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Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Acorns

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

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 [...]

Lausbub

“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?

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

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 [...]

Beetlebomb

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

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)

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

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

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 [...]