(Note to anyone reading: this is a collection of originally handwritten notes I made based on various questions I found, not a strict list of goals and I am simply posting as a convenient reference point)

A question: What is my ’enough’? Past a certain point, having more things, money, flexibility, and so on, do not help bring quality of life or peace of mind. So what is my ‘enough’?

Freedom: limitation from direct control of others. Not total freedom but enough to be a freeman walking in the world.

Prosperity: a simple life but where everything in it is the “best”.

Connection – few friends, many acquaintances, connection with people who need me and vice versa – ways for them to find me

Security: a knowledge base and skill set that ensures you will always be able to provide for yourself and dependents

Moderation: A life in which one can stay satisfied living with a simple base level of things.

Q: If you were the lifetime world leader in your field, how could you be different from today? How would your company be different from today if you were world-class? What would that first step outside your comfort zone be?

-I would be more useful to people – Perhaps a more magnetic personality – More visibility in the world – First step outside comfort zone would be attending in-person seminars/conferences

Q: Are there any measurable goals you can do to start moving in that direction?

-Isolating one specific task (eg: recording videos or writing articles) that, done on a daily basis, will help move in that direction. Then actually doing this on a daily basis.

Q: Are there any specific events that are responsible for a disproportionate beneficial effect on your satisfaction/productivity/peace of mind?

-Talking with trusted friends -Travelling, ie: adventures big and small -Getting a revolutionary new ideal or outlook from a single line in a book/audio/conversation -Going for a morning walk then coffee –

Q: Are there any specific events that are responsible for a disproportionate negative effect on your satisfaction/productivity/peace of mind?

-Annoying debates in-person/online -Rude people -Bureaucratic BS like tax forms –

Q: So any particular goal(s) for 2016?

It looks like focusing on doing that one daily thing that is most impactful at helping to build the overall mission. And this ‘one daily thing’ needs to be creative (ie: not just reading a book) and publishable. That is the main goal for this year. That is a work-related goal but I think it will help other areas of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05:20, “somewhere in the misty mountains”

Here is a review of the past year in my life; am getting into the habit of doing this – along with a goals sheet for the upcoming year – every New Year. This can help keep life on a good track and hopefully posting it will help someone else to learn about this “review/goals” method.

This is organized into three areas highlighted by Ben Franklin: “healthy, wealthy and wise.”:

Healthy: Have had the good opportunity to eat relatively healthy this year. have had a good diet with variety of different types of foodstuff, and have been walking or hiking an average of 1-2 hours per day. Also have had good travel, on boats, planes, trains, buses, taxis, foot, escalator, elevator, elevated plane, airport e-train – think that is all the ways I covered ground this year.

Good business: have come through the year basically even financially, despite spending some good money on study and travel. Still developing a way to work self-sufficiently (as am currently subcontracting, effectively), but at least have a way in sight to become self-independent – or self-reliant.

Have started to set aside one hour at the beginning of the day for personal work or study, and set aside 10% (or more) of every dollar earned into a savings or “screw you” fund. Note: this is called a “screw-you” fund because having it gives one the power to turn away any unwanted jobs, clients, customers, or colleagues.

Good study: Mostly have been focused on building skills this year, primarily related to business and working towards self-employment and self-sustainability (ie: wanting to be in power over my life). Have been enjoying podcasts and audiobooks, mostly business-related but with a mixture of philosophy and practical living thoughts, a lot of good math stuff through questions from students, a bit about various other subjects like psychology, philosophy, religion, mathematics, and more.

~~~

Anything else significant from last year? (thought to self)

Well haven’t had so many close friends – still DK (friend from China) and assorted people met along the way or from past interactions.

~~~

Next is a list of goals/plan for the coming year.

I found this bucket list mindstorming worksheet from Sean Ogle’s site, basically listing out a bunch of awesome personal dreams I’d like to accomplish. These are personal goals and I also have broader goals that I could detail elsewhere. If anyone reads this and would like to join me or help me make these goals, give me a holler!

https://s3.amazonaws.com/Location180/How+to+Create+Meaningful+Bucket+List.pdf

Travel Goals
Since these are generally the easiest to start with, let’s get off on a good foot. Here are
some travel goals to think about:
• Is there a specific event you’d like to attend?

Montreal Jazz Festival,
Balkan Big Brass Band Festival
Grateful Dead 50th anniversary reunion,
New Orleans Jazz Festival
trance festival in Israel
Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca,
Spain pilgrimage walk

• What city holds the most intrigue for you?
Jerusalem

• What’s one place you’re terrified to go.
base camp of Mt. Everest
Nigeria

• Do you have family somewhere that you haven’t visited?
Not that I know of.

• What are a couple extreme activities you’d like to do?
Whitewater kayaking again
Skydiving

• Is there a specific beach or tropical island that holds appeal?
Sri Lanka

• Is there a specific hotel you’d like to stay at?
The one in Colorado where the Shining was filmed

• If money didn’t matter where would you go?
the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere, the south pole, top-flight hotel in Las Vegas

Business/Career• Do you want to run your own business? (if so, what kind of business?)
• What’s your first monetary goal with the business
$1000 a month income from my own clients

• What’s your monetary goal for a year in?
$1000 a month passive income, and $40-60 an hour for additional work

• What’s you’re monetary goal 5-10 years in?
$3000 a month passive income

• Do you have goals to get ahead on your corporation? What are they?

-make good websites, get the foundations right, and get them visible online

• What are three milestones that will help you get closer (For me, it was make $10 a
day online, get 1,000 blog subscribers, and support myself full time with my
online work)

$1000/month on my own, 10 steady clients, $1000 a month passive income from products

• Is there something expensive you’ve always wanted to own?
A house and land somewhere, maybe out west in the US, land in South America

• Do you have any debt?
Yes

Relationship/Family
• Do you want to get married? Where?
If I find the right woman.

• Do you want kids? How many?
2

• Is there something you’ve always wanted to do for your mom?
• Is there something you’ve always wanted to do for your dad?
• What about your siblings?

Adventure
• What have you always wanted to do but were too scared to do it?
Advance my whitewater kayaking skills

• Is there an adventure you’d like to do that you don’t think you’re in good enough
shape for?
Advance my whitewater kayaking skills, run a marathon

• Is there an adventure you want to go on that you think would take too long?
Walking from Lisbon, Portugal, across Europe to Tehran

• What’s something really random you’ve always wanted to do, but never told
anyone about?
Spend time in southern Mexico

Unique Stories
• What can you do that would make people say “whoa, you seriously did that?!”
Kayak from the upper reaches of the Mekong all the way down to the delta

• What have you been wanting to do forever?
Return to New Zealand or Oz for a working holiday

• Is there something someone else has done, where you’ve said, “I wish I could do
that”
business consulting/problem-solving

• What’s one financially irresponsible thing you can do that would make for a good
story?
Gamble away a million dollars in Vegas

• What’s something you could talk your way into that others would pay a lot of
money for?
backstage of the Rolling Stones or Grateful Dead reunion, getting Keith Richards’ autograph backstage

• Is there a specific person you’d like to meet? (CEO, athlete, celebrity?)
Richard Branson, Nassim Taleb

What hobbies do you have that you could do on a grander scale?

I enjoy walking around at night. I could do a long walking pilgrimage in Europe all the way to Iran.

• Can you be the youngest to do something? Oldest?
I could be the oldest person to walk from Lisbon to Tehran.

• Is there something no one has done before that you could claim as your own?
Work online while on pilgrimage in Mecca, then work online in Iran, then in Israel, all on one trip.

• Do you know anyone who would be interested in embarking on this adventure
with you?

Not the whole way through. But surely I can meet good compadres along the way!

I got this worksheet from the following site, to try to systematically plan out what I’ll be doing and have something to look back on in one year to double-check I follow through with my goals.

http://foreverjobless.com/fj-goals-worksheet.pdf

(1) Mind Map

(A) a specific primary goal that will be your major purpose in your life:

Help people and organizations grow exponentially

(B) goals to help accomplish this:

(i) building website devoted to advanced math students
-research others who have done well
-SEO and marketing techniques for getting clients

-outreach to organizations to offer my services

(ii) second website for “Natural Genius development” aimed at US and Chinese young people

(iii) query with rural education people in the US to explore what they need and possibilities there
-perhaps in-person work to investigate this
(iii) work with international educ. orgs. like EESF to help them out
-visit to Nigeria?
-online research to connect
-publish journalistic posts regularly to help these organizations connect and grow

-interact online with mentors/teachers/organizers/philanthropists/students

(iv) fourth “niche” website for organizational growth, specifics need to be worked out.

