Flight to Korea

LA to Japan was one long afternoon, so instead of sleeping I stayed awake and worked, first on Jason’s publisher’s criteria, then on my talk for Korea. The Narita Admiral’s club had these wonderful woodcuts by Hiroshige, the 53 stations of the Tokaida. Wonderful compositions where space where scales merged, simultaneously showing dramatic distances, mid-range action, and vivid close portraits; merging also humanity, place, always with a sense of the winding road, the journey going on. I got pleasantly sozzled on gin and tonics, remembering at some point to check my hotel reservation and discovering that I was not due to arrive until the day after. So I spent my first night in a luxury suite at the Intercontinental Grand rather than the Intercontinental Coex at the other end of the convention complex. Nice way to recover form a first night’s jet lag.

Park City

Park City for a few days with Amy and Tweety. It was great fun shuffling cards with the teachers, getting into the problem and trying not to give to much away. One teacher, Kayty from New Yoark, had
figured out that if the card was in the n-th position, then it moved 2n -1 if it was in the top half, and 2n – 52 if it was in the bottom half. I couldn’t resist saying “so it’s almost as if we want to see 52 as 1”. c-TaP meetings less interesting but necessary. Tuesday afternoon is was raining ashes from a nearby wildfire, then real rain on Thursday leaving the sky crystal clear for the drive down to the airport Friday morning. I spent Wednesday July 4 catching up on METII, tasks for PARCC, Fractions video, while Amy and Tweety went to Three Divide Lakes. It felt good to catch up a little.  Had a lovely dinner at Talisker on Main with Amy, Tweety, and Ashli. We started outside, driven inside by the rain. Venison, morelle’s, a nice Rioja on sale because of a flaw on the label (George W Bush Presidential Library fund raiser).

Drive from Tucson to Park City

We left yesterday, stopped for lunch in Phoenix with Abby and Brendan, making it to Kanab, Utah last night. I had forgotten what a nice drive it is, rising through the rocky country on Route 17 north of Phoenix until Flagstaff, then through the reservation on Route 89. There is some landscape at the beginning of that portion that looks like the blasted pits before the gates of Morder, but soon the red mesa rises up, and you follow along west of that, wondering what is at the top of those high cliffs, with bolders the size of houses strewn down from them.  On previous trips we had stopped in Page, Arizona, but that’s a bit of a dump. Kanab was much nicer, set among glowing red cliffs, with a decent restaurant, the Rocking V. The hotel we stayed in was the Victorian House, a rather ghastly renovation but perfectly comfortable and with very nice people. There we discovered the Mormon corkscrew, courtesy of the hotel clerk (see my Facebook page). It consists of a screw, a screwdriver, and a hammer. You screw the screw into the cork and pull it out with the hammer. (He didn’t like it at all when I called it the Mormon corkscrew.) The next day we continued on 89 through a countryside of sculpted colored rock formations, green cottonwood valleys, and meandering streams. Crossing over to I-15 we saw the billowing clouds of a wildfire on a ridge west of the freeway. When we arrived, we had the pleasant surprise of being moved from the Carriage House to a 2-bedroom apartment in Park Station, at the bottom of Main Street and very nice.


Amy gave Abby a jar of rocks, one of which was a gift rock to summit hut, but the best trick was the pair of mom jeans she gave Nell, which had her in state of horrified disbelief for a few seconds. The Indiks came for lunch as usual.

Nell’s half marathon

Nell has been making up for a year in France by running, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and, in this photo, running a half marathon. We were almost bad parents, and almost turned back because of strange car behavior, but just managed to arrive in time on a Sunday morning to see Nell turn the corner for a long loop around to the finish line at the school in Marana. We took a short cut and saw her cross the finish line. She had started out by Biosphere 2. Claire Fisher, with whom Nell had been training, also finished.


Liberating the landscaping

Well, I did spend most of the wedding weekend, last weekend, in the hotel room, but I got the book in on time, thanks to some very late nights and lots of help from Eric and Elliot. The wedding was very well done, in a beautiful second floor room at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, large space with revealed steel structure and a grand window onto Brooklyn evening. The ceremony was conducted by a Humanist … minister? No, that can’t be right. Anyway, she was from the Humanist Society, which has an official ceremony, useful for people who want the sacred but not the divine. She had a nice deep voice. Even the Khalil Ghibran reading, which I was dreading, was surprisingly beautiful and appropriate. Maybe I should take a look at him again. The band was excellent, really knew how to get the crowd on their feet and keep them there.

This weekend was deliciously cool and Amy and I leapt out into the garden to pull the cages off the landscaping, rake the leaves, and generally do some long overdue cleanup.

Sally in the treehouse

Sally, sometimes accompanied by Emily or Sage, has been working at painting the tree house over the last  year. Here she is on a beautiful Sunday evening, one of the first to get a bit cool, proudly atop her handiwork.

We just had the advisory board meeting for our Math Science Partnership. Jim Lewis, Glenda Lappan, and Glenn Stevens spent a day with us, and, needless to say had lots of advice, which is, after all, what an advisory board is for.

I feel that I’ve got a better grip on my class for prospective high school teachers this year. I’m pushing harder on the mathematics content, and trying to give them extended projects that will really dig into what’s behind the high school mathematics that they teach.

The week after next I am gone on a multi-city trip, from Belhingham Washington to Kansas City to Philadelphia, culminating with Andrew’s wedding in New York. The algebra book is due October 1, and I am trying hard to make the deadline, so may end up spending the entire weekend in New York in a hotel room (apart from the wedding events).