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.

  • Egyptian Hieroglyphics

    Just completed the second week of Weston High School’s June Academy, in which I taught a course on Egyptian Hieroglyphics. In the photo below you can see two posters that showcase some of the students’ work, including carefully drawn name… Read More ›

  • Tolkien Exhibit

    This certainly sounds like an exciting exhibit! Here’s a brief description: Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien’s amazing legacy from his genius as an artist, poet, linguist, and author to his academic career and private life. The exhibition takes you on… Read More ›

  • Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction

    Oddly, I had never read James Gunn’s work of literary criticism, titled Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction, before this week. I say “oddly” because Asimov had absolutely been one of my favorite science fiction authors ever since I was,… Read More ›

  • Five languages in five days?

    “Five languages in five days” is the name of the four-day course I have just finished teaching. Yes, you heard me: despite the name, it’s a four-day course. So which is it, five days or four? Let’s see what Lewis… Read More ›

  • William thinks he’s a hamburger.

  • Famous alums Josh and Anne

    While clearing out my personal belongings from my office and my classroom (it’s amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in 21 years) I came across a copy of The Scarlet Letter that some miscreant had abandoned in our office. (That’s the… Read More ›

  • How do you get teachers to smile?

    Do you smile when taking or grading final exams? Not likely. Those are two different activities, of course: when you take a final, at least it’s over in two hours, but grading dozens of them can get… well… tedious at… Read More ›

  • We have a winner!

    Congratulations to Weston sophomore Andrew Yao! Andrew has achieved the rare distinction of being a winner of the American Math Competition — one of only two underclassmen nationwide to reach this exalted rank (and one of only 12 students altogether,… Read More ›

  • Problem solved

    While cleaning out my desk, I came across this copy of our high school newsletter from 14 years ago. Notice the headline on the lead article. Fortunately, that problem has been solved. Right?

  • Progress

    Time have changed! Remember John Silber? Here is a Facebook post from a few hours ago: And here are some excerpts from a letter John Silber sent out two decades ago: We have received a number of letters questioning the… Read More ›