Teaching – one month later

October 1st, 2011

Last week I posted a picture demonstrating how many days I have been a teacher.   Since making the decision to be a teacher I’ve been happily in the trenches with my four sections of algebra (one 7th, two 8th and one 9th grade).  And the conclusion?

I wish I had done it long ago.

Which is not because it’s easy work and I’m done at 3PM (Neither of those myths are true.)  Nor is it because I am adored by my students.  (They are still trying to figure me out  – and if they do end up adoring me then I’ve probably been too kind.  That’s not what I’m hoping for.)

It’s been great because I feel like I’m making a difference in one of the most supportive environments I’ve ever enjoyed.  I also love that each day is a chance to do a little better (I’m channeling my inner Tim Harford here) and what I teach is really important.

It’s also very time consuming, which is why I haven’t posted much recently and why I am forced to end this post now (on a Saturday night!) to get to work for next week.

Eulogy for Dad

July 26th, 2011

Before I get to the hard part, I’ll start with the easy part of my speech — and that is, to invite everyone to join us at the museum — across the street and to the west  —  immediately following this service.  My mom, sister and I look forward to greeting you there for lunch.  And now the hard part.

I hope my Dad can see what I’m seeing right now — A room packed full of friends.  And you should know my Dad chose each of you very carefully – the way a captain might choose a crew for a very long voyage.  And already today so many people have told me how proud they were to be part of Dad’s crew and I know he felt the same way toward each of you.

Part of the reason captains choose crew carefully – and vice versa – is that when you’re all aboard together you implicitly share a common experience.  What the ship goes through everyone goes through.  And today, we are all here huddled together sharing the same loss.  Missing him together.

As crew members, everyone contributes something in particular to a boat, but each person’s simple existence on board provides the ballast, the even keel to keep the whole thing moving together.  I — and speaking on behalf of my sister and my mom — are really, really grateful for the crew that’s here to help us hold the rail down through this storm.  We’ve never seen waves like this.

But selecting a fine crew is just one of the things a great captain does, and my Dad was more than a great judge of character.  Captains have a strong sense of tradition – how to dress a ship right, and operate himself and his vessel smartly.  You didn’t see my dad’s shirt tail untucked very often and his was never the boat with drying laundry flapping on his boat’s lifelines.  Lucky for us, Dad’s sense of doing things right was contagious.  He tended to make everyone around him sit up a little straighter.  “Remember who you are and what you represent,” his grandfather would say.

A captain looks out for his crew – and Dad took care of mom, and us, before he took care of himself.  Captains are loyal to their crew – no finer example of marital loyalty exists between Dad and Mom, his first mate.   You are welcome to interpret that any way you please.  And his loyalty was tested further when one particular member of his family resettled in ultra-liberal Cambridge, MA.

Dad operated his ship with purpose.  From taking the reins at Hoffman Vance and Worthington, serving on committees at the US Naval Academy, Ventura Pacific Citrus Co-op, even joining the board of Santa Barbara Bank and Trust.   He was a conservative leader (another phrase you are welcome interpret as you wish), but took measured gambles, transitioning Hoffman Vance & Worthington from largely agricultural management firm to a commercial property management firm and like the best captain/leaders, he trained and groomed others to be competent leaders themselves.

He balanced that purposefulness with whimsey; I remember helping dad make a life-sized the shark fin made out of plywood, a lobster buoy and gate hardware —  to tow behind the Whaler and then see if it was compelling enough to convince the kids taking their swim tests at the girl scout camp at Catalina, shooting off old flares on the 4th of July — and whatever mischief I’ll never know about at those Rancheros rides.

But captains are self sufficient and sometimes keep to themselves.  And so did my Dad.    Thoughtful captains tie the halyards off the mast so they don’t bang against the rig and keep others up at night — and Dad made sure he never bothered others with his troubles.  Right to last week when surely everything in his body hurt — when reasonable hope had run out, and he had long lost the ability to do the things that make Rick Hambleton Rick Hambleton – no complaints.  No self-pity.  He proves that the best captains don’t whine.

And so we are here together while Dad has set out on a voyage he has to do on his own.  It was hard to me to watch him get ready to set out and surely harder for Ricardo, Mom and Katherine to see him cast off.  We are heartened to know that he is in the company of the family and friends who have made that crossing already — heartening for us and and surely Dad is a welcome arrival for them, too.

But now we transition.  Neighbors in the Ventura Keys have honored my Dad by lowering the flags in front of their homes to half mast.  This has meant a great deal to us.  As I speak, our family’s own flag is being raised to the top of its staff and we invite others to start the rebuilding process and join us in lifting theirs, too.  Let us remember that the magnitude of hurt we feel now is proportionate to the extraordinary friendship and experiences he gave with us.   Extraordinary indeed.

Sail on smarty Dad.  We miss you.

Dad Takes His Final Voyage

July 22nd, 2011

RSH_scan_bestRichard Steadman Hambleton, Jr. died July 20, 2011, peacefully at home at the age of 63 after a valiant struggle. Rick was born to Doreen Howes Hambleton and Richard S. Hambleton, DDS on May 25, 1948, in Pasadena, CA. After graduating from Polytechnic School, Rick attended Colorado College and graduated from University of Southern California with a BA in Political Science.

After graduation, Rick worked for W. E. Hutton & Co. and graduated from New York Institute of Finance. He joined Hoffman, Vance & Worthington in 1976, becoming a partner of the firm in 1979. He valued his long associations with the Agricultural Leadership Program, Ventura County Taxpayers’ Association (Past President), Ventura Maritime Foundation (Founder and President), Fales Advisory Committee of the U. S. Naval Academy, Ventura Port District (Past Chairman),Ventura Pacific Citrus Co-op and Santa Barbara Bank and Trust (Board of Directors). He crewed on 5 Transpacific Yacht Club races to Tahiti and Hawaii, eagerly looked forward to the annual Rancheros Visitadores and Rancheros Adolfo treks and relished his time aboard Kairos.

Rick is survived by Carol, his wife of 39 years, and their children Katherine Movalson (Brian) and Rush Hambleton (Sarah). His cherished grandchildren Meredith, Hobs and Olin Movalson and River and Rosie Hambleton adored their “Poppy”.

Additionally, Rick leaves his sister Rinda Bishop (Bill) and brother Rob Hambleton (Cindy), his sister-in-law Kathy Enright (Mike) and numerous nieces and nephews.

All will remember Rick as an honorable, authentic and gentle man with enthusiasm for all he did.

Rick’s Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Mission San Buenaventura, on Monday, July 25, 2011 at 11 o’clock.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Rick’s memory to Livingston Memorial VNA and Hospice, 1996 Eastman Avenue, Ventura, CA 93003, or Search Dog Foundation, 501 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023, would be greatly appreciated.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, Ventura

So, What Do You Do?

July 18th, 2011

I get asked that a lot – and my answer is about to change.

This is interesting because what I really do hasn’t changed and probably won’t in the future.  What do I do?  I read about new technologies and devour TEDtalks.  I engage in personal interaction as often as I can.  I show people neat-o things they can do with their phones and computers.  I analyze myself and my surroundings to make sense of what I see, often charting, graphing and sketching on a little dry-erase board in our dining room at home.  I try hard to thank people around me and take pleasure (though far too rarely) when I give gifts to people.  All that, and probably some less-savory habits are “what I do.”

But when people ask “what do you do?” they aren’t really inviting that kind of longwinded introspection.  They expect a short answer that fits on a business card and if you’ve seen my resume, you know I’ve had lots of different business cards in my career.  That’s why some people reading this think I’m a salt-blooded sailor due to some formative and photogenic sailing adventures.  Others know me as an entrepreneur from Newport, RI or Cambridge, MA.  Others know me as an MBA classmate who entered business plan competitions.  And still others have seen me stand at desks in commercial real estate, a retail accessory design shop, and higher education advancement.

Starting September 6, I’ll be standing someplace new.  And for the first time I won’t be the only one standing.  There will be an enormous dry erase board on which to try and make sense of math principles and I’ll have twenty students challenging me to articulate clearly and interact authentically.   Though I don’t expect to get business cards, if I did they would read 8th & 9th grade math teacher – Pine Point School, Stonington, CT.

