23 February 2017

Dear Scientists,

That file cabinet over there has been turned into a magnet by Earth’s magnetic field. It’s not very strong, but if you take a compass to the top and bottom of it, you’ll see that it indeed is polarized.

Science is wild!

Science gives us the tools to uncover mysteries and wonders that we never could with our own human senses. Science is a means of asking questions about the world and coming up with mind-blowing answers. Science is about disrupting our false ideas of the past and creating a future that’s a little truer, a little wiser, and a little more beautiful.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

22 February 2017

Dear Individuals,

In premodern times, people tied who they were almost completely to the group they belonged to. Peasants were peasants. Kings were kings. But then something crazy happened: we discovered the individual. Humans came up with the scientific method, they exchanged goods across the globe, and they learned to read and write. When this happened, people stopped thinking of themselves as only members of a group and began thinking of themselves as human individuals. And the world became a much better place because of it.

There is an urge to take us back to a place where our group identity is more important than our individuality. Fight against it. 

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

21 February 2017

internment2-21Dear Citizens,

Seventy-five years ago on Sunday, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an Executive Order that led to the internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. Most of those people were American citizens. Many of them were children. One of the camps that about 10,000 Japanese-Americans came to was in Colorado.

At the time, many Americans thought it was the necessary and right thing to do. Today, most Americans believe it was a big mistake¬†and a dark hour in our nation’s history.

We have to stop and wonder how history will judge the choices we make, especially¬†the ones that we’re so certain are correct and necessary.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

16 February 2017

Dear Students,

My favorite saying: “80% of life is showing up.” But showing up is hard. Showing up takes a lot of effort, preparation, and concentration. Showing up means you’re engaged and the task in front of you is the only one that matters.
Some of you show up everyday and each day you improve. And you do it the next day and the next day and you string a bunch of these days together and you turn it into a wildly successful and happy life. And all you have to do is show up. It’s the only secret there is.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

15 February 2017

Dear Improvers,

I make pizza every Saturday night. I’ve been doing it for a long time and I plan on continuing for a long time. And it feels really good to get really good at something. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I make some good pizza. Through years of practice I’ve learned a lot of things. I’ve tried new methods, made some bad pizzas, and kept what works. And now I can consider myself a pizza maker.

My hope is that you find something to get really good at. Maybe it will be something important like caring for shelter dogs, or investing your money, or fixing up cars. Or maybe it will be something like making pizza. Whatever it is, it will require a lifetime of practice and give you a lifetime of enjoyment in return.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

14 February 2017

Dear Puzzlers,

I love puzzles and logic games. I’m not particularly good at them, but you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it. I have a whole tub of them and I’m always looking to add to my collection. I have a few new ones for you to try today.

These puzzles make you smarter, not because they really teach you anything about the world itself (although they probably do) but because they teach you to persist at a challenge until you figure it out. And then you do it again to figure out how you figured it out. 

Puzzles are frustrating, and it’s okay to be frustrated. That’s where real learning happens. If you persist in the challenge.

Sincerely,

 Mr. Heimbuck

13 February 2017

Dear Game Players,

At our school everyone plays. Everyone knows the rules, everyone gets a game piece, and everyone gets a turn. Of course, we play to win the game, but we know that winning is only sweet if everyone has the same chance to win. Winning is only sweet if your opponent knows the game as well as you do.

So when we score well on a test, that reflects well on some of our ability. But if our classmates find success, that also reflects well on our ability–our ability to collaborate, teach, and work together to create an environment in which everyone finds success. Because our greatest victory will be in the success of one another.

Sincerely, 

Mr. Heimbuck

10 February 2017

Dear Humans,

Successful people come in all genders, all races, all ages, all abilities. But they all have one key characteristic in common: self-control.

Successful people have a clear idea of how they want to live their lives and they stick to it. When their brains make a decision, their bodies carry out. When something is important to them, they don’t let others sway them from it.

Make up your own mind about the kind of life you want to live and remain true to it.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

9 February 2017

Dear Readers,

We read to follow our passions. My hope is that you all fall in love with word themselves, but regardless of what you’re passionate about, you will read texts to learn more about it. Car repair manuals, cookbooks and recipes, fan blogs, and newspaper articles–these are the texts you’ll rely on to make your passions come to life.

If you learn the skills you need to access the texts of your passions, then you will be on your way to the good life.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

8 February 2017

hourglass2-8Dear Creators of New Worlds,

It’s true in all subjects, but especially true in math is that we give lots of different names to the same thing. Think of time. We can talk about the span between now and then in seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc. All of these names describe the same thing, but they give us a new perspective on it.

And new perspectives open up new possibilities. And what this world needs more than anything else are new possibilities. You can create them.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck