August 28, 2008

Posted by Anna at 09:39 PM | TrackBack


I have a love-hate relationship with the number zero.

and I shall try and post more often...

Posted by Anna at 02:58 PM | TrackBack

August 19, 2008

at least the camera was handy

for my mother at 7:15 this morning:

Posted by Anna at 06:17 PM | TrackBack


These two articles provide interesting contrast regarding dress codes in public schools:

Article 1


Article 2

When I'm not at work, I might attempt presenting my perspective.

Posted by Anna at 10:22 AM | TrackBack

August 15, 2008

The strangest things...

Today has been a weird day.

1: I was driving to work this morning and listening to the radio. One of the normal d.j.s was mentioned as being gone because she took the day off to move and how it was such a blessing for her and her worship pastor husband who would have a new job and she wouldn't have to commute an hour to work each morning. Now I know this lady's name was Julia and I know the station is based from Waterloo--and hour north of Cedar Rapids. So all these little details suddenly clicked together and I realized there might be an odd coincidence that we are taking possession of the house today from the sellers--the wife whose name is Julia and the husband who is a pastor and they were moving to Waterloo, and leaving the house today.

So when I got to work, I looked at our house paperwork and checked the radio station's website, and sure enough the names match. It's just bizarre to think about. We seem to have bought house from one of the morning show hosts I listen to every day on my way to work.

2. This is actually more of a daily/long-term weird issue. I am pretty strong in math...but I have the strangest troubles adding and subtracting numbers with a last digit of 9 using mental math. Really, I keep trying to say that 9+7=18 or 16-9=5. Yeah, silly--but I make this mistake quite frequently.

3. So I'm sitting at work here answer checking and rolling my eyes at yet another of my 9 mistakes when I get an email from one of my team members asking what level of math I used to teach. I emailed her back and a little bit later telling me that she was wondering because they might be needing extra tutors at a place in C.R. The reason this is weird is because I have been planning on checking out the different tutoring companies to do some part-time work a few evenings a week/Saturdays maybe. I want to stay involved with kids and it would be a little extra money. So yet another "coincidence"

I know these two things aren't really coincidences. They're God's way of reminding me He's still here and involved in all the little aspects of my life. They are reassuring to me also in that I feel they serve as confirmation that I am right where he wants me right now with this job and with this house.

*update* Bizarre #4: so I'm driving along to get my afternoon snack and exploring areas of Iowa City, and I see this guy walking down the road with a chinese cone cat with ribbons hanging down and the guy also had on a silk tunic or something with an embroidered dragon. A few minutes later I see some teenagers walking along--one dressed like a cat and the others in some kind of costume. Yet a few minutes later I saw ANOTHEr group of teenagers. Yet the chinese constumed guy still didn't fit with either of these two other costumed groups. I guess there's a theatre or something close by this area. It was the kind of area you might find a theatre in.

Posted by Anna at 02:07 PM | TrackBack

August 14, 2008

Things that make me pause

Maybe it's the math nerd of the complex thinker in me or something...but I seem to have no trouble over-thinking questions to make sure all possible answers are accounted for. For example:
"What type(s) of quadrilaterals is the base of a pyramid?" Well, what do we call solids that have a non-regular polygonal base--like a trapezoid? Must every pyramid have 2 pairs of congruent faces? I apparently will now have to do some research.

Also, regarding prisms: while height is defined as the perpendicular distance between bases--I've only ever seen teachers and textbooks use right cylinders (obviously there must be slanted cylinders) or prisms where edges meet the bases at right angles.

Maybe this is why I was never strong at Geometry.

Posted by Anna at 03:26 PM | TrackBack

August 13, 2008

More Thoughts


and I found this great coffee shop near where I work. The other day I decided to try the advertised summer special of an "Iced Rose White Mocha". It was very unique. It reminded me a bit (not in taste but taste uniqueness) of a chai with espresso. I rather enjoyed it even though I'm not a big fan of white mochas. While there, I noticed this cake called "Chocolate Chambord" which involves grabbed my attention because Chocolate, well that's obvious but Chambord is a black raspberry liquer that I am a big fan of, especially in margaritas :-). This cake was quite tasty.

What is up with high school math teachers/textbooks lowering the standards for Standard Form of an Equation. I'm starting to see PUBLISHED definitions and teacher's lessons with simply teaching it as ax + by = c WITHOUT specifying that a, b, and c must be integers and a > 0!!!! Really, I've even seen examples using fractional or decimal coefficients. It came up when I was putting together the answer key for one our new workbooks at work today. and I'm going to fix it in the lessons. (after getting an okay from the editor---I don't feel comfortable exhibiting too much editorial reign over other people's work yet...) I thought about telling the editor that I as a teacher would not purchase/adopt any textbook/workbook for my class that taught standard form so loosely. But I wasn't sure it would come across the right way.