To my friends and family who have witnessed my closeted teacher attributes for so many years, thank you for speaking out and encouraging me to take this leap.  Your influence is greater than you know.  To my wife, thank you for accepting the sacrifices that this change will bring.  May I learn to model your selflessness and thank you for the ways you make our family rich.

To my new colleagues at Pine Point thank you for having confidence in me and the humility to invite me to your profession.  I intend to learn as much from you as you’re willing to share.

To my new students and their parents (should you be clever enough to find this post) –know that I am a little stunned by the responsibility Pine Point has bestowed on me.  It’s not a position I take at all lightly.  I know many of you will scrutinize my behavior and effectiveness in your dining rooms each night.  I will be judged on much more than my ability to convey math concepts; I hope my best habits of curiosity, inquiry and authenticity will help refine the way my students go on to do whatever they do.

In my own experience, these attributes may set off a lifetime of non-linear development with lots of healthy experimentation and self-awareness.   I hope my students will have  similarly rich and non-linear growth — perhaps even exponential.

New Member of the Crew – Rosie Hambleton
New Member of the Crew – Rosie Hambleton

July 8th, 2011
Rosie circa Day 3, Photo courtesy of Anna Sawin Photography

Though my twitter and Facebook friends are already in the know, Rose Dunbar Hambleton was born on July 6, 2011 at 3PM.  She’s 6 lbs, 15 ounces of CUTE, and with lots of jet black hair!

Rosie (Rz) joins her brother River (R4), dad (R3) and mom as the final Hambleton in our fleet.

Photo courtesy of Anna Sawin Photography

Photos of Rosie will be tagged ‘Rz’ in Flicker.  Here’s a search for all pictures so far.

OSSPMC again!

December 21st, 2010

5275296958_6da40a430eWell we did it again.  Not content to let our pathology of winter cruising end with exploits in  20042005, 2007, 2008, and 2009,  Tim and I set out again this year.  We opted to take his Beetle Cat, and our chosen weekend, December 18 and 19th turned out to be one of the most mild OSSPMCs yet.  But don’t worry, we managed to find a little surprise.   Read the rest of this entry »


Three Of Us In a Boat

August 16th, 2010

Twenty two years ago my parents bought a Boston Whaler for the family to enjoy at our home in California.  Growing up, that Whaler went with us to Catalina and the rest of the Channel Islands.  It has towed my dad and me on waterskis, rescued runaway boats and docks, and been the stalwart tender for the whole family.

And now, a third generation of Hambletons gets to enjoy it because it’s with us here in Mystic.  Lots of pics after the jump.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read the rest of this entry »


“I finally found a home…” – Huey Lewis

June 30th, 2010
River eating his first dinner at the new house, secured to the railing with the barn, yard, and tree behind.

River eating his first dinner at the new house, secured to the railing with the barn, yard, and tree behind.

Keys.  Today we finally got our keys!

Two months ago, Sarah, River and I moved out of our Cambridge condominium.  Ten hours before the moving company arrived that day, we learned that we no longer had a house to move into because the seller had (ahem, illegally) changed his mind and no longer planned to sell the house we had under contract.

The last two months have seen the roaming gypsy Hambletons living at borrowed homes (thank you J & L Horner!) visiting family in California and Massachusetts, some overnights with friends in NYC, and some additional nights with friends in Mystic, CT. In between all this shifting around, we found a replacement home, got it inspected, new mortgage secured, and as of today, closed!

I’ve also had the usual ongoing work to attend to, and even served as the volunteer webmaster for the biannual Newport Bermuda Race, all using a shared family cell phone wireless 3g account.

Tomorrow the moving truck and Comcast installer will bring the furniture and much-needed broadband to kick off our new family chapter in Mystic, CT.   In the past two months River’s grown an inch and the weather’s changed by 30 to 40 degrees, so many of the clothes that will come out of storage tomorrow will go directly into storage again.

Coming up soon – some details of this great house we moved in to.

Oh, and a hacker spammed the website’s comment feature, so I’ve had to temporarily turn it off.  Sorry.