“Would you please stop scowling.”

Walter Gage taught me Math 100 in 1975/76. I believe this was the last year he taught that course.

My Aunt Aubin (Fairley, nee Burridge) was in the first math class Walter Gage taught – at Victoria College ~ 1922/23 around that time). So my great-aunt and I shared the same great math Prof – one of of at the start of his career and one at the end. I’ve always felt a kinship with him from that – trying to imagine what he and my Aunt Aubin would have looked like back then.

Walter Gage was beloved to us all. And he helped me stay sane while learning calculus. I was pretty young. I sat near the back of the class and over to the side, not to be seen as keen. Whenever I asked a question, Dr. Gage would ask me to stop scowling. Every time: “Would you please stop scowling.”

I think he noticed that I was squinting at the blackboard because I was sitting too far away. I wish I could say that Dr. Gage influenced me to sit closer to the blackboard, to not be afraid to appear keen, or to get prescription glasses but those journeys took much longer and more influences.

Ruth Beck
BComm 1981