Monthly Archives: July 2018

Preparing for School

I’m working on getting ready for school. I will be taking two classes starting in September: Mathematics 2155 “Mathematical Structures” and Mathematics 3020 “Introduction to Abstract Algebra”. Both of these cover material I am broadly familiar with, but… My calculus and my linear algebra are very rusty. So, I’ve been using Khan Academy and a couple of old textbooks to try to catch up enough so that I’m not out of my depth when I start. I’m comfortable with basic differential calculus now, but I do need to memorize a few more standard derivatives. I’ve just started on integral calculus and linear algebra.

I’m really tempted to also start a few more “projects”… I’ve got a hankering to study French (again), do some electronics fiddling, and even try my hand at some sculpture (inspired by our recent family trip to Paris).  But, I need to be realistic about my capacity.  I’ve still got lots of work to do before my sabbatical starts including training, client consultations, and handing off more things to my colleagues.  Then, when September comes, I’m going to have to make sure that I’m completely focused on family and school.  After that has settled in, then maybe I can bring on another project or two 🙂

Sabbatical Countdown T-53 Days

I have been approved for a sabbatical by my business partners (Melanie and Travis) and I have most of the needed things in place in our business ( so that it will thrive while I am away, and I begin a full year sabbatical starting September 4th, 2018!

This has been a long time coming.  I started thinking about a sabbatical at least 6 years ago.  I’ve been over-stressed, over-worked, and going through a lot of both business and personal challenges.  With Melanie, I started the business in 2004.  We had a number of up and down cycles in the business with the latest down cycle ending in 2014.  It’s been solid growth and maturation of the business since then.  We have grown from 5 employees (including partners) to our current 15 employees.  We have established a solid reputation in public training, private training and coaching/consulting work. Our employees know how to run things.

I have also been considering going back to school for many years.  Both my father and my mother went to get Masters degrees in their late 30’s.  I’m in my 40’s and I’m ready to do the same.  I’ve considered an MBA or EMBA, but they don’t appeal to me.  I’ve considered other possibilities related to business such as leadership.  But really what I want to do is Mathematics.  Several months ago, in anticipation of the possibility of a sabbatical, I applied to University of Western Ontario (“Western”) and after a bit of back and forth on my first degree, I was accepted.  Just in the past  two weeks, I have received confirmation that many of my mathematics courses from my first degree will be allowed as alternatives to the normal prerequisites.  So, starting in September, I will be taking two math courses.  One is a second year course and the other is a third year course.  I’m super excited.

I also, and more importantly, will be spending a lot of time with my family.  I’ve been so busy with work that my four kids know me mostly as a worker.  Travelling, late nights in the home office, weekend interruptions, etc.  The cost of running a small, struggling business.  My kids, being that they are human, have various challenges they are facing and I hope to be more involved in helping them face their challenges and overcome them.  Better late than never.  I’m not the dad that I thought I would be (i’ll probably expand on that more later).

So, as I count down towards my sabbatical, I will start documenting here my interests and my passions and my experiences.  Stay tuned for mathematics, family, philosophy, religion, fiction, and all the other things that make up my life as I experience much less work for a year.