Something new every ten years

“We should all embark on something completely new every ten years,” said Roy Strong, as quoted by Susan Hill in Howard’s End is on the Landing. When I read this opinion, I paused, closed the book, and thought for a while. I realized that that has pretty much been my philosophy, as long as we can be elastic about the prescription for “ten” as the magic number. In my twelfth year at Lincoln-Sudbury I joined some friends and colleagues in founding a new school. Intertwined with that effort was my experience in various software startups. About ten years after the initial planning for The Phoenix School began, I took on several endeavors, including teaching on television and teaching at The Saturday Course. Soon thereafter — certainly not ten years this time! — I joined Boston University Academy (BUA) as their first math teacher to help create their Math Department. Ten years after that I accepted the invitation from Harvard University to create — and then teach— the Quantitative Reasoning course at the Crimson Summer Academy. Spoiling the rough decennial pattern was my decision to move from BUA to Weston High School a mere four years after I started my work at BUA. Nevertheless, I think Strong has a point, a very good point. Of course there’s nothing magic about ten years, but new beginnings are a good idea. Don’t be afraid of professional change! That‘s what keeps you alive and active.

Categories: Books, Life