I was in the middle of writing a post on how early and often we should be teaching CS in our schools but had to jump in with a quick hit here.
As any reader here knows, Hunter was the first institution with state approved CS Teacher Education Masters and Certificate programs. Siena had the first Bachelors program (Hunter doesn't have undergraduate education programs that lead to state certification).
I've dedicated my entire career - something like 32 years, to CS education and the spread of CS education. So, while I try to be a cheerleader I also think it's important to call out things that we do or say that are maybe not so great.
So, I hope I don't annoy too many people (or maybe I hope I do) with this post and maybe a few more to come.
The other day, Natan scored tickets for us to see an interview with High Jackman and Sutton Foster. We'll be seeing them in "The Music Man" come this fall.
It was fun but it was the taping for a radio interview so nothing earth shattering or surprising. Still, one thing stuck with me and got me thinking.
Jackman told a story about how, during rehearsals, he wandered down from his dressing room to find Foster was working with Jerry Zaks, the director on "My White Knight.
Just finished entering grades closing out my 32nd year teaching.
It's been a hard year for me and I'm sure even harder for the K12 teachers out there. Still this year I'm really missing what I was oh so many years ago - a regular teacher.
Teaching from September through June is a beast and from my first day on the job I had to work ten times harder than I ever had to as a software engineer and was commensurately exhausted.
A big difficulty with creating CS opportunities for all our students is the lack of CS teachers. New York City addressed this problem with their CS4All program - quick form PD to get teachers into CS classrooms in a hurry. One can debate if that was the best way to go but it enabled NYC to create a whole lot of CS classes in a very short period of time.
I've been up in Providence RI since this past Wednesday for SIGCSE2022. The big Computer Science Educators conference. Also, my first in person conference since pre-covid.
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this big in person gathering but as it's turned out, it's been pretty comfortable.
So far, I've attended two terrific keynotes. One by Barbara Liskov and the other Barbara Ericson, some really interesting sessions and some less interesting ones and have had a great time discussing CS education.
Tomorrow I'll be driving up to Providence Rhode Island for SIGSE 2022, basically the largest computer science education conference out there. I guess ITSE, a conference I've never attended, is larger but that's really EdTech with some CS.
The last in person conference I went to was two almost exactly two years ago - also SIGCSE. I arrived in Portland and went to a pre-conference session and on the morning of the big start, about three hours before I ran my session, I saw an email saying we were canceled.
I used to do the New York Times Crossword puzzle. I don't remember when I started - some time late in Eugene Maleska's tenure as the editor. I continued on a few years into Will Shortz's puzzles. I stopped when the Times wanted to charge me for both print and online. I preferred reading the physical paper but liked printing the puzzle from their online site. I was also pissed at the Times coverage of a number of issues at the time.
Devorah and I just got off a Zoom pension consultation. Very enlightening.
I'm 54 so regardless, can't retire for another year but Devorah hit 55 last November and the DOE can really kill ones spirit and grind you down.
Overall I've been pretty happy at Hunter but I've written before about the fact that I've been feeling some burn out and have been basically doing 2+ full time jobs myself at Hunter for the past few years and that's just not sustainable.
So, tomorrow, October 19, is my birthday. The big 5 4. Okay, maybe it's not a traditionally big one. It doesn't end in a zero or a five but I think it rates.
Why? Because it's one shy of 55.
That's the magic age when I can retire collect my pension should I choose to do so. It's what you get when start young and put in over 30 years of service.