Ricky and Morty meet The Multiverse meet Mazzy Star

“Nobody belongs anywhere, nobody exists on purpose, everybody’s going to die.”

-Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty, an (adult) animated science-fiction sitcom, teams Rick, a mad scientist with interdimensional ties, and his grandson Morty, a 14-year-old, who always joins Rick on his galactic adventures. Any fan of science fiction needs to watch this… it’s the kind of show MIT grad students binge watch after a quantum physics exams. (Wired.com article)  My favorite episode is Season 1 Episode 6 entitled “Rick Potion #9”. Especially the last 8 minutes. It has made me rethink fundamental concepts (consciousness, causality, and reality).

The Quantum Multiverse, an article in the June 2017 Scientific American, posits a connection between cosmology and quantum mechanics. The more common and conventional interpretation of quantum mechanics, the Copenhagen interpretation (1925), has always had some objections (EPR paradox). Another interpretation of quantum mechanics is the Many-worlds interpretation (1957). To quote the article: “Many cosmologist now accept the extraordinary idea that what seems to be the entire universe may actually be only a tiny part of a much larger structure called the multiverse.”

Apparently Morty is well versed in the concept of the multiverse and is able to easily travel from one Universe to another Universe.

Mazzy Star, an alternative rock band from the 1990’s, featured the vocals of Hope Sandoval. As Rick and Morty travel from one universe (that they’ve destroyed) to another universe (exactly the same as the universe they are leaving with two distinct differences), Mazzy Star’s “Look on Down from the Bridge” is heard; the perfect song for Morty’s unusual situation.

It’s worth a watch: “Rick Potion #9”. Especially the last 8 minutes.



So what does this have to do with my trip? Nothing and everything.

Look on Down from the Bridge lyrics

Look on down from the bridge
There’s still fountains down there
Look on down from the bridge
It’s still raining, up here

Everybody seems so far away from me
Everybody just wants to be free

Look away from the sky
It’s no different when you’re leaving home
I can’t be the same thing to you now
I’m just gone, just gone

How could I say goodbye
How could I say goodbye

Maybe I’ll just place my hands over you
And close my eyes real tight
There’s a light in your eyes
And you know, yeah, you know
Look on down from the bridge
I’m still waiting for you


You know… I’m not sure if you read my blog…







…but I will miss you…

Mobile Global Educational Kit

While all of my lesson plans, notes, worksheets, exams, etc. are all stored electronically I still need to bring educational manipulatives to help me teach a variety of concepts. Here’s what I’ve put together:

Moveable alphabet (3 sets of scrabble tiles)

Moveable numbers

Various dice



Pattern blocks

Square blocks

Place value tiles





Fraction circles

Pentomino pieces



Electronic erasable board

Pedagogical Paradigm Shift

Physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, in his groundbreaking book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, introduces the term “paradigm shift”: A fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline. (Wikipedia)

Now while some might dispute whether or not pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) should be considered a scientific discipline, I will utilize the expression…

Pedagogical Paradigm Shift: Temporal Changes

Does learning only take place when school is in session? Do kids only learn from 9am to 3pm on Mondays through Fridays?

Here are a few articles from the CDC, The Atlantic, and NCBI

School starts at 9am and ends at 3pm. We can throw that out. The days will be fluid. If we were up late the evening before then we can sleep in and start later in the day. We can learn astronomy in the evening. Go bird watching in the early morning. We are not locked to a clock.

Five days on followed by two days off. We can throw that out too. Our time will be more fluid.

On the days that we will be inside and working on curricula: I will allow the students to choose the order in which they want to work on things. Today I feel like reading first and doing math second… no problem. Tomorrow I want to do art first and then do science… no problem. Very Montessori-ish.

Pedagogical Paradigm Shift: Curricula Changes

Part of each day will be devoted to working on their hobbies; anything they have a passion to learn. I understand that the older child has a passion for computers. And the middle child has a love of astronomy. So, it will be my job to foster and enhance their passions. Imagine learning what you want to learn instead of what the school insists you learn.

