Well, people continue to ask, “So, what exactly do you do?” The answer, simply put, is that I do a lot of things.
It is too complicated to describe myself as having one defined role, so instead of telling you what I “do” (something that changes hourly), I figured I would list what I have done.
I have done the following:
1. Taught math and science for the past five years: three years in Mississippi, two in Indiana
2. Taught the following subjects: 7th grade math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, AP Calculus, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, Health, and Theology
3. Rode my bike across the country in the summer of 2006
4. Coached the smallest team (6 girls) in the history of Mississippi to win a Team State Championship in Track and Field. I didn’t really coach them. I just yelled “Keep running!” It was very non-technical, but very awesome.
5. Swept out fecal waste that covered our entire school after Hurricane Katrina flooded our school with three feet of water and caused the plumbing to overflow. We were out of school for seven weeks.
6. Almost (but not really) fluent in Spanish
7. Environmental Science and Theology Major at the University of Notre Dame
8. Got bored with classes in college, so I took up boxing for four years at ND. Since I always jumped in the ring with people bigger than me and walked out with a bloody nose, somebody decided to make me one of the Captains.
9. Volunteered for a two-year service program for under-resourced Catholic Schools called ACE (Alliance for Catholic Education) that is through Notre Dame. It was the worst amazing two years of my life. It was baptism by fire, baby!
10. At the end of these two years, if you still have a pulse and at least some hair left, you get a Masters in Education. The hair was gone but the heart was beating, so they gave me the M.Ed. anyways.
11. Read the complete anthology of Michael Crichton and John Bellairs by the time I was 14. My mom was the only person who did not think I was psychotic. My passion for reading has continued.
12. Viewed every possible documentary about Muhammad Ali that I could find. He is a testament to a person who was given a chance to shake up the world, and he seized that opportunity with great passion and intensity, leaving a colossal wake of influence behind.
13. Wrote a book for my students to get them ready for the Algebra I Core 40 Exam in Indiana. Other teachers are finding it helpful, and some schools are buying it, so apparently that makes me an author.
14. I got tired of printing these books and mailing them myself, so I created a “business” called "Core 40 Solutions" that allows me to distribute this book without having to go to Kinkos everyday and incorrectly stuff awkward boxes with math books. Apparently this makes me an Entrepreneur.
15. Conduct extensive research into “Item Response Theory” and the methodology of Algebra I math tests. Everybody complains about standardized tests, or at best tolerates them, but nobody really knows much about how they are made and how they are scored. I don’t spend much time criticizing things that I do not understand, so I’m on an investigation.
16. I conduct math workshops across the State of Indiana to help teachers create focused and effective strategies to prepare their students for the Algebra I Core 40 Exam. Here’s a little preview of the workshop: you have to teach your students how to think.
17. I decided I didn’t want to reach the age of 65 and wonder what I did with my life, so I am currently on sabbatical. I figured that if I'm going to change the world, I should start with changing myself first.
The future is an unwritten book with unlimited possibility. Let's go exploring.