Unnecessary Lessons

I’m changing the name of this blog today. The name Unnecessary Lessons comes from a scene in The Jerk in which Bernadette Peters, newly rich, fills her time by taking knife-throwing lessons.  After a failed attempt, she cries, “I can’t do anything right.”  Her husband is enthusiastic and supportive, yet she struggles to find her … More Unnecessary Lessons

Math Workshop: Another Good Idea from New Zealand.

Usually when I tell people that I teach middle school math, I’m met with sympathetic and somewhat terrified looks. It’s the same look I give kindergarten teachers.  It’s not easy, but I love my job. Middle school students are funny, awkward, and yes, sweet. I enjoy teaching math, but even after 11 years, I’ve never … More Math Workshop: Another Good Idea from New Zealand.

Good-bye,Land of the Long White Cloud. Hello, Land of the Stinking Onion.

There’s not much time for me to write a farewell blog. Geoff and Eliza left this afternoon, and I’m flying out with Augusta tomorrow. Like many things on this trip, flying separately was not planned. There was some mix-up with ticketing. Many people have reassured me that a 24-hour flight with an eight-week-old baby will … More Good-bye,Land of the Long White Cloud. Hello, Land of the Stinking Onion.

The Exhausted Mom’s Version of my Fulbright Project

This morning, a friend asked if I am now a full-time researcher and mom: “some kind of superwoman,” as he put it. My brain isn’t working well enough for me to make a witty comparison between myself and superwoman. I am trying to wrap up my project on a ridiculously small amount of sleep.  Visiting … More The Exhausted Mom’s Version of my Fulbright Project

Augusta!

Augusta Victoria Burkhart was born on April 5, 2017 at 9:09 A.M. She weighs 3,240 grams, is 55 cm long, and is covered in baby fur. She is lovely. Geoff’s been proudly walking her all over the hospital. Eliza, equally excited, is going out of her way to be a responsible big sister. I’m still … More Augusta!

The Caesar

When I was pregnant with Eliza, Geoff and I attended childbirth classes. Each class was disturbing in some way. I remember watching a video of a woman holding onto a bar, sweating and gnashing her teeth, while squatting over a hospital bed. I learned in another class that breastfeeding only hurts if you’re doing it … More The Caesar