Accomplishments and Regrets in 2012

With 2012 coming to a close, I’ve been thinking about my year. I am proud of a lot that I did this year including

  • My application for a Radcliffe Fellowship: I wrote a good application and was brave enough to apply
  • My application for promotion
  • Taking the first steps for my Liberation Math website (http://liberationmath.org)
  • The amazing connection I have had with my spouse this year
  • The way I talk to my kids about anything and everything
  • The great talks I gave and connections I made at conferences, workshops, and invited talks this year
  • The connections that I had this year with both my parents
  • Getting a 529 set up for kids for college and setting up regular contributions
  • Solving my long-standing digestive issues! Figuring out that I have SIBO was transformative, and I have made great strides in fixing my problems. Woo hoo!
  • I had a paper accepted to a sociology journal (the paper is in press at Rationality and Society), and I’m a mathematician!
  • I had great connections with students in many of my classes and I feel good about a lot of the teaching I did this year.

    Climb Ev'ry Mountain

    Climb Ev’ry Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also have some regrets:

  • Not pushing the 529 out to grandparents so they can contribute
  • Not being proactive enough in setting up solo time with my mom
  • Losing the connection with dad for a little while because I stopped calling him
  • Getting angry at my kids and not wanting to stop getting angry and be a grownup
  • Not doing something like yoga or meditation to restore and center myself
  • Letting myself get away with not connecting deeply with my students
  • Not blogging regularly enough
  • Not attending to how my net worth is growing (or, um, not growing)
  • Not dreaming big enough about liberation mathematics (but I’m working on that now!)
  • Spending my energy treading water and distracting myself rather than really digging in (busy bee trait)

I have started to work on setting up dreams, plans, and goals for this upcoming year, so I may blog about those in the coming week. A lot of my energy is going to putting up content at my new site Liberation Math, so come visit me there!

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Looking toward a new semester

Today I am working on the syllabus for the course I am going to be teaching multiple sections of in the fall: Quantitative Reasoning (QR). I have a few goals aside from simple syllabus-creation.

  1. I want to create an excellent course that can be standardized and given to adjuncts to teach. I have before run good sections of QR, but we have not at Lesley had a cohesive standard for what belongs in the QR class (and what is optional), and I want to be developing something this semester that can be widely used.
  2. In the past I haven’t used out textbook, Bennett and Briggs Using and Understanding Mathematics. I have made a personal commitment this semester to actually using the text since I want to refine this course so that it is easy for adjuncts to teach. I tend to simply create my own materials for this class, so I’m trying to keep an open mind about materials that come pre-packaged. I want to be able to do this without totally losing an inquiry-based approach to the class.
  3. I am teaching two “regular” sections of this course and one “with lab” section which has an extra hour of class each week. I want to come up with something we can do as a class for that extra hour that won’t get us out of step with the rest of the class.
  4. I want to have clear objectives for the students this semester that are stated explicitly. I generally have some broad goals listed on the syllabus, but I also want to have explicit goals I communicate with them about skills and concepts I expect them to master.

So I’m off! We’ll see what I can come up with today. Once that’s at least partially done, I’m going to turn my mind toward what I learned at the Bridges conference and what I might want to do with it!