Thursday, January 16, 2020

Hello, I'm Zero

It was easier to wipe the slate clean and start anew than it was to try to filter what parts of my past I still identified with. I'm a new person, hence, new blog. I may eventually go back and re-explore some older articles, but for now, I'd like to focus on new content.

My name is Zero. My pronouns are they, them, their.

I am a writer, mathematician, artist, and educator.


I have two nonfiction math eBooks that both became Amazon bestsellers in America and internationally.

From there, I was invited to work on the engageNY/Eureka Math curriculum project, specifically, grades 11 & 12. This curriculum is the most widely used math curriculum in America and, although no curriculum is perfect, it is far superior to most of what came before it.

Including my own math books.

My experiences with Great Minds (the company behind Eureka Math) showed me that I was not a lone Don Quixote tilting at the windmills of math education, but I grew so much as a writer and educator that I couldn't return to my own series of math books, no matter how popular they had become or how much of my own success was tied to them.

I think it has been close to eight years since "Overcoming Math Anxiety" was first published.

I will soon be removing "Arithmetic & Number Sense" from the marketplace, and I am retooling OMA to be a stand-alone resource to more accurately reflect how people used it in the first place, while also sharing a lot more of what I have learned in the meantime.

Besides OMA, I will be working on simultaneous publishing options for future nonfiction works, while also sharing articles here when there is something I'd like to write about.


Speculative fiction remains close to my heart, and occupies so much of my thoughts. More than anything else, it has become more of a hobby to me than anything that I view as something currently worth the effort of producing professional content. 

That being said, I haven't been producing ☆ANY☆ content.

So for the time being, I'm going to approach it more hobby-like. I'll be publishing first drafts and roughs in webnovel forms without going through the process of professional editing. Probably mostly on here.

If there's anything that comes out of this that I end up being particularly happy with, then I'll put it out in book form or eBook form.

I'll leave my current works up for sale, although I'll edit them a bit to point to here and the website with an author's note or something that I'm no longer officially planning on continuations.


This has been something that I've been doing almost as long as writing, and now that I have a graphics pad and the Adobe programs, it's something I'm making real progress with and my output has skyrocketed. 

Almost more than fiction, art is always a supplement to the other things going on in my head. Whether it's improving as a graphic designer in creating fonts and covers for my books and videos, or character and monster design of my stories. Not to mention just exploring a study of something with an aesthetic that appeals to me. 

Anyway, I'm not planning on doing much more than continue to produce for myself and supplement my other works with this aspect of my life. 


Growing up, I always wanted to save the world. Then at some point I became less delusional—I know that may be hard to believe—and I decided I could be like the people that had inspired me with stories. That's one of the biggest things that attracted me to writing. 

Then I wanted to do something more tangible. Something where I could see what I was doing and have an impact on people I knew.

So I got into education. Having a compulsion to answer questions and loving figuring out the best ways to explain things, along with my never-ending curiosity and drive to learn everything I don't know—well it fit. 

It still does to some extent. When it comes to straight explanations or lectures, I'm not afraid to go up against anyone. 

That being said, research shows that these are ☆not☆ the best way to teach when it comes to the classroom. So I've transitioned into those things that reportedly show the best way to learn things for students. 

Unfortunately, those also tend to be their least favorite way for classes to run. I haven't worked out a way for students to buy-in to entry-level classes that are taught in a modern style. I've gone from having a 99% positive response rate on reviews (with an overwhelming amount of "best math teacher ever" type responses) to dreading even wanting to look at them. This last semester I even had students start to launch personal attacks at me. Although, it's also one of the first times I was more visible as a disabled, non-cis person. 

So I'm going to be working more on creating educational videos, articles, and the aforementioned nonfiction books, because I think that is how I can help the most people with my talents. 

Still, I never am going to stop loving teaching. And I hope I can continue to do that. I just need to get better at figuring out a way for student buy-in that doesn't involve working more than my current 60-90 hour workweek for just one of my income sources. 

I realize the easy choice would be to teach lecture-style courses, but that would be best for me—not best for my students.


I've become more interested in advocacy and in public-speaking. The performative aspect of a prepared presentation that is entertaining, educational, and useful really appeals to my hyperactivity. Writing them in general appeals to my creativity. Presentations, speeches, and writings that are geared towards advocacy and doing what I can for others appeals to my wanting-to-do-what-I-can-for-others-ivity. That is in its infancy, but I have had a couple experiences that left a significant impact on me, and I'm interested in exploring that. 

A while back, I had given up on a lot of different things. I figured the best thing I could do would be to focus on work, specifically teaching, and figuring out a way to make that a career that could last for me. I gave up on writing, art, friends, and pretty much anything that I wasn't strictly obligated to do. I still don't think I am particularly focused on a social life or anything. But I no longer think that work alone is enough to sustain me. So I am excited to branch out and restart my life that feels like it has been in a coma for far too long.