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Entry date: 12-6-23 – Mathtastic -Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I love the symmetry of 12-6-23. It just works for my brain. I think, this morning, I will share the beautiful rhythm of 12 – 6 – 23 with my students. 12-6, for example, equals 2x3. They will groan. They will get glassy-eyed. They will hate it.

Short day, today. A meeting in the afternoon in the library and then a visit with Granny. After that, it will be some writing time. The weeks are flying by right now and I’m not complaining. I’ve been taking advantage of the testing time to get stuff prepared for the next couple of weeks. With any luck, I’ll set myself up to get two or three weeks ahead soon.

The beauty of doing this work, too, is that the standards aren’t going to change any time soon and all the prep I’m doing now will be useful for years to come. I’m building lessons in a way that I can reuse them for the foreseeable future. I’ll just need little tweaks here and there. That’s a hell of a lot easier than starting from scratch each week.

Teaching is a funny thing. It’s equal parts having a system to work from and being able to adlib all over the script. You never know where the discussion will take you and I’m a believer in getting kids to talk. They will listen to each other way more than they will listen to some dumb adult.


Last weekend, we lost a family member. It’s a tough one, for me, because she was not legally my family, but she was my kid’s grandmother and Rhondi’s ex-mom-in-law, and we spent a fair amount of time together over the years. She meant a ton to her grandkids and my wife, so I am hurting for them right now as they get used to the idea of her being gone.

I’m sad, too, but not for her. She was in bad shape physically and in pain, so I’m happy that she is not suffering anymore. She was pretty confused about what was going on with her and not getting a ton of help from the people closest to her, so I am glad she is at rest now. At peace.

My focus now is to live up to the promise I made her after Rhondi texted me on Saturday night and told me she was gone. That was between me and her, but I’m sure you can figure out what it would be. There are people still here who miss her and that she cared a great deal about, so whatever I can do on that end to honor her memory is fine with me.

As I think about the whole thing, it was an odd thing to be invited into her life as the “new” husband of the ex-D.I.L., but it was our life. Why is it a bad thing to have more people who care about you and your family? There are so many people out there who don’t have anybody looking out for them that gaining another set of, in a weird way, ‘parents’ is pretty lucky.

It was an honor to have known you, Oma. Godspeed!


See you tomorrow.

I really like this stuff.

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