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Category Archives: Default

Marvels

During the day yesterday waves raced out of the southwest, and there were whitecaps on the water. By late afternoon the clouds and rain had passed, and sunlight glinted off gently swelling waves. The late summer evening sunset was remarkable. Today there is barely a breeze on the face of the deep, and a spirit […]

Olivetti Praxis 48

It was because of poor penmanship. There were several of us who were evidently judged in need of intervention by virtue of how we wrote. Perhaps they will write more neatly if they see how neat things could be. So several times a week, we were excused to a glass-walled room behind our fifth grade […]

Cashews and Pickles

She came into the room at the beginning of the sixth period final. It was the last exam of the year. But she was exempt, so I was surprised to see her. “Here, Mr. Hasan,” she said. “Thank you,” her long dark hair framing a relaxed smile. She handed me a card and then left […]

The Abyss

“Remember,” I told them. “You have a week to get late homework to me. Anything later than that falls into the abyss.”  I drew a picture. I attached it to the message. In class the next day, I taped it up in the front of the room. “What’s this?” I asked the students. “The abyss,” […]

Very Suspicious

It was the second day of final exams. The first period students were coming into the room. I was passing out the answer forms — half-sheets of paper with a box for each multiple choice answer. This class never gets multiple choice tests. They didn’t know what to make of it. “Is that all!?” one […]

I don’t think so

He walked into the classroom after school. He had taken the final exam earlier in the day, and now he was here to make up a test he missed a long time ago. “I have some news,” I said after he had walked past the students finishing overdue homework.  He stiffened. “You did well enough […]

Is It Ok if I…

It was the last day of algebra for him. We had been talking about his grade, and to his relief, he passed. On his way out of the room, he stopped at the garbage can by the door. He was about to throw out the notes he had brought with him, notes about exponential functions […]

Do Not Solve

Sometimes I give the students problems which are not problems at all. They only need to demonstrate that they know how to get started. In situations like these, their instructions will say something like, Set up a synthetic division problem for the following dividend and divisor. DO NOT SOLVE IT. Inevitably someone will ask, “So Mr. […]

Style

On Friday I wore a sea green STS-125 short-sleeved shirt from when I worked in Houston. It’s one of my favorites, and I don’t wear it often, since I don’t want to wear it out. It dates me, but no one really knows that. Alicia sits in the front row, and we often have mini-conversations […]

Sea Queen

“Do you want me to do your nails?” I heard her ask him. They sit in the front row. I can hear the front row conversations. “No,” he said.  “Last year you let me,” she said. He didn’t reply.  “It is a nice color,” I said, looking over at the two of them. “Sea Queen,” […]