They say if you love your job, you never work a day in your life.
For Enrique Reyes, he loves teaching maths so much that he considers it an 'addiction'.
Mr Reyes, known by his friends as Iking, has decided to hang up the text books after a twenty year career tutoring local students.
He sat down with the Mudgee Guardian in his home to talk about his career - over a Tsokolate [Filipino hot chocolate] - and what led him to follow his passion for mathematics.
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Coming to Mudgee
Enrique came to Mudgee in 1986 and for 14 years worked at Gooree Park in a finance and management role, however, he always felt something wasn't right.
"In all those years I knew that isn't wasn't the right fit for me. You know when you're in a job and you're not really settled? That was me," Mr Reyes said.
The catalyst came when Enrique and a group of Gooree staff were on a business trip and stopped at a hotel.
"The elderly guy at reception looked quite familiar to me. Not in the sense that I knew him, but I knew the type. Out of the blue I asked him. Were you a professor before this? 'Indeed', he said. 'I was a University of Sydney, Pure Mathematics Professor and with my super we bought into this motel," Mr Reyes said.
"Right there and then I thought 'poor guy'. I knew pure mathematicians have this abstract way of thinking and seeing the world. Now he's here involved with counting linen and having it washed, minding cutlery and managing bookings,"
"I thought, his is the same situation as mine, I'm just counting cows. That told me that I really needed to make a move. I knew I'd never be a good farm manager."
Enrique and his wife Helen have three children, and while Enrique was going through a career crisis, their eldest son, Isaac, was experiencing his own. His career aspirations didn't match his academic ability.
"I thought, his is the same situation as mine, I'm just counting cows. That told me that I really needed to make a move. I knew I'd never be a good farm manager."Enrique Reyes
Enrique said that these two things were the motivation he needed to make the leap into a new profession.
A father and son
"It was 1999, Isaac was into cars. He had a stack of car magazines and in one there was an article where they interviewed an Actuary, you know an Actuary is one of the highest paying jobs in the whole world. Isaac said 'that's what I want to be, dad!" Mr Reyes said.
"I had even considered being one myself many years before, I knew the kind of heavy maths that that actuarial science involved. The problem was, Isaac was a C-grade maths student, really hopeless," Mr Reyes laughed.
"I said 'son, you know I was thinking of maybe dabbling in some maths tutoring, you'll be one of my first students.' He was in year 10,"
Isaac started making slow but steady progress, making his way up to 'maybe a B-' in his father's assessment, within the first year of tutoring.
But by the time Isaac was a senior in High School, his aptitude for mathematics took off.
"He topped the district in mathematics in the HSC. That's what started me getting a lot of students as customers. Parents were saying 'I want what he's having'. In a way I owe something to my son," Mr Reyes said.
Relearning what was been learned
The success Enrique had tutoring his son didn't come overnight. Before started tutoring, he says he had to relearn the entirety of the material, including mathematics at the highest levels.
"It was a challenge," Mr Reyes said.
"'Extension 2' is very high-level maths. The material that they cover is university standard. Those science and engineering students that go to uni that didn't do Extension 2. They have to do complex numbers in the first and second year. It was difficult for me. But I persisted,"
"Isaac got a good result, he was in the top band in Extension 2, but I always tell him that if I tutored him now he would get a much better result. I wasn't good at circle geometry, I didn't really know how to teach it well at that time,"
"I believe maths is a good societal tool to grow good citizens."Enrique Reyes
"It was a steep learning curve for me."
Parents say mathematics has changed so much since they were at school, but Enrique says he's found it has essentially stayed the same for years - which helps explain why his passion has never waned.
"Over the past twenty years it's more or less the same. There's a new syllabus coming up, There's going to be vectors and that sort of thing. I welcome the change, it readies students well for uni," Mr Reyes said.
"I believe maths is the most important subject. I'm bias of course, but it teaches students to use their minds, to reason, to follow rules. Maths is rules-based with theorems and you have to understand these theorems. The best way to learn them is to apply them,"
"I believe maths is a good societal tool to grow good citizens."
'Retirement from Mudgee'
Enrique says he had been considering retirement for a little while, but the decision was made relatively promptly.
"I made the decision last Friday morning and I posted it on Facebook Friday afternoon," Mr Reyes said.
Enrique will be travelling back to the Philippines in July to support his siblings for at least the rest of 2019. When he comes back, the plan is to move elsewhere, 'perhaps the Blue Mountains' he says.
"I'll be going back to Manilla. I might take six months or a year but if I do come back, I've definitely retired from Mudgee. If I do end up in the Blue Mountains, I might tutor a couple of students there." Admitting he can't ever really give up maths.
Enrique said that while some of his students keep in touch after they've left school, he wasn't quite sure how much his tutoring had affected the lives of many of his students.
Oscar Aitchison is a former student that spoke to the Mudgee Guardian about his memories working with Enrique.
"Enrique tutored me from year 10 to 12. My mum and I drove from Rylstone to Mudgee every Saturday for a session with him. It was so great because he always challenged me to push myself," Mr Aitchison said.
"I used to finish the sessions so mentally exhausted I would fall asleep in the car. I'm an engineer these days so problem solving skills are so important. I am sure his tutoring helped me."
Another former student, Sam McFarlane said it's thanks to Enrique's tutoring that he's able to study his chosen course at university.
"It's sad he's retiring, he was great at it [teaching maths] and made the hardest questions on any test almost trivial. There was one question I gave him that he had never seen before and couldn't immediately give me an answer to, but ended up emailing me several hours after the lesson had ended with a solution and explanations," Mr McFarlane said.
"I sucked at maths before I went to him and now I'm doing a degree that's 100 per cent maths."
Enrique says that to all the students he's taught. He has truly loved his role in their lives.
"I've always been so impressed by Mudgee. I've had more than 100 students come though and I've never had a bad experience," Mr Reyes said.
"I think it's a testament to the goodness of this community and I'm grateful for it. I'm lucky to have tutored here. I could go on about Mudgee. It's a great community out here."