Drivers in this area....have some interesting quirks. There isn't much speeding (but those who do go way more than 10 mph over and aren't afraid to zip in and out of cars or cut in front of people or fly into an exit ramp) but yet many drivers do not use blinkers--even for actual turns--or respect stop signs and stop lights.
Oh, and there is no courtesy--especially with merges. For example, the other day I was trying to enter the interstate off a ramp that was jammed up because of an accident/broke-down vehicle obstructing the left lane just a few yards past the ramp. so three lanes are trying to merge into one. Now, any real city person could probably tell you that it works nicely if each car let's one person in--if done right traffic keeps moving, albeit slightly more slowly. But no....people in this situation were intentionally speeding up to close gaps so that other people could NOT merge.... I had to angle my car into the lane to force someone to let me in.. Even worse, the car right in front of me forced his way in before the guy in front of him (a large white van) had merged into traffic because no one would let the white van in. The guy in front of me after forcing his way into traffic, even yet wouldn't let the white van that had been in front of him in. Even after getting into the moving was slow-going because people would rubber-neck and drop their speed down to near stopping to gawk at the Muslim women stranded next to their vehicle...(there was an officer talking to someone and a tow truck preparing to load up the car) Also on the topic of courtesy, there is no respect for the left lane as a passing lane and the lane for faster vehicles. Yes, people will drive 5-10 mph UNDER the speed limit in the left lane--even when not passing another car. I've also noticed that drivers seem to have trouble keeping their vehicles IN their lane...especially the large vehicles. The main problem seems to be the on the slightly sloped curves through the downtown area...but if you careful and not speeding it's not hard to stay in the lane. I've had some unnerving moments being next to vehicles who were edging awfully close.

Enough ranting on that though. Keep us in prayers as we get moved in and settled and take on the responsibility of owning a home. Especially because I can't do any heavy lifting due to a pinced nerve in my lower back. I've been going to a chiropractor for it...and it's getting better, but I slipped in the shower the other day so the area has worsened inflammation where the only comfortable position involves lying down.

Posted by Anna at 05:26 PM | TrackBack

August 12, 2008


So what happens when you square an acre?

Posted by Anna at 09:34 AM | TrackBack

August 11, 2008

Unexpected benefits

One of the benefits of my commute each day is that I get to listen to the radio. Since most stations annoy me with their morning shows, I usually listen to one of the local Christian stations because they're slightly less annoying--and really, it does help wake me up to positive things. Anyways. The thing that keeps me listening to this station (as much as I think I hear the same songs over the same time frames every day) is that occasionally a song comes on that reminds me of a loved one going through a rough time. For example "Jesus Bring the Rain," "Held" and "Praise you in this storm" always remind me to pray for my cousins and their little boy. Other songs remind me to pray for my sister and her family. I'm trying to tie certain long-term prayer requests to different songs so that this becomes more frequent for me and I can remember more people. Yeah, I could always put sticky notes in the car or something....but those tend to distract me and flutter to the floor.

Another benefit (less inspiring unless you are a math nerd) is getting to study the different concepts in math across different grade levels. One of the concepts that bugs me a bit in the way it's commonly presented is "unit rate." A few months ago when I was reviewing 8th graders for that wonderful state test, I noticed a difficulty in explaining how to know what order to make the ratio for a unit rate. See, we as math teachers stress the importance of order when constructing ratios, yet very frequently, unit rates are formed inconsistently from the sentence structure. I'm trying to find common ties and word choice--because this is a common struggle for students--especially those with reading difficulties. To give you an example:

"Find the unit rate of gallons of gasoline if Joe buys 13.5 gallons of gas for $62.45" (common sense says the ratio desired is $/gal)

"Find the unit rate of miles if Amy drives 270 miles in 4.5 hours" (order is written reverse above, but is looking for mph)

"Find the unit rate of a scale model that uses 3 in to represent 15 mi" (so do they want mi/in or in/mi?)

So far, it's pretty much standard that unit rate in a problem involving money means unit price ($/unit). The other situations are a bit trickier though because common sense is the only difference I can explain between them. It is just another example of the importance of correct grammar and sentence structure in math problems.

While I'm pretty sure no one else cares much about that last little bit, I just wanted to put it to writing for something to study more. (For example, I was just about to write out another concept that has been on my mind...but I have forgotten it already)

Posted by Anna at 06:35 PM | TrackBack

August 06, 2008

The Editorial Math Nazi?

Google has become my friend at work. While I'm mostly good with answer checking math and identifying problematic concepts, my grammar skills are a bit rusty. Yet I feel like I'm going to become the grammar nazi at work as the editorial assistant. I've had to check up on a few things so far: that/which, parallel list structure, prepositional phrases (of which math people seem to use lots)and things like that. It's been interesting finding myself become more detail oriented with this job--and yet enjoying it! I'm also becoming more organized about my time and workspace. It's always nice to start at something with a completely empty space. I also think I'm going to become a stickler for consistency. We'll see....I'm still evolving into my new job persona.

Posted by Anna at 05:12 PM | TrackBack