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Yearly Archives: 2023

New Year Hanging Around

Sun, 31 Dec 2023, 11:01 PM (-06:00)

I’m not waiting any longer. There’s an hour to go before the Central Time ball drops. But my laptop is down to 20%, the fair and industrious Trudy has long given up the ghost, Miss Izzy is catatonic under my AHIHA hockey jersey, the Zyrtec is having its side-effect, and so let’s do this. One […]


Sun, 31 Dec 2023, 09:22 AM (-06:00)

Sawbucks for a Non-Handy Man

Sat, 30 Dec 2023, 09:32 PM (-06:00)

1. The Need Was it ten years ago? Maybe fifteen. According to the fair and industrious Trudy, Ben was still in high school, so … 14 years ago. That’s how long ago this was. There I was standing in our driveway rasumfrassing to myself amidst a bunch of scattered branches. I was tired of cutting […]

Causes and Effects

Fri, 29 Dec 2023, 10:20 AM (-06:00)

We can keep going with this, you know… 1. Root Cause Analysis  When you launch rockets or fly airplanes full of passengers, you want things to go well. You don’t want mishaps. There is an engineering discipline called root cause analysis dedicated to providing objective techniques for trying to make sure bad days don’t happen. It […]

An Assignment

Thu, 28 Dec 2023, 12:07 PM (-06:00)

1. A Question A video plays on the monitor at the front of the classroom. In it, Nikki Haley is on stage at a town hall meeting. An audience member asks, “What was the cause of the United States Civil War?” We watch the video for a few minutes. Then I turn to the class. “Painful […]

Silent Sunday

Sun, 24 Dec 2023, 12:17 PM (-06:00)

Matrix Sound Effects

Tue, 19 Dec 2023, 06:32 PM (-06:00)

As they were reviewing for the final, a student walked up and quietly asked a question. “Well,” I began to answer. “Do you remember when we talked about matrix multiplication?”  “Kinda,” she said, drawing it out in the way they do when they in fact don’t remember. “There was a problem about four women runners […]

What You Get For Taking the Final

Thu, 14 Dec 2023, 09:43 PM (-06:00)

If you come to room B102 starting today and take the Algebra 2 final exam, you’ll get two Oreos. And a card celebrating the imminent break with a picture of the school and students fleeing to positive and negative infinity. And you’ll get a promise that we’ll see each other soon. Good luck!

We Got This

Wed, 13 Dec 2023, 08:45 PM (-06:00)

“Are you going to decorate your door, Mr. Hasan?” a student asks. “Well, I’ve kinda started.” “That’s it? That red paper? I thought someone was helping you.” “They’re not finished.” “Judging is Friday, Mr. Hasan. You want us to help?” Easy question to answer. And so they take the snowflakes cut out from handed-in worksheets. […]

In-Between Time

Mon, 11 Dec 2023, 10:51 AM (-06:00)

Last week it was warm enough to swim laps outside. By the northern standards of my youth, fall has not yet fallen in spite of the mid-December date. Yellow Cowpen Daisies and Zexmenia, pink and yellow Lantana, and even some lingering purple Fall Asters are exploding in showy blossoms. Top notch, but certainly not my […]