Arma Virumque Cano

  It is my twentieth year of teaching, and I shall share my accumulated wisdom with you now. First, popping into colleagues’ classrooms and telling them to hold off on starting their lessons because there will be a fire drill momentarily is an indisputably hilarious April Fools’ joke. Second … well. This one is so […]

Special English

  Years ago I spent some time in Central Africa. I had a shortwave radio, but it was too complicated for me to figure out, and reception wasn’t always that great, so I’d listen to whatever I could pick up. That’s how I learned to dread Voice of America’s Special English. It was like being […]

The Dummy

  After Tuesday, Gentle Reader, your attempted expiry in my presence may be less unwise. I’m going for my third CPR training. The first, about a decade ago, I made a hash of. I couldn’t keep anything straight. The instructor was very nice about it, and easily forgiven if he went home thinking the problem […]

Thanksgiving

    Last year, each Friday, I taught a double block of Science class. Early on it became apparent that if our sanities were to be maintained, the students and I would have to find something active and engaging to do. I put a request on DonorsChoose for some engineering kits. And on Giving Tuesday, […]

Thinking Fast and Slow

  In Science I teach that Earth has been around for a long time, and in Ancient Civilizations I teach that humanity has been around for a long time. Monday I’m taking the latter class out to the football field to recreate this video, that they might see which has existed longer:     Well, […]

Kick in the Head

  The most embarrassing failure in U.S. Soccer history was consummated on Tuesday night in a near-empty stadium in the Caribbean tropics, culminating in a soul-crushing 2-1 defeat to a last-place opponent in which the U.S. men’s national team had only needed a win or a tie to qualify for World Cup 2018. – Sports […]

Ill Communication

  I get ill all the time, but no one wants to hear about that. – Paul Theroux   I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods recently and found myself laughing in the aisle. Twin 2, who has begun to suspect her father is unusual, asked what was so funny. “They’re playing a silly song,” I […]

School Daze

    That penultimate sentence is my new favorite. I had just spent five years in graduate school, a statement that may mean nothing to people who never served such a stretch; it is the explanation, nonetheless. I’m not sure I can give you the remotest idea of what graduate school is like. Nobody ever […]