Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Zero Angel's Change of the Zombie — new cover

Hey guys!

I finally managed to get a new cover for my horror short, "Change of the Zombie" (originally titled, "The Change"). Here's the image:

Monday, March 28, 2016

You get what you put in: Or, why is the "average" teacher not a good teacher?

People tend to complain about how there aren't good math teachers.

As I see it, there a few reasons why, in general at least, this is true—yes, I am one of the people saying there aren't many good teachers. There are obvious exceptions of course, but there are so many not good teachers that every student encounters them on a semi-regular basis. And really, I'll be assuming that teachers have good intentions and have the base level of talent required to teach that can't be taught. Not all teachers have both of those, so everything I'm about to say is skewed up, and it's actually even worse than I am presenting it. 

I'll only be talking about math of course, but I think my points apply globally to all subjects.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

On the Importance of Rigor in Mathematics Illustrated with How to Teach Absolute Value Algebraically

(ick, could we get a little more SEO-y with that title?)

Maybe you're like me and always heard of "new math" as some horrible misstep America made in the 1960s; or maybe you've bought into the ads against what people are saying about the current curriculum trying to meet the Common Core Standards.

I'd like to think that Common Core addresses many of the drawbacks of "New Math", but it definitely isn't doing much better in the zeitgeist than New Math did, and a HUGE part of that is having teachers that aren't trained in the mathematics they're expected to teach.

Having teachers that aren't able to balance educational heuristic techniques, definitions, and explanations with more rigorous ones is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed within each individual curriculum based on CCSS. You can't go the way we've all heard New Math went and just throw college-level definitions at students right off the bat (maybe if they're adults that are interested in their education, but even then the heuristic explanations should be included as well).

But you also can't do what teachers have seemingly always done: either completely ignore the actual definitions of mathematical objects and rely on incorrect definitions and arcane rules or include the definitions only as something to be memorized or as an aside with no relevance.

We have rigor in mathematics for a reason, and if we didn't need it or if it wasn't useful, we wouldn't have it. That's how math works. (That's one of the reasons why I will argue that 0^0=1 any time we need it to be and that a parallelogram is also a trapezoid).

Rigor is both needed *and* useful.

I've written more about this, but don't want to mess with the math formatting, so please follow the link below for a pdf illustrating my argument through the context of absolute value of a number. Don't forget to come back and comment/+1/share when you're done. (Note: if you are came here just to get help on learning how to solve absolute value equations and absolute value inequalities, the "teaching" portion of the essay starts on page 5, but the article is primarily about rigor and teaching strategies).

I hope this explains how you were probably taught absolute value and why you were taught that way, what we can do with the definitions if they are given to us, and the importance of teaching rigorous definitions in mathematics. If you have any questions, please comment below. Thank you!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Problem with DC

As are most people in the world, I'm a lifelong fan of Superman and Batman. As I grew and experienced more of the DC universe, I came to love many of the characters inhabiting its space. So it hurts me to think about the DC universe usually, because it seems to be inherently flawed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thoughts on Daredevil Season 2 (Spoiler Review)

This post will contain my thoughts on Daredevil Season 2 and will contain spoilers. If you found your way here before watching the show and care about spoilers, check out this no spoiler review and come back once you've watched the show. Basically, think of this as both of us have already seen the show and now we're talking about it at the water cooler. What did we think was cool, what didn't work, what was incredible. I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below; spoilers welcome.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Daredevil Season 2 Review (No spoilers)

What a weekend!

The 13 episode Daredevil Season 2 released Friday and if you've been on the fence about watching S2 (or even S1), then this review is for you. If you've already seen it, then skip on over to the spoiler discussion (link here).

Friday, March 18, 2016

Captain America Civil War with Spider-Man Fan Theory and Its Ramifications

Hey guys!

I recently posted my hopes for the new Captain America Civil War movie based on a single image from the trailer:

It was so rundown that it cast some doubt on my theory that this kitchen Cap is standing in is Peter Parker's, but wait, there's ANOTHER PHOTO:

Daredevil Season 2 First Impressions

Daredevil is back!

One of the best surprises of last year from Marvel after the disappointing Agents of Shield, Daredevil (along with the rest of the Defenders) have been absolute home runs. Season 2 dropped today and I just finished watching the premiere episode moments ago.

It's so good guys.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cap's Plea to Spidey — Civil War Fan Theory Based on Trailer 2

Warning: This contains my personal hope/theory for the new Civil War movie, specifically involving Spider-Man's involvement/interaction with Captain America. The more I look at the image that inspired this hope, the less I believe it will be true, but you know, who knows. So spoiler warning if you think I'm prescient.

Here's the image in question: