Category Archives: Rants

Non-conscious Deep Work

I enjoy visiting the Study Hacks blog.  Its author, Cal Newport, writes about organizing one’s tasks with emphasis on doing the deep work required of a college professor, in his case, proving theorems and writing papers.  His latest book is, … Continue reading

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Dusting the Book Shelves

A summer chore was to dust the book shelves in my home.  As you can see, the shelves (There are two more bays of shelves to the right.)  have an open design thus collecting their share of dust and incidentally … Continue reading

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FOIL is Verboten

My students and I have a habit of referring to the act of multiplying two binomial forms as FOILing, recalling the acronym FOIL (First, Outer, Inner, Last) for remembering the process.  My excuse for using the term  is that they use … Continue reading

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Here’s What You Don’t Get to Do

I started last Monday’s Precalculus II class with this little speech(edited). “Here’s what you don’t get to do.  When you have children, you don’t get to say, “I was bad at math.”  Because you are good at math.  You could … Continue reading

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Erroneous Proof Changed History

Well, maybe.  I learned of the existence of an alternate model for quantum behavior as I followed the story of a NASA test propulsion system that defies Newton’s Third Law.  The idea named Bohmian mechanics is based on something called pilot-wave … Continue reading

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Making Space in My Brain

On the Wednesday, after election Tuesday, I took a decisive step.  My mental health was in jeopardy.  I would fight to eliminate a habit – a preoccupying, distracting, futile fifty year old habit. My students tell me that I have never … Continue reading

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Rubrics as Data – Part I

Rubrics, the detailed categorization of student work, have become a common teaching and grading tool.  Here is one designed to assess college-level writing.  The idea is to provide specificity and a sense of progress.  The student and the teacher have … Continue reading

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