Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible

9Jan/091

Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere blog mini review

Sam J Shah describes himself in his blog's About page:

I am a middle and high school math teacher in Brooklyn, New York. I enjoy getting students excited about math by being math’s loudest and most passionate cheerleader.

I have to agree that Sam really enjoys being a Math cheerleader.

On December 28th I offered Math bloggers the opportunity to exchange mini reviews. My idea was that readers of Math blogs could get to know about more blogs. Sam took me up on my offer and reviewed my blog. Read his review and you'll see that Sam went above and beyond the call of duty in writing it. But, given my interactions with Sam, I'm not surprised. It's Sam's passion - engaging with Math wherever it may be.

Sam offered praise of Wild About Math! and he raised a major concern. I'm grateful for the praise and I'd like to speak to Sam's concern and then get on with my review of Sam's blog.

Same writes, in his review of Wild About Math!:

As I noted, in recent months, Sol has focused on nurturing his (wonderful) Monday Math Madness contests. However, before this contest started, Sol had frequently posted about everything and anything math, like neat websites about fractals or speed multiplication.

And he wrote this:

I do wish, however, that at least once in a while Sol would continue to post same types of posts — the great reviews of books, math resources, and calculators, the “for fun” math puzzles, for the math news — that defined the blog before Monday Math Madness came into the picture.

Sam - I'm with you. I also feel that a part of Wild About Math! was lost when I started posting Monday Math Madness contests almost exclusively. I can't completely explain why I made the shift. For quite some months now I've been very blocked around my love of Math. It often feels to be a great burden to write in this blog. Again, I don't know why. Math is definitely still my first love and yet I can't easily connect with that joy and write about the subject. The Math contests are a way to maintain some momentum without feeling the pressure to write frequently or to be verbose. And, now I'm using the blog mini reviews to help the Math blogosphere to grow.

Will I someday go back to writing more of the fun and joyful stuff? I don't know. I feel at times that I've lost my "Math soul" and don't know how to retrieve it. For now, the Monday contests are going strong and a couple of other different kinds of Math contests - one time events - are in the works. I'm firming things up with a potential sponsor and should be announcing the first one soon. I'm excited that these two contests will be accessible to folks who maybe find the MMM contests too hard but have strong imaginations.

Now, onto my mini review.

I like Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere. In particular I like Sam. Sam does a great job of sharing himself in his posts. Every time I read one of his posts I feel like I'm sitting in Sam's living room having some tea and a pleasant chat with a friend who I'm comfortable being around.

It's interesting to note that, with most of the mini reviews I've done, I find myself looking for articles to recommend. With Sam's blog, it doesn't matter which article you read. Almost every one will give you that cozy feeling of chatting with a friend.

As I read through a number of Sam's posts I make an important realization. Sam can share his fun experiences with Math because he's having them -- with his students. Going back to my disconnect for a moment I realize that I'm writing about Math in a vacuum. If I had an ongoing relationship with students I too could write stories. I've put out a feeler about volunteering with middle-school or high-school students, perhaps helping them to prep for contests. If this connection happens then I could have some great stories to tell.

Back to Sam's blog. I'm not going to recommend any articles. Sam has a list of his favorites on his sidebar, below his archives section. You might start with those.

In closing, I'd like to thank you Sam for "telling it like it is" in your blog review. I appreciate the engagement and I recommend that everyone check out and enjoy your blog.

Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Thanks! Those are very kind, blush-worthy words. In fact, you can’t see me, but I’m blushing. I would very much like to be having tea right now, in fact.


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