creative writing

(this is a fictional letter to my high school geometry and AP Calc AB teacher. Maybe I’ll send it to her, maybe not.)

Dear Ms. Conry,

I’m at the Mathematics Education and Society conference, MES 10 in Hyderabad, India.

I’m working on my PhD now and writing my dissertation proposal, majoring in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona and minoring in Special Education. I also just defended my Master’s project for a Masters in Mathematics – Teaching Emphasis at the University of Northern Colorado.

Today I helped a student who had taken a data analysis class for her major but was somehow placed into Integrated College Skills, a lower level class, take the placement exam. The advisor for her program set it up, and I sent her info about the cut scores in case she didn’t already have it. She passed and is now sad she doesn’t get to take my class. I recommended Theoni Pappas’ Mathematical Scandals as alternative reading.

This summer I’m taking two graduate level classes at the University of Northern Colorado to finish out my Master’s. Problem-Solving and Geometry. I hope it includes Non-Euclidean since we didn’t get into that much in Freshmen Geometry in High School, though the math club we tried to start in Senior year was going to take it on but i didn’t make more than one meeting.

My friends want me to take Mathematical Modeling with them in the morning, but I’ll be too tired, so probably Problem-Solving in the Afternoon is better. I’ll get to spend a week in Northern Colorado at the University of Northern Colorado again like last summer.

And this summer I teach Math for Elementary Teachers part 2! 🙂



(I was in your 9th grade Geometry, co-taught with Mr. Martin, and 12th grade AP calculus with the forester textbook. I still have a copy on my shelf, and he’s still around but can’t attend as many conferences anymore, per the NCTM internal discussion forum.)


  1. James,
    Very nice, interesting to write to former teachers who were a formative part of your life, even if you don’t send it to them. I think this kind of reflection is helpful when looking at the direction you are going with your life. Garry

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