Dial 9 First I was in the school’s main office when a middle school student entered and asked the secretary if he could use the office phone to call home. She gave him permission then said, “Just dial 9 first.” I turned to the student, “Excuse me, can you tell me what ‘dial’ means?” He… Continue reading Dial 9 First
A Braided Question? Last week I stopped by the grocery store. When I arrived at the check-out I was standing behind a woman with the most fascinating hair. She would have been in her late 20’s or early 30’s and had the tightest, smallest braids I had ever seen. The light coming in form the… Continue reading A Braided Question?
The Real World I don’t remember the context but I do recall my grade 12 Math teacher making reference to us, her students, as one day being part of the real world. Later that day, my buddy Dave and I were looking out at the city from the school’s top floor. Dave said, “Out there… Continue reading The Real World
Roman Numerals Occasionally, Roman numerals would work their way into my classes; for example, when teaching the Stock system of naming compounds in chemistry. I always assumed that students were well versed in their use, but as the years went by it became obvious that many either didn’t know the numerals or needed a refresher.… Continue reading Roman Numerals
Say Uncle I ran into a former student the other day. We got caught up on his work experiences and family. It was a nice conversation. I asked how his sister was doing, another former student. He brought me up to date and mentioned that she was now a mother. He was worried because she… Continue reading Say Uncle
By the Numbers In the world of mathematics, a factorial is the product of a whole number and all of the whole numbers below it; for example, four factorial is equal to 24 (4 x 3 x 2 x 1). The symbol to indicate a factorial is ! (an exclamation mark), so four factorial is… Continue reading By the Numbers
To Heal the Lame It was the end of the school day. I was on the east side of the building watching the students head to the buses. Within the herd I noticed two students running in the opposite direction and around the back of the building. I was curious. When I reached the corner… Continue reading To Heal the Lame
To Crack a Smile Jack was in grade seven when I first arrived at M.C.S. He was a very pleasant and cooperative student. He always impressed me as being more mature than his classmates. We chatted often. He wasn’t the most articulate of students and often fumbled a bit when trying to express himself. I… Continue reading To Crack a Smile