Attention Residents of California: Help support the creation of a new Charter School for Adult Education!
If you don’t live in California, please DON’T SIGN this! Please signal boost for all your Californian friends, and find out how you can support Adult Education in your area!
Adult Education is one of the programs that has been hit the hardest by recent statewide budget cuts; unfortunately, it is also one of the most critically important and far-reaching educational programs. Help revive Adult Education in an area that has recently lost its main Adult Ed program!
This is a petition for a charter in order to create a new Adult Education school in North Highlands, CA. The Highlands Community Charter School would serve thousands of people, offering programs for high school completion, ESL, and CTE.
Earlier this month, the entire teaching staff of the Twin Rivers Adult School was laid off—the first in a series of steps to begin closing the school down entirely. The Highlands Community Charter School is a solution to the closing of the Twin Rivers Adult School, and an attempt to save Adult Education in the district. There are already several highly-qualified educators ready to step in to teach the programs as soon as the school is funded, and countless students who are desperate for these classes. Time is of the essence! This petition needs to be submitted to the Twin Rivers Unified School District Board of Trustees by April 7th! They will be voting on the charter on the 9th.
Please sign and show the Board that California supports Adult Education and the Highlands Community Charter School! Help us rebuild this critical system!
What is calculus about?
W Gilbert Strang, a really excellent lecturer who sees teaching as central to his purpose in life, has made his complete calculus course available for free here. He has also summarised the basics of calculus, using simple words and examples, boiling the subject down to 2.5 hours here.
Calculus is not all there is to post-secondary mathematics. But it does symbolise “difficult! complicated! advanced!” for a lot of people who didn’t devote ≥hundreds of hours of their adult lives to mathematics. If you felt like you never “got” maths in school, watching and understanding 5 half-hour videos about a “complicated! scary!” subject with Sir Isaac Newton’s name attached to it could give you a huge boost in self-confidence.
I’ll try to say what I think calculus is about in even fewer words.
- Calculus is about zooming in on things.
- In some sense the subject is infinity. You zoom in to an infinitesimal level.
- It can feel downright spiritual.
- When you zoom in on a smooth curve to an infinite degree, you find that, “under the microscope”, the curve is actually straight.
- It’s like what would happen if you kept hitting “zoom” on a picture of
Y=sin(X)on a graphing calculator.
- Straight things are really easy to analyse mathematically. Like a straight-line projection is much simpler than a noisy, seasonal, highly variable projection.
- The most surprising thing to come out of the rigorous study of infinitesimally zooming in is that area is the opposite of slope.
- In some sense this finding is like multiplication is the opposite of division.
- multiplication ↔ area ↔ ”integral” ∫ ↔ “tabulate” or “tally up” , and
- division ↔ slope ↔ ”derivative” ∂ ↔ “pulse”
- Saying that calculus is about derivatives ∂ and integrals ∫ is a little misleading. Saying that ∂ is about “slope” is not quite right either. Saying ∫ is about “area” is not quite right either! But just like the solar system model of the atom, I am lying to you at the start because the real story is too complicated.
- Have fun!
I’ve been editing for a really long time, and literate for far longer than that, and it was only just today that I learned that while abbreviations like scuba, NATO, and NASA are acronyms, abbreviations like IRS, FBI, and HTML are called initialisms. Acronyms you say as a word, initialisms you say as individual letters.*
I’ve always just called all them shits acronyms.
BOY, IS MY FACE RED.
* So, LOL is an initialism. Very few people say “lowl,” I gather.
The Age Factor is a Has Been
Last week, I applied for a program that specifically stated they wanted applicants under 40, but would not discriminate. I hope they mean that second part, since I don’t fall within those guidelines either.
Now, surely, everyone likes to honor and reward the young, the beautiful, the precocious individuals who are making an impact early on in their lives; and there are lots of niche awards and programs to support all kinds of groups that I don’t fit into—it’s all good. What I haven’t seen is any programs that support older entrepreneurs, middle-aged entrepreneurs or people who decide to change careers, embark on new ventures using the experience they gained in the past to inform the future. Now, that would be something innovative.
The US has the largest adult education industry of any in the world, even last night there was a skillshare class taught in my office. Learning is one of the most important factors in staying young—or young as we used to think of it. It’s time we rethought that as well. With people all over the world living longer and longer, and the average age in population rising like a pop-over, age as a contributing factor in being a mover and a shaker is certainly a has been.
The Composites Lecture
If you’re in the New York City area please come by Adult Education this May 1st at Housing Works Books as I’ll be presenting a lecture and slide show on The Composites. The theme of the night is, appropriately enough, “Characters.” The other lecturers include screenwriter Jason Grote, actor and writer Colleen Werthmann and historian Benjamin Feldman.
The event is free.