TPT 50th Anniversity book - page 9

for projects to meet my objectives. When Cliff
Swartz retired the first time, Al Bartlett wrote
an excellent “Remarks of Appreciation for Cliff
Swartz, on his Retirement as Editor of
Physics Teacher
” as an insert in
(6). This
note could just as well have been used when
Cliff retired again in 2000!
In the same issue, the new editor, Donald F.
Kirwan (1985-1989), called 1985 “The Year of the
Pre-College Physics Teacher Summer Programs,”
categorizing the activities of the previous
summer as research, training, curriculum
development, and those encouraging teachers to
utilizewhat they had learned to reinvigorate their
teaching. He then asked, what now? Answering,
he presented notes of encouragement to the
participants, the directors and instructors, the
funding/sponsoring agencies, and lastly to the
physics community, to see to it that the programs
were effective. Don’s influence on me took on
a different direction; I began to successfully
write grants for equipment and travel. Grants
brought in laboratory equipment, computers,
and a 7-inch Questar that attracted not only
local interest in astronomy, but also a start
on a hands-on science museum especially for
children. I was awarded an AAPT Distinguished
Service Citation in 1990 and I was elected as the
Two-Year College Representative to the AAPT
Executive Board.
In September of 1989, we heard a familiar
voice: “We’re Back, Too!” and it was true. Cliff
Swartz was back, fully invigorated, ready to take
up his pen once again and giving an overview of
what he and his staff had to offer. Cliff ’s cover,
“They’re Back!” on the September issue hinted
that we teachers were back for his challenging
editorials. He had even inserted an article of his
own, “Reference Frames and Relativity.”
In 1997 Cliff asked if I would be interested in
becoming the “Book Reviews” column editor
and I asked if A/V material, micro-reviews,
and collections of books on a topic would be
appropriate, and he agreed. The latter feature
has generated the most mail, all positive. I love
to read, and putting together this column in
has kept me stimulated.
In May of 2000 Cliff said “Goodbye” and
in September he introduced Karl Mamola
(“Apparatus” column editor) as the new editor
to take us into the 21st century. Karl had his
own editorial wherein he introduced his staff, a
few of whom he still has with him in 2013, and
his goals. Karl has done a great job! I have found
myself reading more of
for pleasure these
last couple of years now that I am not teaching
and wishing I had known a lot of this material
much earlier.
Two great features of
are the covers
and the editorials. The cover might be a graph,
a photograph, a drawing, students in action
… one could never guess. A lot of work goes
into these covers. The other distinguishing
characteristic was how editorials were handled.
Some were written by the editor (few or many)
and some by invited individuals (mostly
handpicked for a particular topic). However,
Cliff Swartz wrote an editorial for just about
every issue. I particularly looked forward to
them, and when he retired after about 250
issues I encouraged him to collect them and
get them published. He subsequently published
Cliff ’s Nodes
, with over 115 of them. It is a
valuable collection for any new teacher as I
noted in my column in January 2011.
I have been president of the Texas Section
and the North Carolina Section, chairman of
several AAPT committees, winner of several
awards in Texas and North Carolina, and was
the first AAPT President for this century, and
it all started with some notes in the first
and was redirected at several points along the
way by notes, articles, and people whom I met
through my reading of
. Has
had a
positive influence on me and my teaching?
You’d betta believe it!
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