Weekend Bullet List 2

If you missed last weekend, it’s right here. This weekend, we:

  • Went to another concert – this time, Ozomatli at the Echoplex
  • Had some time to socialize with Ms. Escobedo during the show. Hooray for teacher talk!
  • Got free Legalize LA shirts at the show
  • Ate chili-cheese fries at Original Tommy’s historic restaurant. I could feel my arteries clogging. (sidenote: everything seems to be historic down here)
  • Visited the La Brea Tar Pits
  • Went to the Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market
  • Got some great frozen yogurt from Pinkberry. Didier’s has some competition!
  • Window-shopped at an Apple store in The Grove, a ritzy shopping center.
  • Saw our friend Susanna (she came over to stay the night)
  • Went to Venice Beach
  • Put our feet in the ocean
  • Saw a bunch of crazy street performers, including one guy who did a backflip over five kids
  • Walked about halfway to Muscle Beach, then decided it was too far; cleary, we do not belong at Muscle Beach
  • Ate some lousy $1.99 pizza
  • Watched the sunset over Venice Beach
  • Went to Susanna’s place in Santa Clarita with Barrett and Tyler
  • Ate at a decent Indian restaurant (it’s no Manas)
  • Made up a bunch of words in a Scrabble game
  • Noticed that a few of my Jan Term Journal posts were picked up by So You Want to Teach?. Thanks, Joel.
  • Stayed the night at Susanna’s
  • Watched the sunrise
  • Took the Metrolink train back into LA
  • Spent MLK day chilling, napping, recovering from the weekend, and getting ready for my last three days of school at St. Columbkille!

Speaking of MLK, I think it’s important to watch this on his day:

See you next time. Hope you enjoyed your day and spent some time ruminating on Martin Luther King, Jr’s contributions to our country. Enjoy the inauguration tomorrow; I’m hoping to catch it live, but if not, we’ll always have YouTube.


How’s that for a hiatus?

Hello world!

Ugh… I feel terrible for ignoring the blog for this long. MIT is crazy (not to mention everything else that’s going on in my life).

My last post was on October 26. Let’s see what’s happened since then:

  • Halloween.
  • We put out two more issues of the newspaper at MHS.
  • Barack Obama was elected president of the United States (thankfully, I got back to the blog before Inauguration Day!).
  • Thanksgiving.
  • Alice and I became engaged (almost exactly one month ago. I know, right?).
  • Christmas Break began.
  • Christmas.
  • Our family Christmas party (in which I received perhaps the sweetest Che Guevara shirt ever through our white elephant gift exchange).
  • I took a train to Los Angeles, California with my cousin Tyler for my Jan Term trip.

Related to that last one, this Jan Term trip requires that I write a journal. So, I’ll be posting those entries up here whenever I can. You can look forward to the first week’s installments tonight, and I’ll do what I can to get the rest of them up in a timely fashion as we go along.

Ready? Let’s go!

3-2-1, 10/11/2008

Oh, hey.

One quick “definition of terms” issue to clarify: I use separate (but similar) vocabulary when talking about my time at MHS and at Whitworth. So, when I talk about “class” or “being in class,” that usually means I’m talking about my MIT classes at Whitworth. When I talk about “school,” that usually means I’m talking about MHS. If you’re ever confused, leave a comment and I’ll clarify.

Here are my four 3-2-1 observations for the week:

  • I spent Tuesday grading sophomore practice WASL papers with the district English faculty. I was surprised to find how much students were willing to disclose in those papers. We had several papers that were red-flagged because a student mentioned a pregnancy, feeling threatened by a specific student, etc.
  • There are few things more fun than going out to eat with a bunch of English teachers who truly enjoy each other. We went out twice this week (after WASL scoring and during the inservice), and they were two of the most fun meals I can remember having recently.
  • I never realized how cool turnitin.com is! MHS has a subscription this year, and we had a presentation about it during our inservice. I am definitely going to be taking advantage of that come spring.
  • If a student has a negative attitude, sometimes all they need is to be called on it (tactfully, after building appropriate rapport). We had a student this week who missed the after-school layout night, and so she was grousing about how we changed the design of the newspaper. One quick attitude check later, she became one of the more productive students in the class for the rest of the week.


To quote Sines of Learning, “the first day of school came and all my good intentions to blog about this experience went out the window.” Except, instead of “the first day,” it was “the first three weeks.” Oops.

I will have more for you. I promise. One of my “New (school) Year’s Resolutions” was to keep up on this thing, and I haven’t forgotten about it.

More content will be coming in the not-so-distant future. Until then, click here enjoy “Kim & Jessie” by M83, as part of Pitchfork‘s live series titled “Juan’s Basement”.

Schoooool’s out for the summer! (part 2)

So, this is the second part of my last post: giving a slice of the first summer term in the Master in Teaching program at Whitworth by using the guiding questions given to us on the last day of class: “When was a time during this summer term that you laughed so hard you were about to cry?” “What are some new friendships that you’ve formed?” “What is a choice you made that you have really appreciated?” “When was a time that you felt especially competent?”


This was honestly the hardest question for me to answer out of the four. Choices are, of course, a part of everyday life. We make so many choices every day, that it’s sometimes hard to pick out one or two. I forget what my answer was in class, so I’ll go with a new one.

Honestly, keeping up on this blog has been one of the best choices I’ve made. I’ve had the time to update it and do well, rather than just whipping out throwaway posts to be satisfied with throwing something up on the site. Because I’ve wanted to do well and satisfy myself as well as any potential readers, I’ve had to try and figure out what I want out of the blog, where I want it to go, what kinds of information I can share, etc. etc.

I have to say, I’m pretty happy with where the blog is at this point and what I’ve accomplished. I originally started this as a place for my family and friends to read about my adventures, and I think I’ve accomplished that. Plus, whenever someone asks, “how has MIT been so far?” I can say, “oh, pretty good” and then point them here for the full story.


Honestly, it might be easier for me to pick out a time when I didn’t feel competent. Overall, the summer term was a good introduction to the program and the teaching profession, but I didn’t feel challenged the way I thought I would upon entering a grad program. The challenge will come in the fall when we start working in the schools – I’m sure of that.

If I had to pick a specific instance where I felt especially competent, I guess I would pick our “teaching opportunity presentation.” We signed up for groups of five, and each group taught a lesson about one of the six reading comprehension habits from the Zwiers textbook. Our group taught a lesson on “Making Inferences and Predictions.” Lindsay and I taught the class how to use blank Dinosaur Comics to either demonstrate knowledge about a subject or make inferences about a work of literature, a certain character, an upcoming unit, etc. I mentioned our presentation in my last post, so you can go there for a little more information. But the reason I’m mentioning it here is because I felt competent. I felt like – gasp – a teacher. And I guess that’s part of the reason we have this summer term – to make us feel competent enough that we can be successful when we enter the public schools later this month.

Hello world!


So, this is my new blog. I’m about to graduate from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA with a BA in English and a Journalism minor. Next year, I will be attending – you guessed it – Whitworth University to begin the Masters in Teaching program. I’m aiming to teach high school English and hopefully advise a newspaper staff somewhere.

It is going to be sweet.

So, I used to (like, in high school) blog about my innermost feelings. But those entries were all protected, and I was writing my innermost feelings to nobody in particular. Which serves its purpose just fine, but this is different. I’m writing this to keep friends, family and whoever else might be out there up to date on my current doings.

Keep in touch. I’ll be here.