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Monthly Archives: September 2018


Sun, 30 Sep 2018, 07:50 PM (-06:00)

“You’re a silly goose,” someone in the back of the room chimed in when another student answered a question I had asked. “Hey, silly goose: that’s what I used to call my son when he was young,” I said. They looked at me. I stood there for a second, weighing whether or not I could […]

Why Are You Here?

Sun, 30 Sep 2018, 03:22 PM (-06:00)

1. The Question The room was dark. There were equations and graphs projected on the screen at the front. The students were just beginning to get settled back down from the fire drill. “Mister,” one of the students asked, “why are you here?” I forget why she asked that.  “Why am I here?” “Mister,” the […]

On Working Like Gardeners

Sun, 23 Sep 2018, 11:55 AM (-06:00)

There are critters here. Lurking in the dark, scurrying in the undergrowth, peering into the gloom from their surveilling perches in trees. In the long-decaying wood piles stacked at the periphery. In the loam and mould of the compost piles. Owls. Lizards. Snakes. Bees. Wasps. Beetles. This is a place for them. Nothing needs to happen […]


Sun, 23 Sep 2018, 11:06 AM (-06:00)

As Trudy tossed and turned in the pre-dawn hours of the morning, as Charlie wandered around the house dazed and confused, as Miss Izzy tried unsuccessfully to sneak outside to bark at the night creatures, as BBC played on the radio, I was repeatedly falling back asleep. Because… well my wheels are weary. After the […]

It Shows

Thu, 20 Sep 2018, 08:45 PM (-06:00)

The 24 minute alarm had just sounded. Lunch time was over. The other math teachers packed up their stuff and got ready to head to their classrooms. The door to the workroom opened, and all of the sudden, there was a smiling face looking straight at me. It took me a while to get my […]

It’s Alive (A Frankenstein Reprise)

Sun, 16 Sep 2018, 10:57 AM (-06:00)

1. Scientists and Mathematicians I write ‘x’ and ‘y’ on the board in blue. “Scientists,” I say, “care about these x’s and y’s. They care about what they mean. Given the current time (x), how fast is the rocket going (y)? Given the distance downstream from the dam (x), how many fish are in the […]

Frankenstein Shoes

Sun, 9 Sep 2018, 09:41 PM (-06:00)

Did I tell you how much my feet hurt those first few days? Yes, I did. Each night I would go to bed thinking, “It’s not possible these feet will recover by morning.” Yet, each morning they were better, only to be beat to a pulp that day with the cycle starting over again. Finally, I […]

A Third Day of Absolute Values

Sun, 9 Sep 2018, 10:34 AM (-06:00)

The median score on the first test was not good. It revealed the extent to which many of my students just weren’t getting what I was trying to teach. I was convinced that I was doing something fundamentally wrong, despite reassurances from all the other math teachers that this is a common reality we are […]

This Is Helping Me

Sun, 9 Sep 2018, 09:45 AM (-06:00)

The day was done. School was over. We sat in the classroom for a while going over the algebra.   When we were finished, she gathered her things and began to walk out of the room. I started to think about the next day. She stopped at the door and looked back. “This is really […]