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Jan's Personal Page

Who Am I?

Jan - 2007My name is Jan Smith.

I am a mathematician by training, a teacher by profession, and a web designer by intent. Since I love learning new things, writing for the Web is a great choice. It changes every day! New browsers, new languages, new effects. Truly a moving target!

Teaching: My teaching career has been a little bit here and a little bit there as I mostly stayed home to raise our three children. I've taught nearly every high school math class there is plus junior high math, physics, and an intro to programming course way, way back. Plus, I taught 63 days of 7th grade Language Arts. That was not my best idea!

I've taught the computer concepts course in a community college more times than any other course and loved it.

Computers: My experience with computers started the summer between my junior and senior years in high school at a National Science Foundation summer math program at the Univerisity of Oklahoma. One of our courses was learning the computer language Alpha, which university professors had created to teach programming. We used a computer that had just been replaced by the university's accounting department. It was blue, and about 5 feet tall, 2 feet wide, 3 feet deep. It took punched paper tape input. Not keyboard or even IBM cards. Paper tape with holes in it! No correcting typing errors with that method!! But we learned all the of the basic concepts needed for writing computer programs. It was my favorite class that summer.

I later took courses in FORTRAN and BASIC where we used IBM punch cards for input. My school had no computers of its own. We took our stacks of program cards over to Vanderbilt University for batch processing. I learned enough to make corrections in the freebie games we got with our first PC, years later.

That first PC computer cost $7000 in the early 1980's, when those dollars were worth a lot more than today. We had the choice of two 5 ¼" floppy disk drives or just one floppy drive and a 20 MB hard drive. Of course it had 640KB of RAM memory - all anyone could possibly ever need, or so we thought! It's operating system was MS-DOS (version 2.5 or so, I think). My current [2016] computer runs Windows 10 and has 8 GB of RAM with a 1 TB hard disk. It cost about $550 in 2013. So my current computer cost less than a tenth of the price of the first one, for 12,500 times the memory and 50,000 times the hard disk space available then (and we didn't even get a hard drive!). Don't even think about the processing speed and Internet connection speed. My how technology has changed!

Practice: What I practice the most is being a Christian. I do seem to need a LOT of practice! All those virtues like patience and loving kindness don't fall off a tree into your lap!

The Important Parts of Life:

Jan's Life Lessons-Stuff I've Learned We're supposed to keep on learning all our lives. Well, I certainly have. I've written down some of the more important lessons I've learned after I "grew up". 

Icon: BibleI am working, slowly, on a collection of thoughts and articles on spiritual themes - the most important part of life.

My Favorite Bible Verses

The Gospel, in Jan's words

Hobbies & Interests

Books I am an avid reader of most anything, but especially science fiction. It stretches the brain and challenges our assumptions.

Some of my favorite sci fi authors are:

  • David Weber
  • Elizabeth Moon
  • Anne McCaffrey
  • Arthur Clarke
  • David Brin
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Diane Duane
  • Isaac Asimov

Other favorite fiction authors include:

  • Karen Kingsbury
  • Dick Francis
  • Agatha Christie
  • Georgette Heyer
  • Louis L'Amour
  • Francine Rivers

I learned a lot from books by Evelyn Christenson and Stormie Omartian on how to pray. Fascinating and exciting stuff! 

The Left Behind book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins is fascinating. It's about what it might be like to be left behind when all the Christians and young children vanish. They have been taken to heaven in the "rapture". The concepts come from the book of Revelations at the end of the Bible. I don't think the books are particularly accurate as to what will really happen in the future. But they portray people and their reactions vividly and make you think hard about God and the end times.

Logo- GSUSA My blood must run green as I've been a Girl Scout for 30+ years:
  • 11 years as a girl
  • 12 years as a troop leader
  • Spent 11 or 12 years as the Service Unit Manager (chief local volunteer). I have finally stepped back from this job.

You can email me at:

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