The Box is sitting in the woodshed, and a light coat of rust is creeping in a number of spots. All I have to do is crawl inside and see if it works. There is no risk, just a few minutes should tell the story.
But there’s a further issue. Readers will know that I talk very little about my own experience with, and suffering from, the Hum. I can add some more detail here. There was a period of perhaps one week, when living less than 10 km from the small town of Sechelt, BC, when I thought to myself: “Okay, this is really a nuisance now.” I used the ensuite bathroom fan to drown it out. But that’s as bad as it has ever been, which is nothing compared to the terrible torment of the people who write to me and the thousands of people who have entered their information into the database.
Rarely do I say much about my professional life, but I’ll mention that the World Hum Map and Database is one of several projects that I am juggling. A fews weeks ago I went up to Whistler, BC, to address the joint conference of the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers and the Northwest Mathematics Conference Fall Conference. Quite seriously, in the hotel room the night before my talk, well after dinner in the lounge, I looked at the program and saw that I was incorrectly scheduled for a 90 minute session, rather than the 45 minute blocks that I always choose.
That was interesting.
I gave an evidence-based talk about raising mathematics classroom practices to the expert level, circa 1989 and, along the way, at least six people stood and walked out. Perhaps they didn’t like my off the cuff remarks about post-modernist discourse. Maybe it was my cynicism toward several of the more recent and embarrassing trends in education. Hard to say, but in any case, that speech actually marked the end of that part of my life. I’ve helped train every mathematics education graduate at UBC for the past 16 years. I’ve written the articles, spoke at the conferences, and on and on. I’ve made my point on the academic side of mathematics education.
Which brings me back to the Hum, because a big cognitive and temporal load is off my shoulders now, and I can get ready to finally get inside the Box and record the experience.
But there’s another possible issue: I haven’t heard the Hum in months. I’m hit by ambient sound 24/7, because as a matter of course, the bathroom fan runs all night long. When I can, I’ll find a quiet zone at night and listen. I pretty sure I’ll still hear it.
And I’ll let you know when I go in, and I’ll let you know what I hear.
But I will do it on my schedule. 🙂