Faculty Spotlight: Gerald Krusinski
Gerald Krusinski did not enjoy writing in school. But math was another story.
"We used to get grades in high school that were numeric averages. As a high school freshman, I earned a 100, 99, 100 and 100 in the four grading periods. That told me math was my strong suit," he said. "In college, I had a teacher, John Connelly, and he was great. I actually looked forward to Calculus class, so math was the logical choice for me."
Krusinski started his career teaching at many institutions to make a living. At one point he taught at Oakton, Moraine Valley, Loyola University and Northeastern Illinois University -- all at the same time. At College of DuPage since 1985, he's never regretted his career choice.
"With Math, you can do many things," he said. "For me, I don’t have the personality to sit in a cubical all day and be an actuary or a statistician. It’s more pleasurable dealing with people on a daily basis, and being around young people keeps me young."
Krusinski noted that teaching has changed since his career began. He said too many students today see college as an extension of high school and an end to a job, ignoring how a general education makes them well rounded, more informed individuals.
But when a student who doesn’t get a concept suddenly understands it, Krusinski said there is no greater feeling for teachers than seeing their hard work coming to fruition.
"I hope students understand that math is not an obstacle but a life skill that everyone needs if they are going to succeed in this world," he said. "If you work diligently at math, you can get it. I realize that math is hard, time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but you can have fun. My students laugh and I try to use humor to keep the students involved in the mathematical process.
"One of the nicest compliments I’ve received from a student was when they failed my course and signed up for the same class with me the following semester. I tried to convince the student that maybe they’d be more successful with another instructor, and the student said, 'I might have flunked, but I enjoyed your class so much. You care, you try to make it fun, and eventually I’ll get it.' "
For all of the satisfaction he gets from teaching, Krusinski is inspired by another group of people.
"One of my hobbies that I’ve done for 40 years is referee basketball and volleyball. And every year I try to donate my time to officiating the Special Olympics," he said. "When I see people who don’t have a great deal of physical ability trying to shoot a basketball or dribble the ball down the court, I’m in awe of how hard they try to do something no one expects them to do. These people renew my faith in humanity. They would be excellent role models for students who don’t get everything they can out of their educational experience. These Special Olympic participants remind me that you can do anything you want to with hard word, practice and determination. Officiating those games pays me countless dividends in what life is all about."
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