Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting the word out

It's been a busy month. The past three weeks have seen a German singing festival (in which I conducted a chorus of nearly 200 people), a chess tournament that didn't actually happen, a trip to Disney World, and a birthday (actually, those last two overlapped).

Blogworthy experiences all, but none is the subject of this entry. I'm actually writing here today for a simple reason: to advertise the blog of a friend of mine, Diary of an immigrant's wife.

Beth and her husband Khalid have, for some time now, been battling Homeland Security's efforts to deport Khalid. The latest developments, sadly, are not very promising.

For what it's worth, Khalid is one of the nicest people I've ever met.

So, click the link, read, and bookmark/follow to get further developments if you wish. And, if you're the sort of person who likes to "get involved," then, please, get involved.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Okay Then

In my last blog entry, I wrote the following:

"...This is an effect I've noticed before: when I do a significant amount of teaching, my creative output plummets. Why? And, does this mean that I should simply avoid teaching, or does it meant that my challenge is to learn how to teach while still living creatively?"

The next day, I got a phone call offering me a full-time teaching job for next year (one-year term appointment).

In that moment, it became clear that the answer was the second option--partly because, well, financial concerns do matter.

So in my own words, then, "my challenge (for next year) is to learn how to teach while still living creatively." I suspect what I need to do is to "teach creatively," i.e., to bring my creative spirit to all that I do--even to seemingly dry topics such as solving mathematical equations.

And while I still don't conceive of teaching math as a long-term career*, meeting this challenge can give me the experience necessary to better accomplish whatever comes next.

*I've had some thoughts recently about this as well, but the direction of those thoughts is so terrifying that I can't quite bring myself to talk about them yet, even on a semi-anonymous blog.

I've spent the last two years without a full-time job, giving me the luxury of lots of time for reflection and searching--a luxury which, frankly, I haven't always made good use of. I think I'm leaving the woods for real this time, returning to the world and bringing all the benefits of my personal efforts along with me.