A Self-Description

Hello and Welcome. Most of my web page has been devoted to information about my professional development as a mathematics educator. This part of my home page is designed to give you some insight as to who I am on a personal level. In case you were wondering, that's a picture of me to the right.

Where do I begin? I think that, first and foremost, I want people to know that I'm a Christian. I believe, without a doubt, that Jesus Christ is my personal savior, provider and protector, and without him, I am nothing. This is not a statement that I make lightly. I consider myself to be a well-educated man; one that tries to make careful and intelligent decisions, and one that believes in living a truthful life. I'd like to say that I arrived at this conclusion through personal reasoning, but I didn't. This is knowledge that was given to me when I accepted Jesus into my life.

The question of the existence of God is probably one of the greatest philosophical questions of all time. For some fortunate people this has never been issue; they have always known of the existence of God. But, for many of us, for one reason or another, we have had to struggle with this question. Some of us have tried to answer this question through rational argument and the use of logic, but unfortunately, the arguments on either side have their flaws. I believe that no one will ever be able to argue another person into believing in God, and likewise, if you know God and Jesus on a personal basis, no one can ever argue you out of believing in them. No, to me, the existence of God is a spiritual question not an intellectual one.

Anyhow, it took me a long time to realize that I was spiritually empty. Once I discovered this, I took a good look at religion and realized that if Jesus Christ was reality, then Christianity would be the most beautiful thing to be a part of. However, before I could claim I was Christian, I had to be absolutely certain that I sincerely believed that Jesus is Lord. I began to search in earnest for God. You know, what they say is true; if you look for God, you'll find him. It may take longer than you think, but eventually, God and Jesus will give you the opportunity to accept their gift of salvation. It may happen at any time and in a place that you would never expect. For me, I met God and Jesus in the middle of a dirt street in a run down, back-country, Mexican village (this is an interesting story in and of itself). Now, I can't say what will happen when you accept this gift, sometimes there are tears, sometimes there is overwhelming joy, and sometimes there is no emotion at all. But if you truly and sincerely accept the gift, you will know that your life has been permanently changed. It took me a long time to accept Jesus into my life, but when I did, it was the best day of my life. I must admit that this is a relatively new development in my life, and so I have a lot to learn. I can't claim that I live a perfect Christian life, but I want to. I want to put Christ first in my life and glorify him every chance I get. I hope and pray that as Jesus and I walk along together, he will mold and shape me into a person that is worthy of being called a Christian.

School has played an important part in my life (actually, I've never been out of school), so I'll discuss my education next. I graduated from Edinboro University (class of 1992) with honors and a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics (Physics minor). After graduating, I went to University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State) and received my Master's degree in Pure Mathematics. I am now pursuing my Doctorate in Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia. More details of my schooling are given in other areas of my page.

Let's move on to my personal interests. I love sports and I'll try anything at least once, usually with varying degrees of success. My favorite (you could call it my addiction) is tennis. I've been playing since I was about ten years old and I have loved almost every minute of it. Most people would consider me to be pretty good at the game (for those of you familiar with some of the rating systems of the game, I'm a 5.0), but that's a relative sort of thing. I played on my high school and college teams, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. There is nothing like playing a sport in college, especially if the team your on is pretty good . Over the last five or six years, I've had the opportunity to give something back to the game, by giving lessons at a number of clubs and working at various camps. It's easy money and a lot of fun. If your interested, I've included a picture of me taking a swipe at a ball. Other athletic activities I enjoy are swimming, bike riding, hiking, and golfing. I also lift weights and run, but I really don't enjoy them very much.

One of the other activities I really enjoy is playing my guitar (see the picture). I can't say that I'm any good at it, but I certainly like to try. One of my sisters has said that my singing reminds her of a bull moose's mating call, but I'm sure that's just a slight exaggeration. (Actually, I hope it's a large exaggeration). For those of you who play the guitar, one of the best WWW sites I have found is OLGA: the On-Line Guitar Archive. You can find a ton of songs here, generally with words and chords and sometimes even tablature. You should check it out. As for my musical tastes, if it has an acoustic guitar, I like it. I was also raised in a small town just south of Erie, PA. This means I cut my teeth on classic rock. Favorite groups/singers include Van Halen, Styx, John Cougar Mellencamp, the Eagles, Harry Chapin, and Simon and Garfunkel. Generally, I'll listen to anything except Rap, Country, and Elevator Music (This is not classical/art music which I really like. This is essentially modern POP aranged for orchestras. Unfortunately, it's all probably done on synthesizer, and what can I say, I think it sucks!)

Finally, I'll close with the goals I have for my life (unless God changes them, which could happen at any time). Certainly, finishing my degree is my first goal. I hope that after this I can get some sort of a mathematics teaching job at liberal arts college or a comprehensive university, because I do enjoy teaching mathematics and working with college age students. Hopefully, a position at a university will provide me with enough money and time to do those things that I enjoy. I'd like to travel and see the world, even though I can't speak anything other than English. I'm looking forward to having a family, and all the wonderful things that go along with it. (Assuming that I'll find a woman who will have me). I'd like to continue playing and teaching tennis, as well as improving my handicap. All in all, as long as I'm happy and I glorify God and Jesus Christ, I'll consider my life a success.

Certainly, there is much more to me than what I have written on this page. If you have any questions about me or would just like someone to talk to about God, life, or things in general, send me an e-mail (mfreitag@moe.coe.uga.edu), I'd love to hear from you.

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