Pensieve

Inspired by the magic item from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories, the pensieve is a means of retrieving stored memories (or this case, quotes) that I want to remember later.

All of these quotes are my own except for one, which is from my mother.


Math in the US is taught like a toddler’s shape sorter toy. Students are presented with a problem. They see which hole it fits into, shove it through, and they’re done with it.

Suppose our educational system can be described by the variables a, b, c, d, e, f, and g, and that  a + b + c + d + e + f + g = constant.  The reason we need better math education in the US is so our elected officials will stop believing that they can increase a, c, and e without changing the values of b, d, f, and g.

Math is like a box of LEGOs.  The value is not in the ways an individual pair of blocks can together, but in what you can build out of a large collection of them.  If we only ever give  students two LEGOs at a time, it’s hardly surprising that they never learn how to build anything useful.

Any test that kids will need to pass in order to graduate from high school should be given to congress first.

The ultimate answer to almost every science question is “maybe” or “sometimes”.  The teacher’s job is to get the answer to make sense.

Never change your first (gut) answer unless you know what’s wrong with it.

“Fair” means “Everyone gets what they need,” not “Everyone gets the same.”

“Magic” is what we call science when we don’t understand it.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles Rule:  Don’t annoy the person who gets to decide whether or not you get what you want.

All observable data should support the hypothesis that you are nice.

Raise your hand when you don’t know the answer.  I want to give my attention to the students who need it.

Your choices are yours to make, but keep in mind that I have never met an adult who was glad to have stopped taking music lessons or started smoking.

Memorization means “I promise to forget.”  What you understand, you will remember.

You can’t learn without the freedom to make mistakes.

Nothing is ever hard.  It’s either easy (because you can do it) or impossible (because you can’t).  If something seems hard, that means it’s no longer impossible, and it’s on its way to becoming easy—which means it’s definitely not the time to quit.               —Carole Bigler

Anything that makes you laugh without making you think is a waste of your time.

Any sentence that begins with “I can’t…” needs to end with “…yet.”

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