3 ideas for niches to work in:

-tea, promoting fine teas for the “unrefined down-to-earth” people like myself
-smart 21st century living for young (or young at heart) skeptical world open-minded people
-practical education, teaching skills necessary for productive life in the 21st century

(2) goals in order of priority

1 research and connect with others who have done well
2 build website
3 SEO/copywriting/marketing techniques
4 outreach to others
5 blog posts for EESF and other organizations
6 interact online with mentors/teachers/organizers/philanthropists/students
7 online research to connect
8 visit to Nigeria?
9 visit to rural parts in US?
10 online query about the rural education idea

(3) AFFIRMATIONS: Create the story about yourself that is going to come true:I will be seen by people around the world as a Batman fighting off the forces of darkness for people’s development, guiding the way, ensuring people and organizations are looked after/developed/etc.

I will be active online and in person in doing this.

I will fight my internal demons and become more effective in the world.

I will connect like-minded people across the globe in order to achieve our mission.

I will have $1,000 a month in residual income, and plenty of well-paid work to carry out my travel dreams, freedom desires, and location independence.

(4) Vision Board: Get specific about the dreams you are going to have:

Dream House: N/A

Dream Car: N/A

Dream Vacation:

Location: Iran and Israel
Dates of Stay: One month in July or August
Hotel: Local guesthouses, mid-range
Activities: Visit tomb of Hafez, universities in Iran, then to Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee

Blank Check:

To Scott McKinney
$1000
One month’s passive income

Cost to Fulfill Dream:

Home: $300/month, $100+ for new backpack for travelling
Dream vacation: $2000
Food/Drinks: $300/month
Education: $1000 for online courses, plus $300/month loan payments
Miscellaneous: $500/month
Savings: $500/month

Victory Sheet:
Current age =28. 28/3 =9.3333

Top 3 achievements of first third of life:
Developing scientific interested curious mindset
Curiosity
Solid elementary education

Second third of life: 9.33-18.66:
Graduating high school with top grades and admission to CU
Scholars Bowl and Math competition success
Band and tennis success

Third of life: 18.66-present:
Graduating from CU with successful learning, study abroad, worldly mindset
Developed passion and skills through graduate school
Took it off worldwide where I am positioning myself for a successful location-independent positive contributing life

(4) Victory Sheet for next year:

(a) Jan-March

Successful startup of online educ. businesses. 10 steady clients
Fundraising connections for EESF
Interaction with online groups/MasterMind to develop other skills to solve other people’s problems

(b) April-June:

Steady progress with online businesses

Second non-educ. business started up
Concrete foundations for passive income portion of goal
$1000/month in savings on top of good life(c) July-September: school year is winding down so I need to focus on other business
Trips in US/Africa/Asia/Europe to set foundations for this?
Networking for Rural education idea
Networking for non-profit worldwide organization efforts(d) Oct-Dec: new school-year, excellent progress with clients
Passive income gliding into $1000/month
Second business equals half of total income
Expansion of EESF and other projects

Powerful Questions

Write these 4 questions on an index card and carry with you:

1. Meeting: If we were meeting 3 years from now, what has to have happened during that 3-year period for you to feel happy about your progress:

(a) steady passive income
(b) steady positive feedback from clients
(c) multiple income streams
(d) measurable positive impact in the world
(e) feeling happy on day-to-day basis

2. Dangers: What are the biggest dangers you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress:

(a) bullies or people who are trying to take advantage of me, I need to be in the moment and use gifts in order to block them from getting in my way
(b) negative thoughts/inner demons, I will need to use mindfulness to overcome these

3. Opportunities: What are the biggest opportunities you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things:

(a) internet revival
(b) Zeitgeist of entrepreneurship and connection economy in the US and elsewhere
(c) connections with trusted friends and support group

4. Strengths: What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?

(a) need to develop personal assertiveness in the moment to protect myself and handle conflict more effectively
(b) need to reinforce social skills in order to connect with people

Task Manager:

Fill out all the tasks you do on a daily/weekly basis. Circle the three things you’re most effective at and focus all your energy on those things:

***tutoring/teaching

-talking with friends
-walking around/rural/urban exploration
***-studying online
-online research
***-writing notes about daily experience

Poor Habits:cigarettes/beer

thinking negative thoughts
Better habits:

mindfulness
prayer/faith/holistic thinkingStop doing:

thinking negative/destructive habits to silence the negative thought.

