Author Archives

This is my 19th year as a math teacher at Weston High School, the sole public high school in Weston, MA. It’s also my 42nd 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; 2015 was our 12th 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.

  • 4 3 2 1

    As soon as I first heard about it, I knew that I had to read Paul Auster’s apparently semi-autobiographical novel 4 3 2 1: not only did the author grow up as a secular Jew from suburban Essex County, New Jersey,… Read More ›

  • June Academy: Create Your Own Country

    For the second week of June Academy, my colleague Mary Fierabend and I co-taught a course called Create Your Own Country. Mostly working in pairs, students imagined and created their own countries, emphasizing one or more themes: maps political structure/government… Read More ›

  • June Academy: Egyptian Hieroglyphics

    For the first week of June Academy, I taught a 15-hour course on Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Many students produced spectacular results, as you can gather from this poster showing their name cards (explanation to follow): The student work is visually beautiful, much of… Read More ›

  • June Academy

    Usually a school year ends with final exams — at Weston and elsewhere. As we know, final exams are designed to reduce stress and pressure by providing a relaxing time when classroom temperatures are over 90°. Right? No? You say… Read More ›

  • Cinquecento

    You were probably thinking of 16th-Century Italy when you heard the word Cinquecento, right? That was my first thought too. Italy, yes, but in this context it’s an Italian restaurant in the South End of Boston, appropriately labeled an “authentic… Read More ›

  • William makes it clear.

    William makes it clear whose iPad this is.

  • The long hiatus is over.

    Resuming my blog after a hiatus of too many months — eight, in fact! — so, stay tuned!

  • Dare Me and Exit, Pursued by a Bear

    “Exit, Pursued by a Bear.” Hmmm… where have I heard that before? It sounded like a Shakespearean stage direction, and it seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place it… so of course I looked it up. I’ll save you the trouble: it’s… Read More ›

  • Bullying Three Ways

    I originally started drafting this post well before last night’s presidential debate and the follow-up by Van Jones, but these events have slightly rearranged what I need to say. This thread actually started on September 27 with four talks (to different… Read More ›

  • Too Like the Lightning

    It’s definitely necessary to avoid spoilers on this one. Ada Palmer’s dark novel, Too Like the Lightning, is partly fantasy, mostly science fiction, and completely fascinating. Oh, did I mention philosophy? It’s clearly a work of philosophy as well. And sociology/anthropology. And a… Read More ›