Chris' Tumblr

Jul 30

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? -

Left to their own devices, teachers are once again trying to incorporate new ideas into old scripts, often botching them in the process. One especially nonsensical result stems from the Common Core’s suggestion that students not just find answers but also “illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.” The idea of utilizing arrays of dots makes sense in the hands of a skilled teacher, who can use them to help a student understand how multiplication actually works. For example, a teacher trying to explain multiplication might ask a student to first draw three rows of dots with two dots in each row and then imagine what the picture would look like with three or four or five dots in each row. Guiding the student through the exercise, the teacher could help her see that each march up the times table (3x2, 3x3, 3x4) just means adding another dot per row. But if a teacher doesn’t use the dots to illustrate bigger ideas, they become just another meaningless exercise. Instead of memorizing familiar steps, students now practice even stranger rituals, like drawing dots only to count them or breaking simple addition problems into complicated forms (62+26, for example, must become 60+2+20+6) without understanding why. This can make for even poorer math students. “In the hands of unprepared teachers,” Lampert says, “alternative algorithms are worse than just teaching them standard algorithms.”

Jul 29

The doc said that for the next couple of months I could try dairy in my diet to see what it does to my esophagus.
This is how I’m breaking my 18-month dairy fast.

The doc said that for the next couple of months I could try dairy in my diet to see what it does to my esophagus.

This is how I’m breaking my 18-month dairy fast.

Jul 27

While squashing squash bugs at the garden, I found this bumble bee hanging out inside one of the flowers. It appeared to be quite content in there. Maybe a little drunk, even. I came back five minutes later and it was still there. Squash nectar is good stuff, apparently.

While squashing squash bugs at the garden, I found this bumble bee hanging out inside one of the flowers. It appeared to be quite content in there. Maybe a little drunk, even. I came back five minutes later and it was still there. Squash nectar is good stuff, apparently.

Jul 25

I haven’t been around Tumblr much lately because, well, I haven’t been around much lately.

There’s not much in the way of instruction for aspiring young catchers around here. The town’s youth league does nothing, and private facilities in the area don’t have people that specialize in that position. Aidan has learned basically just by picking up what other people do, which in this case is not really a good thing.

I found a well-regarded guy who does only catching instruction for a living and runs a summer camp that’s a 1-hour 15-minute drive away. Aidan really wants to learn how to play the position correctly, so I agreed to take the week off work to take him.

The camp was 4 hours a day, and I (along with about half the parents) hung around to watch. I got to learn along with Aidan, and hopefully will now be able to help him practice what he learned.

The coach is a good educator and did a great job explaining the reasoning behind everything he taught. There were a total of 13 assistant coaches (college catchers who had gone through this program) and about 36 students, which was a fantastic ratio.

I was skeptical about how much he’d like the camp, because it was all instruction; there were no scrimmages. But he really loved it. He’s very excited about everything he learned, which is good because I took a week’s vacation and drove 2½ hours a day.

And then we’d come home and had to go to baseball games 3 nights this week, which finished of the regular summer season. The team clinched home field for at least their first playofff game on Monday.  And for the first time Aidan threw out a runner trying to steal second base.

So it was a pretty good week.

Jul 19

Moles and bruises are scary things

Jul 18

Pangolin GIF of the Day

[video]

Jul 16

How to write a sincere farewell message

This is wonderful. Last week, one of my coworkers left the company and emailed a farewell message to everyone. Today, another coworker who is leaving also just sent out a farewell email to everyone by taking the first coworker’s email, making some edits to it, and forwarding it. He even forgot to delete the first coworker’s email signature.

First Coworker’s Email:

As most of you heard, I will be leaving [Redacted] this week to move to Arizona. I have enjoyed working for [Redacted], and I appreciate having had this opportunity to work with many of you. Thank you for the support, guidance, and encouragement you have provided me during my time at [Redacted]. Even though I will miss you all here, I am looking forward to this next chapter in my life that brings forth new challenges! With many of you, I have shared a unique camaraderie which I hope will continue in the years to come even though I shall not be here with the company.

I do wish you and the company every success in all its future endeavors.

Best Wishes,

[Redacted]

[Email Signature]

Second Coworker’s Email:

As most of you may have heard, today is my last day at [Redacted]. I have enjoyed working for [Redacted], and I appreciate having had this opportunity to work with all of you.  I have learned a lot in my time here and have a new appreciation for the ‘challenges’ that come with working for municipal clients.

Thank you for the support and guidance you have provided me during my time at [Redacted].

I wish each of you and the company all the success in the future.

Best to all,

[Redacted]

[Email Signature]

[First Coworker’s Email Signature]

At least he took out the part about moving to Arizona.

Jul 11

[video]

I’m glad my son isn’t on this guy’s team

Aidan’s summer baseball league is about half over. His team is in 5th place (out of 14) with a 4-2-0 record, good for 8 points (2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie). Eight teams make the playoffs, so right now it’s looking promising that they’ll do that.

There is one team in the league, though, that might miss the playoffs because their coach is either an idiot and/or an asshole.

The league rules are very specific about the number of innings a kid can pitch and how much rest he must have between appearances. If someone pitches two innings or less, he must have at least one rest day between appearances, even if he only throws one pitch. Translation: under no circumstances can someone pitch two days in a row.

The rules state that the protest committee will decide on the penalty for any violations. Probably because no one had previously been stupid enough to violate the rule, there had been no reason to come up with a pre-determined penalty.

This season, though, the protest committee had to step in after the first week when one coach had someone pitch one inning and then come back the next night to pitch three more in a loss. The committee decided to issue a -1 penalty point to the team in the standings.

The next week, the coach did the same thing: He had someone pitch one inning and then come back the next night to pitch three more, this time in a win.  For this second offense, the committee wiped out the victory and awarded the other team the win via forfeit. So not only did the team not get two points for winning the game, they also got hit with an automatic -1 penalty for a forfeit.

Now this team is down 4 points from where they should be, and they’re looking up at the playoff contenders.

What does one say to a team of nine-year-olds about that? Maybe the guy could try to pass the first one off as him being ignorant about the rules*, but to do it a second time? He should be relieved of duties.

*The league rules are only three pages long, so this would just be an unacceptable excuse.

Jul 10

Endoscopy #137 over. I do it for the Lidocaine. At least that’s what I told the nurses.

Endoscopy #137 over. I do it for the Lidocaine. At least that’s what I told the nurses.

Fun with intake forms.

Fun with intake forms.

Jul 09

[video]

Baby Bunny!
She (he?) thought it was dark enough to sneak out from under the shed and get a snack without being seen.  She (he?) was wrong!

Baby Bunny!

She (he?) thought it was dark enough to sneak out from under the shed and get a snack without being seen.  She (he?) was wrong!

I keep seeing that Prince Fielder photo.
So I’m posting my favorite Prince Fielder GIF in response.

I keep seeing that Prince Fielder photo.

So I’m posting my favorite Prince Fielder GIF in response.