Daily routine:

Wake up (5 minutes)
Meditation (10 minutes)
Review notes for the day from last note (10 minutes)
Review of overall goals and reminder of how the day’s activities work to those (5 minutes)
#1 Priority project (1-2 hours)
Break (10 minutes)
Other priority projects (1-2 hours)
Exercise (1 hour)

Lunch
Read/podcast (30 minutes)
Rest (30 minutes)
Walk (30 minutes)

Afternoon
Review goals (5 minutes)

Review overall broader goals (5 minutes)
Other tasks/finishing priority projects (2-3 hours)
Rest (1 hour)Evening
Dinner (1 hour)
Podcasts/reading (1 hour)
Summarize daily progress, successes, and plan next day (15-30 minutes)
End of day meditation (15-30 minutes)Stakes
There’s a way to guarantee that you get something done. Find it:What is the one task that your primary goal can be measured in? Measurable positive changes in other people’s lives.

Measured in units of: progress, life improvement–>freedom
How often are you willing to commit to doing this task? 6+ days a week
Who will hold you responsible for measuring this task? MasterMind group
What happens if they catch you not doing this task? Simply call me on it.

We’ve already seen a bit about the calculus – and now let’s see a situation in which the calculus can help us to understand something that happens in the “real world”.  Recall the definition of the “derivative” – one of the two fundamental concepts in calculus.  We saw one example of a derivative when studying the speedometer – the speedometer gives the speed or rate of change of position of the car as it travels down the road.  This is what mathematicians refer to as the derivative – the rate of change of a given quantity as it varies through time.

Let’s consider another example of the derivative in a real-world situation.  Think about the pendulum on a big grandfather clock.  

ImageImage from theclockdepot.com

The pendulum swings back and forth, to the left and to the right, and this drives the gears that in turn cause the clock’s hands to change their position.  So the position of the pendulum is pretty easy to model in this situation – it simply moves back and forth, to the left, and to the right.  Let’s consider, then, what the pendulum’s derivative – the rate of change of its position – looks like at each point in its path.

Keep in mind the pendulum’s behavior is driven by the force of gravity.  So as the pendulum swings from its uppermost point on the right, it speeds up, since the heavy end of the pendulum is moving downwards.  It speeds up, in fact, until it reaches the bottom of the arc it travels on.  Consider this diagram depicting the pendulum’s motion:

Image

 

So at the bottom-most point in the pendulum’s path, it is travelling at its fastest.  It continues to travel to the left, slowing down as it moves upward, until it comes to a stop, at its leftmost point.  

Image

 

So, as the pendulum moves from the right to the left, it starts with a speed of 0, speeds up until it reaches its bottom-most point, and then gradually slows down to a halt.  If we try to plot its speed as a graph, it would look something like the following:

Image

What’s above is a rough depiction of what the pendulum’s speed (the derivative or rate of change of its position) would look like if we graphed it on a plotting chart.  If you are unable to read this graph, it’s simply a picture depicting the speed of the pendulum at a given time.  Time is depicted as the bottom axis (the line at the bottom), and each point on the blue curve represents the pendulum’s speed at the given instance.  The important concept to understand is that the pendulum’s speed (derivative or rate of change of its position) is zero when it is at its rightmost point, then increases to a maximum when the pendulum is at its bottommost point (it is travelling its fastest at this point), then decreases back to zero as the pendulum comes to a halt.

Got it?

 

What you will get from this Post:  I will introduce you, the interested reader, to the primary concepts in the mathematical subject known as “the calculus”; I will show you that, in a fundamental way, the subject makes sense; I will also illustrate how the calculus is useful for studying the real world.

To begin with: I find people tend to have one of two distinct types of reactions to mathematics: either (1) they respond enthusiastically and describe how much they enjoyed the math classes they took in school/university, or (2) slink back in fear.  This post is aimed at the second group of people, those who never quite understand the math courses they were required to take in school, who never experienced the satisfying “click” or “lightning bolt” that comes with understanding of a mathematical concept.  I hope to give you a basic overview of the set of mathematical concepts and tools known as “the calculus”.  After working through this post, you hopefully will have a basic understanding of the history of the “calculus”, the fundamental concepts of the “derivative” and “integral”, and understand why these are useful in the “Real World”.   If you want a quick overview of the derivative, and want to skip the section on the integral, I have separated these sections.  The derivative is useful for the study of “dynamical systems”, popularly referred to as “chaos theory”, so if you want to read through that section then skip the section on the integral, this will work as well.

http://utahfeldenkrais.org

Physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton, one of the two discoverers of the calculus. He lived from 1642-1727 CE. from http://utahfeldenkrais.org

