Gratitude & Update

Patrick Carney (
Fri, 20 Jun 97 16:25:39 EDT

Hi all -
Although I have communicated with some of you personally, I know that
there is no way I can do that with each of the individuals who wrote me and
to whom I promised updates on my situation. SO, now that everything is
settled, I thought I would write a general letter [and besides, it is a break
from packing :-) ].

First thanks you of all of the support, encouragement, leads, etc.
You people are fantastic. I went from being told I had no position for next
year to being signed sealed and delivered in exactly one month. And although
I made one trip to Indiana, 2 to NJ and 2 to NY, most of the work was done on
the Internet.

Two days after I was informed, I was at a LP follow-up and when I
asked Joe R if I could use him as a reference, he not only graciously agreed,
but made a suggestion. Within an hour, I had 2 leads and by that Thursday
after I mentioned it on this medium, I had no fewer than 45 messages either
telling me of an opening, offering letters of recommendation, or inviting me
to their schools. It was awesome. Needless to say, there was no way I could
follow up on all of them. There were minor little obstacles like teaching
school, typing and marking exams, etc. I picked 5 to look into further (with
geography not being the least of the considerations since I could neither
afford the time nor the expense to travel for interviews in CA, OR, HI, CO,
WA, and a few places which are closer to here but still a bit of a drive). I
have a feeling the ones I was unable to pursue might have been at least as
attractive as the ones I did.

I went from having no idea of where I would start when I first got
the news to the prospect of having to whittle down all these choices in a
week. Once I got into it and discounting the driving, it was actually a lot
of fun in that I met some wonderful people. Not one bad apple in the barrel
of all of those who interviewed or observed me. And, I got to teach 3 classes
in 2 different locations. The kids in all three were great -- and you know
what kids can do to subs if they put half a mind to it!

If there was only one positive experience, it would have been easy.
But in fact, I had to select among all good positions -- college & HS, public
and private. For a number of reasons, I have decided to teach at Montclair
Kimberley Academy in Montclair NJ next year. I will be honored to teach with
Judy Nesbit (LP 92 I believe) who, as many of you know was named the NJ
non-public school teacher of the year last year. So I will have a tough act
to follow. One nice thing is that I will not have far to travel to get to
Dimacs follow-ups next year. :-)

Since, except for those who mentioned it to me, I have no idea which
of you who allowed me to use your name for a reference were contacted, I want
to thank you all for allowing me to use your name whether or not they
actually picked you to call or not. For those who find themselves in this
same boat sometime (and it is not that I wish it on you, but just facing the
reality), I apparently did something that is not common, and yet had a
positive feedback from the people who check references. Among the 8 names I
listed, were two ex-students. I have long thought that the best evaluation of
my work is to ask an ex-student at least 4 years removed from having me. One
of them (now teaching math at a small college in CA) told me they did indeed
call her. I wonder who knows us better than someone who sat in our class day
after day for a year or two and then went into the field. I think that worked
very well although I had a sense that it was new to the people who
interviewed me yet none objected and most seemed to think it was a good idea.
So, keep in touch with your ex-students -- via e-mail of course!

So I want to thank all of you for the tips, the invitations, the
hospitality in your homes while I interviewed, the recommendations, the
support, and the kind words [speaking of which, after I read what Sanderson
Smith (DREI96) wrote about me, I hope he does my eulogy! -- my mother would
not have had so many kind things to say :-)]. It really was a lift to be so
appreciated by a group I hold in such high esteem.

While I know there is no way to ever repay all that you have done,
perhaps I can contribute to the group by offering to share what I learned in
a rather intense month in the event anyone else would be in a position to
benefit from my mistakes etc.

I do not have a home address yet, but two things in life remain
constant -- my social security number and my e-mail address :-)

If you want to find out more about my new school, check out:

Thanks again to each and every one of you for your help, support,
prayers, concern, letters, recommendations, calls, appointment-making, door
opening, and all the things I have overlooked. I will always be grateful. I
only regret that I cannot teach with all of you! I am humbled to be the
recipient of so much from such a wonderful and professional group of math
teachers. Those on the outside who see math people as robotic unfeeling
individuals haven't a clue of the warmth and concern that I have received
from all of you.

Bro. Pat Carney