Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Job Well Done

Ecclesiastes 7:8 "The end of a matter is better than its beginning."
Covenant Christian High School just held their graduation ceremony. Another wonderful group of seniors have completed their K-12 education. Congratulations to a job well done!
With the end of one task often comes the beginning of another. But it is pleasant to pause and rejoice. I am excited for what these students will accomplish as they go on to schools like Rose Hulman, University of Chicago, Purdue, IU, Kettering and many more.

Similarly, as I am looking forward to and preparing for an amazing summer of workshops, conferences, and travel, it is good to reflect on the tasks completed. I praise God for seeing me through, sustaining my family, and giving me added means to provide for them.

The biggest project that started for me last summer with a trip to Boston was the
Pearson Prentice Hall - Texas Instrument project.
I worked with an all-star group to make every lesson from three textbooks come alive. The link has a few of the tns files and video to see what the Pearson and TI authors created through this unique partnership. We worked hand in hand (virtually speaking) through web conferencing and video chat. Thanks to the innovation of our project manager, Google documents was used as great resource to keep track of the schedule and the most recent files. Through the extensive hours of working on this project I felt encouraged by our leader, editor, fellow TI authors and especially by Bill, the Pearson/Prentice Hall author I worked most closely with. We would often look at the textbook together, discuss what could be done so the students would be more engaged, I would create something, we'd chat about any improvements that could be made, and in the end Bill would exclaim how delighted he was that his vision of a truly interactive textbook that the students could carry with them anywhere was coming to fruition.

When we finished the last section of the last chapter of these textbooks back in March, it was a day of great rejoicing. But then it was time to get back to grading papers and preparing students to do the best they could on AP Calculus and Physics exams. Well, now the last papers are graded, recorded and exported. Students are on break for the summer. And I'm going to have a great Memorial Day with two of my favorite veterans: my dad who served as a corpsman in Vietnam and my grandfather who has some great jungle and Alaska stories from WWII.
I just read an explanation for corpsman -- "coreman" -- A U.S. Navy enlisted "hospitalman" assigned to provide medical care in Marine Corps units, Navy hospitals and hospital ships. Virtually all corpsmen were nicknamed "Doc." These guys were the Marine equivalent of Army "medics" and a good corpsman was worth his weight in gold in the bush. Not only did they provide routine medical care far from the nearest doctor, but if you were wounded they kept you alive until a medevac chopper could get you to a hospital. During MEDCAPs, they also provided the only medical care most of our Vietnamese villagers ever experienced.

On this Memorial Day, congratulations and thank you goes out especially to our veterans.