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.

  • Career Day

    Just completed another successful Career Day at Weston High School. We started with keynote speakers: Barry and Eliot of Jordan’s Furniture — actually only Eliot, as Barry didn’t show up — or maybe it was Eliot who didn’t show up… Read More ›

  • What is probability?

    We’re having a small disagreement here concerning just what probability is. One colleague claims that it’s an indication of belief: if I say that there’s a 30% probability of rain, then that means that I believe that there are about… Read More ›

  • Not too much eye contact

    I wonder how many Weston students would want to go to Pensacola Christian College. Check out the fascinating article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, which reports an interesting set of written and unwritten rules: At Pensacola any physical contact… Read More ›

  • Too much homework in fifth grade?

    What’s happening with the lives of fifth-graders these days? Too many of my Saturday Course students have lives that are completely filled with homework, sports, music lessons, and all sorts of other activities. I suppose most of those have been… Read More ›

  • The Plot to Save Socrates

    Just finished The Plot to Save Socrates, by Paul Levinson, an intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying science-fiction novel. In many ways it’s in the classic time-travel genre, with the usual issues about preventing paradox and taking future knowledge back to an… Read More ›

  • Who has time to read blogs?

    “Who has time to read blogs?” asked one of my colleagues. She went on to guess that blogs can’t have very many readers, since no one has time to read them. “Actually,” I replied, “some blogs have large numbers of… Read More ›

  • A student speaks out on MCAS

    Michael Bendetson [real name used by permission] is a sophomore in my Algebra II class. Today he emerged from the first of many MCAS sessions with the observation that MCAS is supposed to promote education, and yet his math class… Read More ›

  • Homework: punishment or reward?

    More than 400 students at Weston High School are participating in the Relay for Life, a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. Everyone is justifiably enthusiastic about this, since it’s a community effort supporting an excellent cause. But that’s not… Read More ›

  • Birkenstocks

    According to movie director Jason Reitman: Nothing says “I want to tell you how to live your life” more than Birkenstocks.

  • Campaign for the education of the whole child

    Schools must ensure every child has access to a rich array of subjects, including social studies, world languages, science, art, music, physical education, and recess, as well as reading and math… [T]he state must provide adequate resources to ensure that… Read More ›