a subject which was not part of the normal form 4 subjects but was a GSCE subject which was being taught at Robert Blake secondary by other expatriates. I ended up sitting for this subject and got a distinction not only in this subject but also a distinction in the normal Mathematics, and Physical science. I am talking about the 1988 form 4 MANEB examinations. The couple returned to Canada before examination results were out so they never celebrated the results with me. But I did write to them later that year when I joined the University of Malawi and they sent me a scientific calculator to use at Chancellor College. Fortunately the whole of the first year Bachelor of Science Mathematics course was what I had already learnt in additional mathematics and so I did not have to attend most classes but I still ended up excelling in all examinations.
I have never heard of the Fergusson’s since 1988; I know they are somewhere in Canada; and I am hoping that one of these days they will come across this blog and get back to me; then I can explain to them how that teaching of 1988 changed my life from being a mere Mzimba secondary pupil (from Mtwalo, Ezondweni, Ekwendeni) to an academic person-in the medical career -a long process indeed. If they look at these pictures of me today they will probably not recognise me as being the same student.
Thank you for being such good teachers.
If you come across this blog and by any chance you know where they are
Email me!

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