Measuring Sticks

“The high school, the junior high, the elementary school, we went down six times a year. And not just me, the whole school went down to watch the National Symphony. And that’s where I learned that I had no interest in classical music. But it was an effort! It was arts in the school. And now you have to fight to get arts in the schools. Because nobody wants to pay for it. Nobody wants to pay for anything anymore. That’s the way I look at it. Nobody wants to pay to get the things that would allow to have a great education for children. And I had that education. And they were middle class. It wasn’t some wealthy neighborhood.”

–Lewis Black, April 14, 2014 at the National Press Club

I’m starting off by quoting Lewis Black. Suffice to say, I’m not necessarily in a good mood. Continue reading “Measuring Sticks”

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The Impression That I Get

When you get inspiration from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, it’s a good day.

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This was on one of my dry erase boards after a final. I took a picture before erasing it; I had to keep it for posterity’s sake. I had great students this year.

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Mid Course Correction

“The average age in our platoon, I’d guess, was nineteen or twenty, and as a consequence things often took on a curiously playful atmosphere, like a sporting event at some exotic reform school. The competition could be lethal, yet there was a childlike exuberance to it all, lots of pranks and horseplay. Like when Azar blew away Ted Lavender’s puppy. ‘What’s everyone so upset about?’ Azar said. ‘I mean, Christ, I’m just a boy.’”          The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien

OK, so this issue isn’t THAT serious.

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The Original John Oliver

I was fortunate before I started teaching to talk to my high school chemistry teacher, John Oliver. He is a great science historian and excelled at making difficult material accessible to high school students. I was fortunate to have coffee with him this summer as I was seeking out how to teach high school chemistry. He was light on details (and he was correct) and heavy on general principles. “Be kind to yourself” was a refrain I heard from him more than once.

Not the formerly moppy haired, HBO broadcasting, parrot-look-alike-wannabe, British comedian.

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We Heard You Were Burning Things (and Other Non Sequiturs)

I still get up early. And drink way too much coffee. And have difficulty finding time to use the restroom. And lunch is still eaten on the fly, if at all.

I still get up early. And drink way too much coffee. And have difficulty finding time to use the restroom. And lunch is still eaten on the fly, if at all.

There’s a lot overlap between medicine and teaching.

You could also say that I’m doing well.

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Continue reading “We Heard You Were Burning Things (and Other Non Sequiturs)”

(In)Frequently Asked Questions

“I don’t really like math for its own sake. What I love is that it lets you take some things that you know, and just by moving symbols around on a piece of paper, you find out something that you didn’t know that’s very surprising.” -Randall Munroe (“Comics that Ask ‘What If’” – Ted Talk)

“If you love science for science’s sake, teach college. If you really like science, but you really love to work with students, teach high school.” -Dr. Karen LaFever (in a conversation with me as I was picking my path to teach high school chemistry)

Continue reading “(In)Frequently Asked Questions”