Monday, July 28, 2014


"Life is now a battle and a journey.  As Eugene Peterson reminds us, `We must fight the forces that oppose our becoming whole, we must find our way through difficult and unfamiliar territory to our true home.'

"Life is not a game of striving and indulgence.  It is not a long march and of duty and obligation.  It is not, as Henry Ford once said, 'one damn thing after another.'  Life is a desperate quest through dangerous territory to a destination that is, beyond all our wildest hopes, indescribably good.  Only by conceiving of our days in this manner can we find our way safely through.  You see, different roads lead different places.  To find the Land of Desire you must take the journey of desire.  You can't get there by any other means.  If we are to take up the trail and get on with our quest, we've got to get our hearts back, which means getting our desires back."

(from "The Journey of Desire" by John Eldredge) 

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Last week we took a family trip to Eugene, Oregon to check out the university where Anthony will begin his grad work this fall.  It seems like a particularly good fit for Anthony, especially given that Eugene is known as "Track Town USA."

The closer we got to Eugene, the more ubiquitous the letter O became!

Fenton Hall - home of the math department:

Just down the path from Fenton is Deady ("dee-dee"), another math building, which is where Anthony's office will be.  It's a very old building - built between 1873 and 1876, and it does not have air-conditioning, so it's really awesome that Anthony's office will be in the basement!

I found a picture online of the campus from 1894 (looks like a football game - GO DUCKS!) with Deady Hall in the background (the tall, narrow building in the middle).  Clearly it's got quite some history!  This makes me wonder if it's haunted!  Do ghosts haunt schools, or do they stay away?

My favorite spot in Deady Hall was the 'reading room' for undergrads, which was named 'Hilbert Space.'  It has an attached closet full of board games, which is exactly as it should be!

Some other points of interest (to me!) on campus were this sculpture of Einstein sticking out his tongue, which I thought was a pretty classy building adornment!

And the office of physicist Richard Taylor, since I'm an unabashed mathematician and physicist groupie I sought out his office hoping to find him in.   Alas, he was out  .  .  .

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Common Core

I was so please at an editorial I read today about Common Core (incoming educational standards in the USA).  The reason I was so pleased is that this editorial was so well balanced.  There is a lot of controversy surrounding Common Core, and it seems that those on both sides, pro and con, are just shouting past each other, not considering the same issues as they evaluate these standards.

The author of this editorial, Nan Austin, wrote it as a response after having watched "Stop Common Core."  Ms. Austin seems to feel positively towards Common Core, but the majority of her editorial presented the genuine concerns that people have about it and did so very fairly.  I loved her final take on things:

"Overall, I found myself alternating between sharing concerns and utter frustration as issues took on political overtones and veered away from classroom reality.  There are good reasons to be on watch as Common Core rolls out in our neighborhood schools, but I'm not convinced that the naysayers are looking at what matters."


The full editorial can be found at this link.