During the first three days of my stay at Merced, which I spent acclimating myself to the new environment, and allowing myself to meet new people. I followed up by asking people for suggestions on where to head for entertainment. As the week commenced I realized that my professor H. Gonzalez had given me information dealing with the way I established myself during his class. This angered me and influenced me to think that he was just a stupid and conceited man who’s only desire was to have an immense amount of attention. As I stood in my room recollecting my thoughts dealing with this issue I gather the will to go to his class and respectfully learn from what he had to stay despite his narcissistic characteristics getting in the way of his teaching.

Partly thinking about what could go wrong as soon as I stepped inside that mans lecture hall, I went into the hall and sat down in one of the many empty rows. As soon as I took my laptop out of my backpack I realized that H. Gonzalez came into the room. He seemed to be around forty-five years old, however, he was not wearing clothes you would expect from a professor of his age. He wore a regular t-shirt from a modern era musician with a pair of plaid shorts and a pair of faded black vans with short socks. He definitely was not what I was expecting from my calculus teacher. He was tall but very thin, under his eyes were bags from the lack of sleep that I assumed he had been experiencing for the past few days. His voice was very rough and aggressive which made me feel even worse about him. He began his lecture by a speaking about the history of mathematics as well as the many breakthroughs that have come through the use of mathematics, demonstrating every single improvement that has been made through mathematics as well. He then continued by describing the influence that science has in math mathematical achievements. After finishing his simple introduction he proceeded to criticize individuals that believed in the way former mathematicians operated, calling himself the best mathematician to live.  

As he continued to lecture about the significance of mathematics he began to demonstrate what mathematics is in the real world. Describing mathematics as a subject that requires and demands a lot from students as well as the professors such as himself. “Mathematics as a subject requires wisdom, judgment, and maturity. Meaning that if you do not give mathematics your full attention you will not be able to accomplish what you need.” He continued by explaining how the ability to acquire and master each of the requirements when dealing with math to able to find what you are attempting to find. He continued by saying “In here, in this very room are many mathematicians far better endowed than I am with these qualities, including several in this audience.” With this I found out how much I enjoyed mathematics and what it really meant to me from a different perspective, I felt the urge to go accomplish the many things I have always wanted to do.


The passage above demonstrates how Victor describes his intentions that he has for science in the novel, this is seen on page 52 when M. Waldman is lecturing about modern scientists. M Waldman describes the goals of these scientists as tame goals compared to that of the ancient alchemists. However, to Victor, this is very staggering because in his perspective he believes that these scientists are unbarring secrets of existence. Victor later understands his desire to continue to understand science after M. Waldman is done lecturing. As seen in the parody of this scene above it is a similar concept. The voice in the parody explains the love that it has for mathematics, however, in this passage, the opposite can be seen because the voice of the parody never fully describes a good relationship between themselves and the professor. The manner that contemporary features are added is through the use of modern-day social construct. The professor in the parody is wearing clothes that would be seen on someone in this day in age. Also, the way that the professor acts allows the reader to understand that perhaps his characteristics can relate to many characteristics that real people share in the modern era. As simple as the voice in the passage saying that the professor is conceited and narcissistic, it can be determined that perhaps you have come into an encounter with someone who shares these characteristics. Finally, when the voice in the parody describes the intentions it has to do with mathematics it can be seen as a call back towards Victor because after he learned all about science he believed that he was ready to accomplish many things, despite his eager characteristics overpowering him he decides to carry on with his intentions of manipulating nature to create in his own vision, which eventually becomes his demise.

– Daniel Olmos