To honor retiring Pew, Becker creates mural about Euler’s Identity

Sophomore says she hopes her math teacher knows that he changed countless lives for the better
Sophomore Chim Becker and retiring math teacher Paul Pew pose in front of the library mural Becker created in Pew’s honor.
Sophomore Chim Becker and retiring math teacher Paul Pew pose in front of the library mural Becker created in Pew’s honor.
Sophia Manos

Mr. Pew, a beloved math teacher and pianist, is retiring after 33 years of teaching. On Wednesday May 22 in the library after school, sophomore Chim Becker unveiled their mural dedicated to honor Pew’s 17 years as an influential teacher at McCallum.

“He made math really fun for me this year,” Becker said. “I have struggled with math in the past, but I finally started to understand it and have fun with it.”

Becker also stated that the mural, which they revealed to Pew after the fourth-period final on May 22, was a visual representation of what they were thinking when taught the mathematical statement known as Euler’s Identity.

He’s a great pianist, he’s a great artist; I feel like there needs to be more people like him in the world.

— sophomore Chim Becker on retiring math teacher Paul Pew

“After he [Mr. Pew] taught me about Euler’s, it kind of blew my mind, so I guess in a way this mural represents what happened in my head at that moment. It’s this super cool statement in math that involves the most important figures in math, like zero, one, pi—I don’t remember exactly—but it kinda blew my mind.”

When asked what they would want to say to Mr. Pew as a final goodbye, Becker said, “I just hope he knows that he changed so many lives, like on hard days, I look forward to seeing him.”

Becker added that Pew’s talents extend beyond mathematics.

“He’s a great pianist, he’s a great artist, I feel like there needs to be more people like him in the world.”

Two days later, on Friday May 24, he addressed his colleagues at the year-end faculty meeting. He told them the before becoming a teacher, he was branch manager at a bank.

“It was a good job, I was good at it, and I just didn’t feel like I mattered, and I wanted to do something that mattered, so I think we [teachers] matter.”

He joked that he only had five dress shirts and they were getting old, so I was time for him to go.

“I have loved working with you,” he said. “You are the luckiest people in the world to work at McCallum. This is a great, great school, so be happy you’re here.”

 

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