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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Starting Over--

It's been pretty quiet on this blog. I'm afraid that perhaps in my enthusiasm to join your blog and learn what I could of calculus, I burst into your space instead of entering unobtrusively. Maybe the best analogy is that I was too much like a young kid running into a room excited to share what was going on. I never introduced myself, just started right in. But I'm not a young kid, and a 60 year old woman should know much better! :) I hope you'll let me start over again--

Hi! My name is Lani. My former students called me Mrs. Hall or Ms. Ritter. I hope you might feel comfortable using my first name.

Who am I: I live in Ohio. I am a former classroom teacher; I taught for 33 years in the United States and two years in Ontario, Canada. (My mother was Canadian and I have many relatives in Ontario.) I design online courses for teachers now, working from home on my computer. I cherish the memories of those 35 years and I keep in touch with many of my students. I love to cook, garden, read and walk with my husband and our German shepherd, Harley, in the park.

How did I get here: I learned about your blog from Mr. K . I had emailed him to let him know that I hoped I might become a mentor for some of his students (I miss the interaction with students). Mr. K. agreed that I might become a mentor (even when he learned that I am not strong in math!) and I chose your class!

Why am I here: I hoped to learn some calculus AND I wanted an opportunity to engage young people again in conversations about learning and life.

Now that I think about it, we do a lot of starting over in school and life don't we? I remember when I was young, before computers, I used to start over a lot so my homework would be just right. Thank goodness computers now make it easier to fix those mistakes! I started over when my family moved when I was in the fifth grade; we left New York for Michigan. I started over when I went away to college in Indiana. I started over when I moved to Ontario to teach for two years. I start over a lot when I write, trying to get just the right word that captures what I mean. I start over often when I speak, for the same reason. My list could go on and on. Do you think you'll have a long list too, by the time you get to 60? I wonder if this whole notion of starting over, has to do with learning all our lives?. Do you think?

And so I start over again here, hoping that you'll share some of what you are learning with me. If you're willing, can you explain some of the basic calculus concepts you've learned with me and also what you know of starting over?

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