Author Archives

I am entering my 21st year as a math teacher at Weston High School, the sole public high school in Weston, MA. It’s also my 44th year as a teacher altogether. In addition to my day job, I taught for 20 years at the Saturday Course in Milton, MA. I also teach at Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy each summer; 2017 was our 14th consecutive summer.

Sometimes I work on educational software. I also read, cook, and continue building my model railroad whenever I can. For some reason I'm left with less so-called free time than would be ideal. Nevertheless, I manage to devote time to my wife, Barbara, and to our excessive number of cats as well.

  • Is it “Music City” or “Athens of the South”?

    Yes, this is the Parthenon. But no, we’re not in Greece. This is the Parthenon in Nashville, not the one in Athens. Barbara and I just got back from a three-day visit to see our niece, Aviva, who is currently… Read More ›

  • International Pronouns Day

    As everyone knows, today is International Pronouns Day. Why, you might ask, does such a day exist? There’s no International Adjectives Day, after all. Or International Verbs Day. What’s so special about pronouns? It’s all because English has these gendered… Read More ›

  • New Guinea to New Jersey, 1943

    No, I’m not old enough to remember World War II. But I can reprint a letter that my dad, then stationed in New Guinea, wrote to my mom in 1943: This was four years before I was born. (In New… Read More ›

  • Do Trump supporters have empathy?

    What does brain science show about whether Trump supporters have empathy? Three days ago I published a post, “Red Brain, Blue Brain,” about a recent Hidden Brain podcast. I discussed some conservative/liberal generalities, but nothing specifically physiological or anatomical. Now it’s time… Read More ›

  • Elderly?

    How old is she? From Edmund Crispin, The Moving Toyshop (1946):

  • Red brain, blue brain

        They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. Remember who said that? I’m sure you do. You probably also remember that it’s a certain well-known Republican talking about immigrants from Mexico… Read More ›

  • The Magician King

    The Magician King is the sequel to The Magicians, which I reviewed on September 1. As the second book in Lev Grossman’s trilogy, it follows closely after book #1 and appropriately leaves the reader hanging, waiting for #3. Darker and more mature than The… Read More ›

  • A later start time

    Weston students, parents, and teachers: Is the later start time working? Let me know!

  • Feedback from 46 years ago

    Going through some old papers, I came across a summary of student feedback from Relations & Functions, a course I team-taught at Lincoln-Sudbury (L–S). This was more-or-less equivalent to today’s Honors Precalculus, and it’s instructive to consider the similarities and… Read More ›

  • Pandas!

    Giant panda overload this week! Earlier in the week came the first episode of Martin Yan’s newly revived TV series, Yan Can Cook. The new series, Spice Kingdom, is described as “a 13-part series that explores the many aspects of how food and… Read More ›