An Apology

Yep, mea culpa on that one.

To Sarah, especially, and to any others caught up in my indignant wake (including, but not limited to, Wasserman, Noon, and probably Wegner, who’s been far too patient with me from the onset): I was way too harsh in my rebuke on Sarah’s blog and on each of yours. (Neal calls me out for tossing matches into the gasoline, which sounds unfortunate, but fair.)

There were many more diplomatic ways to convey my disappointment in her unilateral, vitriolic tone, and I disregarded each of them. What you’ve got there — more vitriol and unilateralism — is at the other end of the field.

Sorry, Sarah.

You care about this job and your students a great deal more than I do — that much is obvious — and not even I’m arrogant enough to cast that off. Keep on blogging. You’ve clearly got a lot of fans around this blog’sphere.


As jazzed as I am to be a part of this cautionary tale, there is a sense that I’m a ways from where I want to be. No quick fixes, I’m sure. I anticipate a slow, steady, post-at-a-time process getting back to there from here. To those of you willing to extend some largesse and stick around for it: I don’t expect it’ll be boring.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Thank you.
    As I said somewhere in there, I hope, you are welcome in Room 10 in Oxnard.
    In that context we might both learn from one another.

    The school is on Dollie St. Check in at the office.
    I’m there until 5PM daily at least. You really are welcome.Lovely beaches in Oxnard. It is first grade. I’m very interested in expanding our technology logically and my skills in primary instruction using them in ways that are able to promote success.


  2. Dan,

    I managed to totally miss all the “blogotension”, as you called it, until today. I wish I had written Neil’s comment! And I am really glad you chose to respond as above. I am often guilty of seeing the world in black and white, and it takes constant reminding that there are lots of shades of gray out there. And sometimes other’s shade may be a lot closer to ours than it appears. It takes will and patience to sort it out, and I’m working on the latter.

    Keep on writing.

  3. e: That’s “NeAl,” with an “a”! The far superior spelling of the name, let me tell you.

    Thanks Dan. I do intend to start blogging this year, though not in the immediate future. I’ll be sure to name my inaugural blog post “Pork Futures and Malaysian Cinema.” Given how random my interests and ideas tend to be, that might actually be appropriate! I am currently in the process of familiarizing myself with the education and information science blogospheres while fleshing out my numerous opinions with a bit more than my usual veneer of knowledge. It is a very well polished veneer, but insufficiently thick to withstand the 2″ metal cleats, that seem to be standard issue on the internet. I’m also somewhat intimidated by the impressive array of pioneers that have come before. I still care about looking foolish more than I should.

    After rereading my comment, I feel that I came off a bit harsher to you than I intended, or at least less harsh to some of the close-minded behavior I saw from the other side. Their response was understandable, but misguided. I doubt anyone here is intentionally trying to be an ass. We all want to better ourselves, and learn what we can from one another.

    So let’s all be friends, bla, bla, bla (group hug).

    I’m glad you understood my intentions and I hope that I correctly interpreted yours. To be honest, I find myself nodding in agreement with you more often than not, even if I do harbor vestiges of an artistic, passionate, liberal arts teacher somewhere in my psyche. And I like corny teacher movies! They get me going like that awful Rounders movie did when I was a poker fiend.

  4. Thanks, Dan…you’re very gracious, and you’re welcome at the any time. We disagree on a lot, it seems, but there’s always room for healthy argument. If we don’t have that, we’ve got nothing…


  5. Yeah, patient and not smart enough to be insulted!! One of the big things I push with my young students is that sometimes the biggest leaps forward in learning happen when we make mistakes. I’ve made plenty of them throughout my forty years of life and overstepping the mark occasionally is just being human. I’ve also learnt that I shouldn’t be making observations on topics in which I’m not well versed, so in the words of Daniel Johns from silverchair,

    “Mistakes don’t mean a thing
    If you don’t regret them…”

    Dan, I reckon you’ve done the right thing here and I look forward to reading more of your unique perspective. I’ve still got to finish watching your Assessment video too!

  6. Dan — Each of us is learning in real time. Your voice is a critical one for us to have ‘out here’ in this brave new world of blogging (edu-focused or not). Ultimately, your voice is made more powerful as you negotiate the collaborative process of what Chris says: “Debate to learn, not to win.” I appreciate your willingness to look into the many paths this conversation has taken over the last week or two…and even more so by your ability to own what was yours (as the rest of us have to own what is ours, as well). Looking forward to having your voice and questions continue to guide my thinking in the days, weeks, months…ahead. Cheers, Christian