Q & A with Barbara Aaker
Degrees and Certificates
- Bachelor of Science | Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD
- Masters of Basic Science - Emphasis Mathematics | University of Colorado
- American Legion Auxiliary Past President, Unit 1 Denver, Colorado
Q & A
What do you do at CCD?
Adjunct math instructor
What awards have you received?
During my years of full time teaching, 1994 thru 2010, I was named Student Choice Faculty of the Year, three times.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The students. I love to share my love of mathematics and teaching with them and get their responses. I love the fact that I have turned some of them to the ‘Dark Side’ which means they actually ‘get’ the math and some even enjoy it!!
When you’re not working, what do you do?
I hang out with friends and my two favorite kitties, Hector and Domino. I am active in the American Legion helping to serve our Veterans. I enjoy watching sports and I love the Broncos and the Rockies. Go teams!!
What moment at CCD stands out as the most memorable?
So many, but to receive a note like one I received a few years ago is most memorable. One of my students had been told by their high school math instructor that they were "too stupid" to understand math. This student carried that all these years and now, back in school, the student was able to pass my class, receive the credit and get a college degree. I was told by the student that I had changed their life. That was a moment I cherished.
Who had the greatest influence on your education and/or career path?
I had many remarkable teachers along the way. Some were math teachers but a few were not. Mrs. Connor, my sixth grade teacher, was my favorite and I adored her. She new us all and remembered me when I went back home after college. I met her on the street and we had a wonderful talk. She was an amazing teacher and someone I admire and try to pattern myself after.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don't sweat the small stuff, and it really IS small stuff. I learned after my husband died in 2005 how strong I am and that there is nothing that can come at me that I can't handle. It really is small stuff.
Which three people (living or dead) would you invite to dinner and why?
I'm going to count my parents as one because it would mean they were still alive. I would love to have dinner with Babe Didrikson and hope she would take me out golfing and give me a lesson. And finally, I would love to pick the mind of Isaac Newton and ask him, "How did you come up with all this stuff?"
What or who can’t you live without?
I can't live without an animal in my life to love and keep me humble and kind to others. Bless the beasts and children are words that I believe is our charge in life. Take care of each other and especially those who cannot completely take care of themselves.