March 6 Day 1093: Where Were You?

It was three years ago today that UW President Ana Mari Cauce sent this email: The Friday morning message called for emergency remote teaching by the very next workday. The speed of the transition was dizzying. I was on a writing retreat at Pack Forest with a handful of my Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences colleagues.Continue reading “March 6 Day 1093: Where Were You?”

October 2 Day 938: Angeles Angels

NCTM brought me back to spend time in LA. I lived there for a dozen years as I was starting my career. I got my first academic job there. I got divorced there. I found my loving and supportive partner there. I gave birth to two sons there. There was lots of nostalgia, both goodContinue reading “October 2 Day 938: Angeles Angels”

September 27 Day 933: No Wonder USPS is in Trouble

I came to campus for final preparations of tomorrow’s opening class this quarter. I checked my office mail for the first time in eight months. During this time, the United States Postal Service brought 2 hand written letters, 5 math publications, and 1 book advertisement. What does it say about the volume of electronic communicationsContinue reading “September 27 Day 933: No Wonder USPS is in Trouble”

June 21 Day 835: Great Lessons

Day two of the ILAS conference in Galway featured the first half of the mini symposium honoring the work of my thesis advisor, Richard Brualdi. It is the reason I am here. The “Brualdi insights” that I pick up from today’s speakers: are: Drive somewhere with Richard (preferably to a conference.) The key to writingContinue reading “June 21 Day 835: Great Lessons”

April 4 Day 757: How would you finish this thought?

I know I’ve been too busy when….. Before sharing some of my answers, take a moment to answer for yourself. . . . . I’ll wait. . . . . Ready? I know I’ve been too busy when I finally update my TO-DO list and feel embarrassment for the lingering items that should have beenContinue reading “April 4 Day 757: How would you finish this thought?”

March 3 Day 725: Tacoma Mourns

Tacoma lost an icon on Tuesday, my friend Sue. She was a no nonsense, foul-mouthed, beautiful human. A force of nature. A cheerleader for the underdog. Smart, driven, and a g*d d*mned delight. She was fearless and lived life so fully. We were grateful to be included on some of her food adventures—happily waiting forContinue reading “March 3 Day 725: Tacoma Mourns”

February 11 Day 705: Pandemic Learning

I noticed something the other day. In class, when students didn’t know how to solve a problem, the first thing they did was Google it. I had set up working groups with a mixture of in-person and remote participants. Computers were open for communication. I purposefully gave only one copy of the activity to eachContinue reading “February 11 Day 705: Pandemic Learning”

February 8 Day 702: Oral Midterms Again

It’s midterm time and that means a day administering oral interviews. It’s a small class (only 16 students) and I scheduled them all for one day. Today. They started at 9 am and ended at 7 pm. The process hasn’t changed. The questions are variations on previous themes. It really shouldn’t have seemed much differentContinue reading “February 8 Day 702: Oral Midterms Again”

December 15 Day 647: Interview Marathon Part II

My first academic term teaching face-to-face since March 2020 is close to completed. Continuing my COVID practice of assessing students through oral examinations, I recently finished two long days of interviews. This reflection will detail the process and lessons learned (much as I have done in the past as documented in all these posts.) TheContinue reading “December 15 Day 647: Interview Marathon Part II”

December 13 Day 645: Interview Marathon Part 1

I spent 7 hours (plus a few breaks) administering interviews for individual final oral assessments today. I’m halfway done and will complete the rest in another marathon session tomorrow. Every term has one or two students that just give up. The stress and pressure from school, family, and work take their toll. Today, I feltContinue reading “December 13 Day 645: Interview Marathon Part 1”