Friday, January 29, 2016

"How Come You Don't Write As Much Anymore?"

In the past few months, a couple people have asked me that question: "How come you don't write as much anymore?" Sure, it was only two people, but that's what I said -- a couple.

Reason one for my weak output, of course, was the arrival of our baby Sean last April. I'm too busy hanging out with my new best friend, roughhousing, and reading him books to write anything -- although I did find time to write about some of those crappy books.

The second reason you haven't seen me pondering as many of the universe's least pertinent questions here at How Blank is that I got a new job. In addition to my teaching gig with the New York City Bureaucracy of Education (Excuse me, Board of Education. Oh wait, Department of Education. There it is.), I'm now writing lesson plans for the Website NUSKOOL. The mission of the site is engaging kids in schoolwork through pop culture, sports, and other interesting avenues.

Anyways, I've written three lessons so far, and I've linked to them below. In order to access the actual lessons, you have to subscribe, but you can read each of the blog-style intros for free.

My most recent lesson used Stephen Curry's recent hot streak to teach proportional relationships. I even sneaked an NBA Jam reference into this one.

In another sports-related lesson, I showed how Major League Baseball's declining home run rate can be used to teach percent change. Unfortunately, soon after I published that one, Jeff Sullivan and Rob Neyer showed that players actually hit more homers in 2015. Still, the general trend holds true: guys are hitting way fewer dingers than they did during the Steroid Era.

Finally, I wrote a fun lesson on the history of lies told on Wikipedia -- WikiLies, if you will. I would've loved that lesson as a kid, if only because it includes a Stephen Colbert video.

Anyways, keep checking on How Blank, because I intend to churn something out at least once a week. After all, baseball season's coming, and I can't possibly keep all my nerdy observations to myself.

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Follow Francis Tolan on Twitter @frantweet

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