Academic Teaching Doesn’t prepare students for life

Pedagogical Paradigm Shift: Spatial changes

Tenth month field trip. Experiential learning. Study the Great Wall of China and then visit the Great Wall of China. Study the skyscrapers of Shanghai and then visit the skyscrapers of Shanghai. Etc. Etc.

None of these ideas are new. I suspect that many parents who home-school their children employ most or all of these strategies. But these are considerably different from the way education (both public and private) is typically structured.

And a shout out to the packing squad, the folks that helped my mom pack up her condominium so she could watch my place as I travel the world. Gail, Alex, Gus (not pictured), Eddy (not pictured), my mom, and me (not pictured).

Packing crew


I am a Lego artist. An AFOL. An Adult Fan of Lego. Lego nerd. Lego geek. Brick builder.

(Begin Brag)

I have been fortunate to have had my work displayed at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA), Columbus’ Science museum (COSI), Cleveland’s Science museum (GLSC), Cleveland’s John Hopkins airport, and Cleveland State University’s Rhodes library,  just to name a few. I also have work on permanent display at five different Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditoriums around the world. I’ve also had some amazing press including two articles in the Washington Post, Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, Ohio Magazine, Wired.com, two live performances on WKYC-TV, CNET, The Westchester Journal, PR Week, Cleveland Magazine (I was named one of Cleveland 30 most interesting people of 2006) etc. etc. etc. Shows. Conventions. School talks. Lectures.

See my work here (Lego landmarks) and here (Lego mosaics) or here (New Stuff)

Or see my two most famous Lego creations: The Taj Mahal (used at the main prop for an independent Australian movie entitled TAJ. And my Lenticular mosaic of Batman morphing into the Joker

(End Brag)

Question #1: Am I bringing Lego with me? Do I plan to build while I’m overseas?

Unfortunately I’m not bringing anything with me. I need to pack light and space is at a premium. ☹️

Question #2: Do I plan on visiting any Lego stores, Lego parks, Lego discovery centers while I’m overseas?

While not a priority… perhaps.

Question #3: Do you plan on visiting any Lego landmarks that you’ve already built?

YES! Here are photos of my Lego landmarks that I hope to see. Can you name them all?

Keep a door open and the light on

Today was the last day of work for teachers at my high school. Teachers are not due back for ten weeks; sometime in the middle of August. For the next two and a half months we can urinate when we want, take more than 22 minutes to eat lunch, not have to eat lunch at 10:30 in the morning, not police kids in the hall, not grade 80 of the same exam, etc.  Some folks travel, some take classes, some work other jobs, some just relax. I plan on relaxing. My travels do not officially begin until the first week in August, but my first flight (to Europe) is three weeks earlier in mid-July. (Sort of like the repositioning of a cruise ship… more on that later.)

I’ve been cleaning up my class room every day after work for the past 6 weeks. Ever so slowly going through fifteen years of materials, books, binders, papers, tests, posters, folders, workbooks, notes, etc. It’s amazing how much one teacher can accumulate. Some stuff I threw out, some stuff I brought home, but the majority is carefully stored away in drawers and boxes awaiting my return. Please keep a door open and the light on. I will be back.


We’re a small 9-12 high school (about 500 students total) in the Eastern suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. The district consistently gets great scores and ratings due to the amazing teachers and staff. And the math department is no exception. I’m one of six math teachers at my school where we manage to offer fifteen different courses ranging from Algebra to Statistics to Calculus. My “Leave of Absence” status holds my job open for me for when I return the following year. The district is in the process of hiring a replacement for the year.  Please keep a door open and the light on. I will be back.

I suspect that my year off will put some added pressures and responsibilities with the department, especially the department chair who is picking up my multivariable calculus class. Thank you all. Have a great summer and wonderful school year.

Here’s the crew.IMG_3001

(Back off!!!  No!! You may not move into my room while I’m gone.)