Monday, August 10, 2009


As the first day of class in the Fall 2009 semester (too quickly) approaches, and as this blog passes its third birthday and nears its 300th post, I wanted to take a moment to find out who's out there.

I began writing this blog a little over three years ago more for myself than for anyone else. I intended it to serve as a means of organizing my thoughts on my teaching, and as a way of playing out various pedagogical scenarios as I experimented with student-centered teaching methods that were new to me at the time.

Quite early on many of my students began reading the blog and using it to learn what it is that goes through my mind as I design my courses. I realized then that the blog could serve as a new means of communicating with my students, as a way of making clear my intent and of making my techniques transparent. It could also serve as a means of disseminating my students' work, and of discovering their thoughts on the issues we faced together in the classroom.

But the blog's been still more than that to me. It's been a vent for my frustrations (when students cheat, or when classroom technology goes awry). It's been a forum for my own and my students' creativity (as it was here, here, and here). And it's been a place where I can simply speculate on random math-related (or even non-math related) thoughts.

For all it's done, writing this blog has been very relaxing and relieving exercise for me, and even if not another soul were to read it, I'd still feel it's worth the time it takes to write it.

But I know I've got some readers out there; I'd just like to know who you are.

So I'd like to ask my regular (or even non-regular) readers to ping me back in the comments section to this post, anonymously if you'd like. Just write me a few words to let me know that you're out there. Feel free to share a bit about yourself, if you'd like to, and tell me what road it is that's brought you here, or what it is that brings you here again. I'm very curious: knowing full well that there are hundreds of far funnier and far more entertaining blogs on the interwebs, I'd like to know what it is that holds your interest enough to make you keep coming back for more.

Where will I go from here? We'll see. I don't intend to change much about the way I put the blog together in the coming months, although I'm toying with the idea of beginning a new blog devoted to poetry, so here you may see a little less of that in the future (unless there's tremendous call to keep it here). I wouldn't have dreamed three years ago that I'd be where I am today in my teaching, so I hesitate to speculate further about what Change of Basis might look like in a year or two. Time will tell.

With that, fair reader, let me end this post. I hope to hear from you, if only in a few words, in the comments section.


Theo said...


I don't often comment on blogs and other websites, but I do keep up with a few of them, yours included.

Maughta said...

I'm your wife, and I love you.

Abacus said...


I'm still nostalgic for Asheville, and I enjoy keeping up with your latest.


PS: The writing questionnaire is coming. Soon. I promise.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lecturer in a maths department in the UK, interested in your thoughts on education. I've been following your blog for a few months. I don't remember how I got here.

ColorBars said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColorBars said...


I'm your [ever faithful] student. I've been reasonably busy this summer so I haven't been able to read your posts as closely as I would like, but that will change once school has started!


sylvier said...

yo. :)

Terry Odell said...

I'm just one of those people who loves Doc Turtle's reviews.

But I'm here.

phillip johnston said...

I started reading the blog to understand what you were thinking about our classes--kept on through the classes because it helped me see where you were at with us--and now just because I enjoy it as part of our ongoing conversation.
p.s. nice evening, good to catch up.

Anonymous said...

This is the only blog I've ever read, and I read it regularly!


StacieH4 said...

I pop in once in a while. I'm a former electrical engineer interested in math, but I found you through SBTB.