Author Archives

In 2018 I retired from Weston High School after my 21st year teaching mathematics there. This was also my 44th year as a teacher altogether. Although I’ve retired from Weston, I haven’t retired from teaching: I still teach at Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy each summer (this coming one will be the 18th!), and I supervise a student teacher through Simmons. For 21 years I taught at the Saturday Course in Milton, MA, and I used to serve on the board of the Dorchester Historical Society.

I read, cook, and spend a lot of time building my model railroad. For some reason I’m left with less free time than would be ideal, considering that I’m supposed to be retired, but somehow I also manage to devote time to my wife, Barbara, and to our excessive number of cats.

Larry Davidson

  • Back from the show

    Just got back from the Amherst Railway Society’s annual model railroad show, which is held in…no, not Amherst…Springfield, MA. Barbara wasn’t interested in going, so Meredith accompanied me. Although she isn’t a model railroader, her interests in crafts and technology… Read More ›

  • Law and order and suicide

    Catching up on last week’s television shows with the wonders of the VCR — soon to be replaced by the greater wonders of TiVo — I just watched the excellent January 18 episode of Law & Order, Heart of Darkness…. Read More ›

  • What's in a name?

    Does the name of a course matter? At Weston High School we recently renamed our two-year college-prep precalculus sequence. The first course, taken primarily by juniors but always including a few seniors, used to be called Math 4. What does… Read More ›

  • Playing with Trains

    Currently I’m halfway through reading Playing with Trains: A Passion Beyond Scale, a memoir by Sam Posey. There’s a certain irony to the title. The word “passion” is accurate, for this book is truly about Posey’s deep enthusiasm and passion… Read More ›

  • MyLifeBits, Borges, and big ideas

    On yesterday’s episode of NPR’s Living on Earth, Steven Cherry interviewed Gordon Bell about his project at Microsoft, called MyLifeBits. Bell is in the process of recording everything in his life in digital form: Gordon Bell has captured a lifetime’s… Read More ›

  • Science, math, & engineering

    A fellow Dorchesterite, calling himself Trxckster — yes, the third letter is indeed an x, not an i — quotes visionary Alan Kay in his blog: Today, science (a concern with what is real) is mixed with mathematics (a concern… Read More ›

  • The hub of the Hub?

    Dot! Dorchester is becoming the city’s hip new destination after dark says the headline above Johnny Diaz’s big story splashed over the front page of the Living section of today’s Boston Globe. Not Landsdowne Street, not the South End, says… Read More ›

  • Calculus limericks?

    I can’t resist quoting from Rudbeckia Hirta’s post in her blog today: I have been dared by one of my colleagues to write one of the questions on my calculus exam in the form of a limerick. This is especially… Read More ›

  • Getting things done

    For several months now, I’ve been determined to implement some version of David Allen’s compelling Getting Thing Done. His book by that title was one of those rare self-help books that immediately grabbed my attention and thoroughly convinced me that… Read More ›

  • Graphic organizers

    Many high-school teachers believe that so-called graphic organizers are helpful to students. Readers who are my age may wonder what a graphic organizer is. According to the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, a graphic organizer is an instructional tool used… Read More ›