Sunday, September 23, 2012

Updates on The Junot Diaz Challenge and a new book club!

On September 29, 2011, I set the goal of reading 100 books in a year. The goal was a large one and pushed me to do a lot of reading that I definitely would not have done otherwise! However, in case you are wondering, I totally failed at this goal by pretty much any measure, despite my best intentions:
In case you are counting, you will notice that I am a bit behind my pace: we are one month down and I have read 5 books (off my 6 books a month pace while teaching). Not to worry, I am still working hard on this project and will be back on top of my rate in no time. Stay tuned!
Over the course of the year, I have occasionally posted about my readings, but recently, I have been kind of radio-silent! This is the long overdue post to update you on my progress.

In November, I encountered what would become a major flaw in the 100 books in a year ideal and subsequently my inability to set a new goal: the very real time restraints imposed by my teaching schedule combined with a rather arbitrary restriction (that I read a book); and what is a book? Certainly not a chapter, article, blog post. Do short books count equally as well as long books? So we are penalizing longer books with this system? What about podcasts, do these count not at all?

Basically, I reset my goal to find interesting questions to consider and just do that with my free time as much as possible (limiting time spent doing things that distracted me from this goal).

I have had a wonderful time with the challenge I set for myself and over the course of the year I learned about a lot of really cool stuff!

Here is a partial list of things I thought about, learned and read:





Blogs/Articles (noteworthy)

Good source of books off copyright

Excellent PDF about the creativity needed to do real mathematics

I have started an Evidenced-based education group at St. Andrew's and am looking forward to reading a couple good books (Sahlberg and Perkins) on the subject as well as studies

Reading now

Check out the book club that John Burk started about this book!

Dawkins is still at the top of his game!