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Yearly Archives: 2018

Turning in the Extra Credit Problems

Sun, 28 Oct 2018, 05:32 PM (-06:00)

A student of mine had been struggling. He knew it, and he would come in for help during tutorials. He asked good questions. He tried hard. I sent some links to Khan Academy to give him additional background and practice. Since then, he’s been more comfortable with the material, and his grades have been inching […]

That Was Interesting

Sun, 28 Oct 2018, 05:07 PM (-06:00)

It was Friday. We were studying how to solve systems of equations with three variables by substitution. And we had finished the lesson 10 minutes early. I was bushed. (I had been sick earlier in the week and was still fighting it off. My voice had barely lasted.) I stopped writing at the document camera and […]

Being Mean

Sun, 28 Oct 2018, 04:08 PM (-06:00)

I was disappointed with all the zeros in my grade book — a lot of homework never turned in. So I stood in front of the class and gave them a lecture. “Don’t ask me, ‘Mister, how can I improve my grade?’” I said, “when you can see as well as I can that you’re […]

Welcome to Leave

Sun, 21 Oct 2018, 10:23 AM (-06:00)

Usually at this time of year, our rain barrels are just beginning to fill up — replenishing from the brutality of summer. But this year they’ve been full for many weeks. That’s when the rains started. The Farmers’ Market: Poor Ben. He is the director/manager of the Sunset Valley Farmers’ Market. They have had dismal, rainy […]

Organizing the Notebooks

Sun, 21 Oct 2018, 01:58 AM (-06:00)

Class was over. The students were leaving the room. I had been standing by the door. So I was walking the other way.  One of the students was standing at the baskets containing their composition notebooks. She was muttering under her breath, which didn’t register with me at first, but then I looked at the baskets. […]

On Acorns

Sun, 7 Oct 2018, 08:43 PM (-06:00)

The Burr Oak across the street is laden with huge acorns. Quercus Macrocarpa. But they are still a bit green. It will take good timing to get a few before they drop. Last year not one of them on the ground was any good. So I’ve got my eyes on that tree. And the acorns are […]

A Long Friday

Sun, 7 Oct 2018, 06:54 PM (-06:00)

It was a long day. Full-periods working on function transformations with the kids. A pep rally after classes before the kids began filing out of the school. Some after-school tutoring to a student who has been working hard to keep up and to understand. Grabbing something to eat before heading to the football stadium for […]


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 […]