Steve Wood's View from the Classroom

Steve Wood is a teacher, husband, father, Christian, total Mac nut, and columnist - not necessarily in that order. He laughs and says, "At any one time, I'm usually good at only one or two of those things!"

Steve and his wife, Anne, live in rural western Indiana with however many of their 6 children may be home from college, the sea, wherever! They've been married a (combined) total of 45 years - but just 5 to each other, making them relative newlyweds, which considerably cuts down Steve's computing time :-).

Steve describes his and Anne's relationship as "a mixed marriage." She is a Certified Novell Engineer and serves as the network administrator for a small electrical safety training company. He says, "You should hear some of our computer 'discussions.' At her Windows dominated job site, they've dubbed me 'MacSteve.' But when there's a Mac problem, they call. I frequently get in trouble at home for smirking as my wife describes a computer problem at work that just doesn't exist with Macs."

Steve teaches a special education class in a small, rural, elementary school. Having taught regular education for 24 years before switching to the position of learning disabilities specialist, he describes special education as exciting, wearing, and heartbreaking - all at the same time. He says:

These kids can succeed with some positive education, good parenting, and a little luck. While the failures are depressing, many of the children return to successfully compete in the regular classroom. Those that don't, we try to give the very best education they can handle within our classroom.

Steve is the author of the shareware MATH DITTOS 2 series. It is a unique, fact supported approach to teaching math computation to special learners. He also has several freewares and one charityware font to his credit, all produced on a Mac, but available on both the Mac and Windows platforms.

A relative latecomer to the Mac platform, Steve got started in earnest with Macs when he purchased his first home computer in 1994, a Macintosh Performa 575. He had previously worked with Macs and Apple IIs at school, but readily admits he cut his computing teeth on an old IBM PS/1. He now works at home on a Macintosh G3 minitower. In his classroom there is a variety of gracefully aging machines, including the school's 8550 MacServer, a 7500 with a G3 upgrade card, a 7200, an 8100, an LC III, a IIsi, a Mac IIfx (which he says is his personal favorite), and at times, a host of SE and SE/30s. Until a moving accident, a Commodore 64 served up some great English drills daily.

Steve views his role as a Macintosh columnist as often being the "op-ed" writer.

The pressure in the Mac community today is to say nothing negative about Apple or its products, even when problems exist. That myopic kind of thinking got Apple in trouble before. Fortunately, there are folks like my editor and publisher who feel as I do, that the platform becomes stronger by accurate (and sometimes provocative) commentary of the problems that exist.

It's relatively easy to criticize Apple. The difficult part is to do it constructively and responsibly. There are plenty of columnists out there functioning as Apple cheerleaders. I cheer for Apple, too, but only when they deserve it. In the end, I see myself more as a cheerleader for the Macintosh user, whom Apple seems often to forget, keeps them in business.

Steve has posted columns to various web sites over the past few years, including a stint as a contributing editor at the MacTimes Network. He also writes the independent freelance column, Busman's Holiday, which appears on his MATH DITTOS 2 site. Steve also maintains the software Tools & Such site which features descriptions and links to his favorite software. Steve says his favorite page on the site is the Fabulous Freewares page. Send your feedback to

Busman's Holiday columns on MacInSchool

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View From the Classroom columns copyright 1999-2000 by Steve Wood.

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