The Derivative: Let’s start in a situation you probably find yourself in every day – driving your car home.  Imagine yourself sitting at a red light.  As the light turns green, you push the pedal to give the engine some gas.  The car slowly speeds up – the speedometer goes from 0 miles per hour (MPH), gradually to 10 MPH, and gradually increases until you reach your cruising speed.  If you’re on a typical highway in the US, you might gradually speed up until you are cruising along at 50 MPH.  When the speedometer reads 50 MPH, what does this mean?  It simply means this: if you travel at this speed for one hour, you will have traveled 50 miles.  At each instance, therefore, the speedometer tells you the rate at which you are travelling, and the way it measures this – what scientists call the unit of measurement – is by telling you how far you would travel in one hour if you continued to drive at the current speed.  The speed, therefore, is only dependent on your car’s current pattern – how quickly or slowly you are travelling at the given instant.

The speedometer tells you the rate of change of your car’s position as it travels on the highway. The “rate of change” of a given quantity – such as the distance your car has traveled – is what mathematicians refer to as the derivative. Image from shopping.com

This is a simple, but very useful, way to describe what mathematicians refer to as the “derivative”, one of two central concepts in calculus.  The derivative is simply a measurement of the rate of change of a given quantity at a given instant – in this case the speedometer tells you the rate of change of your car’s position as you travel.  If you are sitting still at a traffic light, your car’s position is not changing; its rate of change is zero, and the speedometer registers 0 MPH.  If you are travelling at full speed on a highway, the speedometer also gives you the current rate of change of your car’s position – 50 MPH might be a typical reading.

 

 

 

 

The integral:

The second fundamental concept that occurs in the calculus is the “integral”.  To get an idea of what mathematicians mean by “integral”, let’s go back inside the car.  Suppose your odometer is broken, but you need to know how far you are travelling in order to find your destination.  To do this, you can actually use your speedometer to get an approximate idea of the distance you have traveled   If you are driving at a constant speed, this is simple: say you are driving at 50 MPH down a highway, and you drive for 2 hours.  How far have you traveled   Well, if you are travelling at a speed of 50 miles per hour, then every hour, you drive 50 miles.  After 2 hours, therefore, you will have driven 50 + 50 = 100 miles.

Suppose, however, that you aren’t travelling at a constant speed, but you still want to use the speedometer to get an idea of how far you have traveled.  You can still do this.  Let’s say you drive for two hours, but this time you pull off at an exit halfway through your trip, come to a stop, fill your tank with gas, then return to the highway.  Your speedometer will then read something like this: for the first 60 minutes, the speedometer registers your speed at, let’s say, 60 MPH.  You gradually come to a stop as you pull off the highway, so your speedometer steadily decreases from 60 MPH to 0 MPH, and for around 10 minutes your car sits still as you fill it with gas – so your speedometer reads 0 MPH.  Then, as you start your car and pull back on the highway, your speedometer gradually goes back from 0 MPH to 60 MPH, where it stays for the remainder of your trip – assuming you’re a good driver and do not speed!

Let’s think about how you can still approximate the distance you’ve traveled in these two hours.  For the first hour, you are travelling at 60 MPH, so in this time period, you have traveled 60 miles.  Over the next ten minutes, you slow down and come to a stop at the gas station, fill up with gas, then head back to the highway.  There are several ways to estimate how far you’ve travelled during this time period.  We could simply assume that you’ve only traveled a small distance compared to your total trip, since your car is still – travelling at 0 MPH – during this time period.  So we could simply say that during these ten minutes you have traveled 0 miles.  Let’s use this simple approximation for now.

So according to our calculations above, you traveled for 60 miles during the first hour of your trip, then 0 miles over the next ten minutes (you actually traveled a little bit farther than 0 miles, precisely the distance from the exit to the gas station and back).  Over the next 50 minutes (5/6 of an hour), you are again travelling at 60 MPH.  So how far will you travel during these 50 minutes?  Well, you are travelling at 60 miles per hour, but you travel for 50 minutes, or 5/6 of an hour, so you will travel for 50 miles.  Thus, we can estimate or approximate the total distance you have traveled on this trip as 50+60=110 miles.  This estimation, let’s keep in mind, is slightly lower than the actual distance you traveled, since you drove for a small distance while slowing down and exiting the highway, but the estimation is good enough for what we need to understand.

