A Quick Glance over the Shoulder
I haven't written a Christmas letter in a while, it's probably worth a few
lines to catch up on the last few years in the Oates clan. Sadly, the first news is bad news. My birth mom, Nita J, joined my brother John
of us remaining have all moved toward the teaching profession in the last few
years. Sue has been a part-time academic
2006 found Carri using the combination of her teaching background, her
concentration in Spanish, and the calculus she took for engineering school to
become an adjunct instructor in developmental mathematics at OCCC. She's just completed a semester teaching
Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra to a group of elementary school
aides who are working toward advanced certification as Spanish-English bilingual aides
Both Sue and I continued to teach at OCCC in 2006 and will do likewise into 2007, good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise. I'm teaching Math for Health Careers almost exclusively now. It consists of lots of units conversions, IV drip rate calculations, time-to-infuse calcs., dilution calculations, and other similar fare. I'm finding new meaning in the statement made a few years ago by one of my friends who's a cardiologist. He observed that, "Ninety percent of the people who come in my office are going to be all right. I can, perhaps, make them more comfortable, but they'll be okay. Five percent who come in are going to die soon, no matter what I do. For the remaining five percent, I can make a difference. The trick is figuring out which ones are in which category." The percentages are different for my math students' outcomes, about 1/2, 1/4, and 1/4, based on my observations, and-- thank goodness--the consequences of my actions aren't immediately life and death. Nonetheless, I'm spending a considerable amount of time poring through Sue's and Carri's Montessori teacher-ed. texts and supplementary course materials to find out more about different learning styles--right/left-brain dominant, visual, aural, tactile-kinesthetic, etc.--and how I can accommodate those in teaching math applications. If any of you know of materials I should read or techniques I should investigate, speak up.
Among our known tasks for 2007 are 1) clearing 23 years of built-up junk from our residence, 2) reviewing a manuscript for a medication math textbook for Thomson Higher Ed., 3) finding room for our two newly-adopted stray pups, Ginger and Sandie, and 4) recovering from Rice's recent trouncing in its first bowl game in 45 years. :^(
By the way, I noticed that in Rice's academic commercial during the ball game, one of the current students said she came to Rice because of the trees. Didn't we all ! Rice goes to great lengths to maintain a really beautiful campus. Apparently, Rice's squirrels are similarly motivated by the abundance of trees and warm weather, according to the following two websites:
1) http://www.gottshall.com/squirrels/campsq.htm -- near bottom of page: five squirrel rating in the Campus Squirrel Listings and
2) http://www.littlesharky.com/Squirrels/photo1.htm -- a current Rice student's site with pictures of Rice's endearing rodents.
I hope the New Year brings you prosperity, good health, and great joy!
Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year to you and yours!
(Io Saturnalia! to all the ancient Romans in the crowd, too.)
Chuck, Sue, Carri, and Dustin