Sunday, September 18, 2016

Retirement and Contributing

It's bad enough that Michelle van Etten  was billed at the NRC 2016 as employing 100,00 workers when she actually employs none. But when she said in her speech that her husband home-schools her children to "protect them from Common Core" I found myself once again temporarily  lost for words. If only a different term other than "Common Core" had been used to describe the essential elements of what children can explore and learn about as they grow up. The individual words "common" and "core" by themselves have such negative connotations; when you put them together they become a recipe for disaster.

But, I'm now retired and so feel no desperate need to raise such issues as part of my life mission to help everyone fall in love with the study of maths. Like many of us in the field of math education I have lost faith, a little, in the ability of our culture to embrace a conceptual and meaningful approach to the teaching and study of maths. So I will do what I can in whatever small way my failing health will allow me to do.

It's been quite a ride since I made the decision to retire two years ago. For some strange reason I did not want to still be working past my 70th birthday which happens on a few months time. Lat October I had a Pacemaker installed then had a major heart attack at the end of December. Things did not look good and I was given as little as 2 months to live. I went through a lot of soul searching as I recovered at home unable to work. I resolved the effects of the ultimate loss by confirming that I will not be here to deal with what happens after my death. I am at incredible peace with this realization.

Last May, I qualified, just, for a new aortic valve through the TAVR process. It was an incredible experience and has potentially increased my life span by several  years.That is, if I now manage to successfully negotiate a carotid artery stent insertion next Friday.. I knew I would need this procedure after I lost the sight in my right eye last Sunday morning after a mini stroke caused by something letting loose from the blockage that needs stenting.

So, a terribly self indulgent blog post but if it helps someone else deal with the same things I am going through than it is worth it. I am truly thankful for every new day in my life. I can continue to contribute.  .