Zoo-a-logical Math Junior: A Mathematical Challenge Between Humans and the Rest of the Animal World
List Price: 25.00
Available: August 2013
The inspiration for this book began when I was teaching a high school class called Animal Behavior. This was an elective Science class that combined Biology, Zoology, Psychology, and Sociology. During the course we would talk about a variety of different animals and the different behaviors that they would exhibit. One of the goals that I would always try to do is show the students how amazing or truly “unbelievable” some of these animals really were.
People very seldom think of themselves as being a part of the animal world, and when we do we only think of how we are so superior to all of the rest. I soon realized that when I “put the math” to some of these human-animal comparisons, it was as if a whole new window opened up to the World of Animals. These math problems showed us just how awe inspiring animals really are.
My name is Tom Kearney and I am a retired high school Biology and Animal Behavior teacher. I taught 34 years in District 230 in Tinley Park, Illinois, and for many of those years I was also a boys and girls track coach. During my teaching career, I had the opportunity to serve on the Illinois Science Teacher Association Board of Directors, and this allowed me to meet some extremely hard working and creative teachers throughout our state. Another experience that greatly shaped not just my teaching career, but would ultimately helped plant the seed for this book, was that I served on the Teacher Advisory Board for Brookfield Zoo. I was able to not just see and learn about the many amazing animals in the world, but it also enabled me to see the magnetic attraction and bond that exists between people and animals. I am married to my wife Susan, and we have 3 children and now 8 grandchildren. Animals have always been a part of our lives. Like most families that live in suburbia, we always had a pet dog in our house. But I think the turning point for our “pet” selections began when my wife and daughter began to take horseback riding lessons at a local stable. I would never ride but always would just go to watch. Riding lessons would eventually turn into share boarding on a horse, which then eventually turned into buying our own horse. At around this same time, both my wife and I became leaders for a 4-H group. Being a Biology teacher and a 4-H leader, I brought home baby chicks from an egg incubation project. At first, I kept the chicks in our basement, but when they got bigger, I put them in our shed in our backyard. They were fine until one morning a rooster began to crow. A neighbor good heartedly suggested we get a farm, and so we did. Actually, it was a horse farm, but I was still able to raise every possible farm animal that I could. I think I have enough stories from the experiences of raising my animals that I can easily write a book on that subject. After a few years we decided to sell our farm and move back into the town. Our children are now all grown, and from time to time our grandchildren do get upset with me for selling the farm. Our grandchildren do have some different pets other than my choice of dogs, chickens and farm animals, but to me one of the greatest things that I am now able to do, is to share time with my next generation of animal lovers.