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Greetings, scholars! Usually I reserve my blog for sharing tech tips and practical advice, but the upcoming holiday has me reflecting on how thankful I am for the wonderful teachers I have had over the years. There's Dr. Galvin, who taught me how to think about discrete mathematics, helped me appreciate "vintage" math literature, and showed me the online encyclopedia of integer sequences. Of course there's Mr. Capello, my high school English teacher, who taught me to write with certainty and confidence, and more recently, Dr. Dubson, who generously shares his physics class via Coursera. The most important lesson in my education, though, came much earlier, back when I was a typical kid with a wandering mind and no love for math homework. In my elementary school years, my dad would often sit beside me, ensuring that I completed problems successfully and gently correcting me when I made inevitable mistakes. When I made a mistake, I would say, "Sorry... read more

As I consider all the amazing teachers who poured into me over the years, in the natural, one in particular stands out, and in the "spirit", yet another.     Mr. Mason, my anatomy and physiology teacher in high school was probably the most influential teacher in my life on many levels.  In class, he always provided ways to go above and beyond the expectations of the curriculum to earn even more points.  I didn't know then, but understand clearly now, that they tasks he "required" to receive the extra points were those that would carry over into every day life, no matter what avenue a student pursued.  Outside the classroom, Mr. Mason's booming voice could be heard over others at all of my track and field events.  Somehow, knowing that he was there cheering me on gave me that extra boost I needed to finish strong and strive for more than simply finishing the race:  I wanted to improve upon my last performance and be... read more

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