What I’m Up To

Day’s Verse:
Give yourselves to disciplined instruction;
open your ears to tested knowledge.

Proverbs 23:12

I feel that my recent work with the Bicycle Alliance needs a little bit of explaining. It’s not the kind of work I can summarize quickly in a word or phrase. Ian can say, “I’m a software engineer,” or “I’m a programmer,” and people have some idea of what he spends his days doing. My current employment situation isn’t so easy to succinctly describe. So here goes. Continue Reading >>

Teaching Anxiety

Day’s Verse:
This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’

Zechariah 13:9

Things are getting busy around here. My days of quiet down time are rapidly coming to a close as the Bicycle Alliance’s teaching grants really get underway. It’s looking like I’ll spend March through May intensively teaching bike classes to PE teachers — probably one class a week, which is a lot. Each class is 15 hours, and most of them will be in remote school districts way out in eastern Washington. I’ll be spending a fair amount of time on “business trips” for the Bike Alliance, spending a couple nights in places like Okanogan as I teach the two-day class. I’m not wild about this, but it’s only for a couple months. Most of all I’m actually nervous about teaching the classes. I’ve taught Traffic Skills 101 before, and feel moderately comfortable about that. But this class adds a whole different dynamic: The kids’ bike skills curriculum. We’re training PE teachers to teach a bike unit in their classes, and that bike unit is something I’ve never actually implemented myself. Back in September I spent a week in Spokane observing and assisting a PE teacher as she did the unit. But that’s very different from having done it myself. I’m no PE teacher, and I’m concerned that my being a bike person and not a PE teacher will undermine my credibility among my PE teacher students. Continue Reading >>

Teaching a Bike Class

Day’s Verse:
Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.
2 Cor. 13:7

My entire week — and a good portion of earlier weeks — has been consumed with organizing the Bicycle Alliance’s first Traffic Skills 101 class. Originally I conceived it as a way to say thank you to volunteers — essentially another incentive for volunteering. We can say “Another advantage of volunteering for the Bike Alliance is that we offer Traffic Skills 101 exclusively to volunteers for only $20 (to cover the cost of materials). If you took this class elsewhere in the Puget Sound area, you’d pay $60 to $85.” Continue Reading >>