My formal education is in Physics and Mathematics. While earning my Ph.D. in Mathematics at Penn State, I taught over 30 math courses. Later as an Instructor and Assistant Professor at Fitchburg State College, I taught another 32 math courses in a variety of areas. Then I moved into administration at other schools serving in several capacities including Director of Admissions, Director of Academic Advising and Academic Dean.
My career was interpreted in 1995 when my first wife died from cancer. My response was to leave academe and become an organic vegetable farmer and social entrepreneur. I remarried and raised a young stepson with Asperger's syndrome who experienced trouble in the second grade at our local school. Because we were farming, we enrolled him in a virtual charter school and educated him at home for eight years with me handling his mathematical training. He returned to high school in his junior year and flourished. He graduated in 2012, was named Berks Best in Mathematics and is now majoring in mathematics at Centre College.
When we studied together, I used texts written by famous mathematicians to help him learn to think seriously. I'd love to do it again. His mom's book about our experience is coming out soon. It's true that my stepson had real mathematical talent. However, during my teaching career, I spent many hours working one-on-one with struggling students. I am patient and committed to ensuring that my students end up understanding what they are doing. Not having much of a memory myself, I don't believe in memorizing strategies to solve standard types of problems. Instead, I seek to communicate the notion that when you finally know what you are doing it becomes almost obvious. Math may be hard to learn, but once learned, it's easy to do.
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