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Work, Work, Work · 28 June 2009

I must apologize for the lateness of my column. I do pretty well at getting my writing done on time for my self-imposed deadline of Thursday at 11:00 pm, but sometimes I can not quite make it. I know, I should prepare well in advance or even have an inventory of columns I could post for times like this past week. But I am just not to that point yet. So I apologize to those who have been waiting patiently for my latest bit of writing. Especially, those who have signed up for the RSS or Atom feeds.


Even though you do not really care why my column is late this week, I am going to tell you. It is not a sob story or a plea for sympathy. It is just a story. A sob story, but still, just a story.


Most people work hard all week every week. I and my teacher colleagues do too. Some teachers will even go so far as to say that they work their 2000 hours (a full-time job) during the school year. And most of us do. But as a teacher, I have rarely had to work as hard as I did this past week. At a conference no less.


Most people think of conferences as places to learn, collaborate, network, and maybe relax a bit. Most conferences that I attend are like that. I learn a lot but not with tons of stress. Unfortunately, the Washington Applied Math Council’s annual week-long training is not like that. It is a conference to get teachers certified and ready to teach Applied Math to their students. And it is a week of work.


I knew going in that I would need to work hard at the conference. We had to create lesson and lab plans. We had to listen to speakers. We had to do math problems and take tests. We even had to give presentations before it was all over. People had to bring computers, printers, and books. There was little time for networking and collaboration. Most of the time was spent working.


The work that I did during my week at the conference will help me be prepared for teaching the class next year. Those late nights helped me prepare for the kids I will be teaching. I will need to do more work this summer to be even better prepared, but I am excited to teach Applied Math next year. I am excited to see how the work I did during the week will help me for the year to come. And I am excited about being able to slow down and relax just a little now that summer has officially arrived.


I hope that my late column has not created too much angst in your life, dear reader. But sometimes it can not be helped. I realize that you do not care that I have other things to do. You just care that I get out my product on time as advertised. So I thank you for your patience and understanding. And I thank you for reading. And I thank the Applied Math Council for helping me get ready for next year.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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