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I have two campus visits scheduled at top-notch DC Schools: Georgetown Day School, and Highland School in Northern Virginia. As much as one can tell about people from a 30 minute interview, I think I’d be happy working with either of their faculty.

This has been a really good day, and it’s not even 5 PM. Fabulous. Phew. Ready for a beer.

On a related note, the professional website is now live. Click here for my new public face online.


Or at least, an awesome cocktail. One which I’m not finding described elsewhere on the internet. Which makes me inordinately smug and happy. Especially given the way this thing came about. Here’s the story:

This evening after dinner – fried tofu coated in basil, oregano, garlic and sea salt, mushrooms and onions, a fairly kick-ass tomato salad with artichokes – I retired for a bit of Hemingway and a drink. It had been an unceasingly beautiful day, with the sun, sky and flowers conspiring to make you feel the world truly was being reborn. Thus my drink of choice recently, tawny port, seemed very much out of the question. Too old, too heavy and woody by far. It was definitely a night for good tequila.

But I didn’t want to dirty another glass, and I already had one with the barest residue of port in the bottom sitting on my desk. So I said to hell with it, and poured a finger of tequila into the port-stained glass. At the first sip, I could taste the difference – a hint of wood, and the slightest additional sweetness preceding the tequila. Just the whispering of a further idea. And my eyes grew large, and I surveyed the bottles in my collection, and with epiphanic clarity I knew what I needed to do. I present, for your mixing and sipping pleasure, the following:

  • Two parts good tequila (preferably a reposado; in my case, Don Julio)
  • One part ¬†tawny port (the port was somewhat cheaper; 10-year-old Porto Morgado from Trader Joe’s)
  • Garnish with orange (I didn’t actually do this, but the drink wanted orange in the fragrance)
  • Stir gently; serve in a martini glass


The combination of floral, spice, and just a hint of wood in the tequila ties perfectly to the heavier wood, fruit, chocolate and earth notes of the port. The key here is not using so much port that you overwhelm the tequila.

Since the liquors are fairly exposed in this cocktail, I think it’s important to have good ingredients. Both should certainly be sipping grade on their own, and the final drink will likewise be for considered consumption. I wouldn’t mix it on ice, but this might be a good tack if using cheaper tequila and port. Also, this might be a variant worth exploring if using a lighter-weight port than tawny.

Part of the fun, though, is that this drink still needs a name. Any thoughts or suggestions?

My mother always highlighted cleaning the bathroom as one of those chores that was exponentially easier if performed once every week as opposed to, say, once every three. Updates on life, especially when the metaphorical pedal has gotten mashed to the floor and you’ve already made it to a different state, are similar.

(Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that was an intentional use of “mashed.”)

I’m moving to Washington, DC this August after Outward Bound wraps up. The goal is to teach math at a private or charter high school. DC has the strongest job market in the nation right now, with 5 of the top private schools hiring upper school math, and a large number of smaller independent, parochial and charter schools offering positions as well. I began a job search two weeks ago, and got my 6th application out on Tuesday. I had a very positive preliminary phone interview with Maret School the same day. And I found out this afternoon that Carney Sandoe, the premier national teacher placement agency, accepted my application to be represented, and has recommended me to three of the schools where I already applied, and another charter school I’ll be cranking out an application to in the next couple days. I’m buying a new suit tomorrow. I should be done populating my resume website Saturday. My business cards arrive some time next week. Here’s a preview:

(I’m designing business cards. This is a little surreal.)

Honestly, I guess it’s about time.

For the past few years, I’ve said I wanted to teach math. For the past few months, I’ve said I wanted to teach high school math. And I’m just coming to the edge of “it’s been too long.” I would start to lose significant mathematical ability with another year in the woods, and that would be a shame. Honestly, I have plenty of retraining to do already. Math is so much like a sport; there’s too much of it that’s flexibility and stamina for a lack of practice not to show. But I trust I’ll get back to speed pretty fast. And this past year, this impending summer working with the North Carolina Outward Bound School are opportunities I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Nor do I intend to. The beauty of teaching: I can still run summer programming with NCOBS and work at a high school in DC. I can keep one foot in the woods even as my other is planted in the city. Continuing with NCOBS is a large part of why I’m going to DC, and not, say, Boston. It’s the only East Coast city with lots of excellent secondary schools and equally excellent whitewater. The Potomac, my friends! Living in DC, when I’m not killing myself with lesson plans and running extra-curriculars, I’ll be able to gain the river skills I need to move up to Lead Instructor with Outward Bound. And there’s climbing close by. All told, better opportunities than I could find almost anywhere else.

I’ve already been blessed with some great friends in the DC area. The prospect of reestablishing and developing those connections – with my cousin, with friends from Wake Forest, with others – is lovely. To know that I am going to such good people, people already helping me in the transition with contacts, recommendations and seemingly ceaseless offers of help, is an amazing feeling.

There’s also something bittersweet in this prospect. It’s an incredible new beginning – the beginning of a career (which is indubitably scary, but also exciting), and the beginning of a life with more, if not greater, responsibilities. But it will also be the end of several years where I could drive to be with my family whenever the opportunity struck. Years where the mountains, and not just any mountains but my mountains, were never more than a half-day’s journey away. Years where, for the past 5, I’ve had the same North Carolina Appalachian Trail commemorative license tag, and where owning a Subaru wasn’t just for snow, it was for snow and hills!

Maybe the greatest change, though, and a change I already feel, is from the more-or-less constant uncertainty of future I’ve embraced for the past several seasons. I’ll probably be in DC for a few years. And I haven’t considered spending that long in one place since I graduated high school.

But again, I guess it’s about time.

This will all be good, and exactly as it’s supposed to be. I can see and feel God leading me in this. Once again, it’s a matter of keeping my eyes focused on him, and not getting sucked into believing the importance of my own worries and plans. He knows what he’s doing. And his itineraries are always more interesting than my own. I have peace and joy in the prospect, and the firm knowledge that this will be good. This will all be very, very good.