New Math vs Old Math

A frequent reader of this blog sent me a link to this video on Facebook, of a side-by-side comparison between a traditional method for doing multidigit multiplication (which is over very quickly) and a new “grid” method (which takes a long time to explain): She wanted to know why anyone would use the long, drawn-out … More New Math vs Old Math

The Wheel of Outcomes

If you’re considering making some change in your life — waking up at a different time, adopting a pet, starting a business — there are generally only two possibilities for the outcome: it will make your life better, or it will make your life worse. (Very rarely, it might make a net zero difference, but … More The Wheel of Outcomes

Welcome to the world!

This month Clara and I welcomed our first child, a daughter, into the world. She is unbelievably wonderful and it already feels like she’s been with us forever. Here are some thoughts on life with a newborn (sometimes, on life with this newborn specifically), in no particular order: When she cries, it’s often just sad … More Welcome to the world!

Three questions to ask instead of “Is it safe?”

Minnesota has recently gone from its “Stay Home” order to a series of “Stay Safe” guidelines for which activities to reintroduce when. Here’s an example graphic posted by our governor last week: This type of advice puts each activity at any given time into one of two buckets: “Allowed” or “Not allowed.” And that makes … More Three questions to ask instead of “Is it safe?”

Quarantine Knits

When I think about the different aspects of my life, I keep coming back to this list of goal types Gretchen Rubin collected for her book Better than Before: Eating healthfully Exercising regularly Spending wisely Enjoying rest Accomplishment Simplifying one’s environment Deepening relationships I’ve been astonished how much this pandemic has disrupted every one of … More Quarantine Knits

Multiplying Joy

I do not enjoy public speaking. This may sound odd coming from someone whose chosen profession involves regularly getting up in front of a crowd of students several times a week, but somehow that feels different. When I’m teaching, I’m the expert. By getting up and speaking, I am merely fulfilling the role that everyone … More Multiplying Joy