You can use information from your car’s speedometer to determine how far you’ve traveled (without using the odometer!).  If your car’s speedometer reads 50 MPH (actually in this picture it reads a little less than 50!), this means your car is travelling at a rate of 50 miles per hour. After one hour of driving at this rate, you will have travelled 50 miles. So by using information about the car’s rate of travel, we can determine information about the distance the car has travelled: this is what mathematicians refer to as “integration”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have noticed that in both of the above situations, we were able to use information about your car’s speed – rate of change of position – to approximate the distance you traveled during the given time periods.  This is, in simple terms, what mathematicians refer to as “integration” – using information about the rate of change of a given quantity – in this case, your car’s position – to calculate information about the quantity itself.  We also got a glimpse of a basic problem that occurs when mathematicians or scientists are studying a real-world problem – in the second situation, we had to use an approximation for the car’s distance traveled, since we chose to ignore the distance the car traveled as it slowed down and sped back up.  In fact, an entire branch of mathematics, called “numerical analysis”, is devoted to finding better ways to approximate calculations in situations such as this.

The relationship between the derivative and the integral:

Now, we’ve gotten a basic glimpse at the two basic tools or concepts in calculus, the derivative and the integral.  It turns out that these are, in a sense, the opposite, or inverse, of each other.  The derivative, as we saw, is a measure of the rate of change of a given quantity at a given instant, such as the car’s rate of change of position, as measured by its speedometer.  The integral, on the other hand, uses information about the rate of change of a given quantity to determine information about the quantity itself – recall how we used the car’s speedometer, which measures the rate of change of the car’s position – the calculate the change in position itself.

The “Fundamental Theorem of Calculus” (“FTC”) concisely expresses the fact that the integral and derivative are effectively inverse (or opposite) operations, and is the reason calculus is such a powerful tool for studying many real-world phenomena, such as car travel, rocket launches, weather systems, and so forth.   In the examples we saw above, the FTC was implicitly illustrated, since information about the change in the car’s position can be used to determine its rate of travel, and conversely, information about the car’s rate of travel can be used to determine the change in the car’s position.

In a full-blown calculus course, and more advanced mathematics courses in the field known as “real analysis”, these concepts are developed into a rigorous system of mathematics that is both intrinsically interesting and very much applicable to real-world problems.  We’ll look at more of these later.

In the apprenticeship system of Old Europe – primarily Germany – a craftsman-in-training would complete a basic apprenticeship with a master craftsman of the field, and then embark on a several years-long journey throughout the country, moving from town to town, “auf der Walz”, “on the road” gaining experience of different workshops and working directly with master craftsmen of many different villages.  This system is still used, though to a lesser degree, in parts of Europe, such as the carpentry trade in Germany.  During a visit this past summer to Ontario, Canada, I met a master carpenter who described this system, and showed me a small logbook filled with photographs, names, addresses, and tidbits of information passed to him during his own experience as a journeyman.   He spoke of a secret system of signs a journeyman would scratch beneath the door of a house on the road, in order to communicate information about what a prospective journeyman could expect to find in the house.  He showed me pictures of the traditional black garb a journeyman would bear through his travels.

Image

Modern day journeyman in Romania

Picture from germany.info

Fast forward forward 4 months, and here I find myself teaching mathematics in a bilingual high school program in Nakae district of the fascinating region of northeastern Thailand known as Issan or I-san.  My day in and day out work is similar to what a mathematics teacher in my country of origin, the USA, would be doing: 4 hours of class per day, with the remainder of the daytime devoted to lesson planning, and imagining ways to keep my students interested and stimulated by the mathematics we’re exploring.

I find working in this country, rather than my home country, to have many benefits I would not find working at home.  For one, I’m teaching a slightly different curriculum from what I grew up studying in the US; it’s a Singapore-designed curriculum which differs in terms of terminology and techniques, but focuses more-or-less on the same material I was exposed to as a student.  I’m also enjoying the opportunity to satisfy my personal and professional curiosity about how different countries and cultures  – in this case, Thailand – view education, how they raise their new generation, how teachers are seen in their society, and so forth.  A good way to study other countries’ math education system, clearly, is to work directly in it, and it appears there are a number of ways for someone with a degree in the field to do this…

But enough about me.  I hope to use this blog not for mere updates – that would be quite boring – but to explore various ideas, interesting events, books, poetry, music, food – whatever comes up.  I hope to keep it interesting and enjoyable, as well as easy to connect with via google or other technologies.  Welcome aboard!