Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Ten days and four thousand miles was our investment this Christmas vacation to see family… Well worth it! We drove the southern route past California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas on the way to Jayhawk country. We stayed at my son’s place – and got to see his family as well as their new addition, our grandbaby: Kuyper Noel. Having the rest of the family members with us was an incredible blessing – we had a memorable Christmas. J

We came back through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and finally our home state California using Route 66 (New “40”) – in route we visited the Grand Canyon – oy vey ! What a treat to see it in Winter!

In route we went through two books: Sara Paretsky, “Bleeding Kansas” a very interesting novel about Kansas and the Lawrence area – we were fully entertained and learned a lot about the history of the place. The second book was much more interesting to me, “Measuring the World” by Daniel Kehlamnn is a historical novel about the scientist adventurer Alexander Von Humboldt and the mathematician Carl Fredrich Gauss – this book is highly recommended.

Ten days – incredibly packed!

Here are a few snapshots:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Cabrillo is a great San Diego resource - from history to science - it is a definite site to visit. Here are some geology field trip pictures.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I came across this quote -

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows."

— Sydney J. Harris: Was a journalist and lecturer

Isn't superb?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


While teaching my Academic Earth Science SEI (Sheltered English Instruction) class I was surprised by my naivete. As we were identifying sedimentary rocks a student asked, "...what is a fossil?" I looked at the student and realized that I blew it... I was taken aback by his honest and simple statement that he had no clue what was meant by a fossil. Wow!

I realize now that sometimes I assume too much in terms of background. I did not realistically have a good grip on this student's lack of background. Back to Pedagogy 101. Never assume, always dip-stick and test for foundational knowledge. Hopefully my SIOP lesson plans will be tighter next time. Humbled...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

EVENING SKY- Moon-Venus-Jupiter

Science is soooo cool - we live it every day. As I prepared to take my dogs out for a walk around 5:15 this evening - Wow! What a beutiful evening sky! I had to get my camera and snap this picture (even using a small tripod - I do not have an electronic shutter release - it is a bit blurry :( but that is OK you get the idea:.

You have to watch it tomorrow! An event that happens once very 10 years.

"you’ll see them slowly converge, as Jupiter drops lower but Venus climbs higher. The two will meet on the evening of December 1, when, as chance has it, the Moon is back to sit right next to those two brilliant evening stars. Mark it on your calendar — Monday, December 1 — the best Moon-planet conjunction in a decade. You don’t want to miss it."

Sunday, November 09, 2008


This turned out to be a very interesting unit... Thank you National Geographic. Providentially there was an article in November's 2008 issue about the giant Selenite Crystals at theNaica mine south of Chihuahua Mexico - the article allowed me to create a very nice "hook" as I began to teach the Minerals unit. Here is a picture as we wrap-up crystals - the students built models of the crystal systems and they were put together with a display of mineral examples.

Advice? REALIA... very powerful - hand's-on very very powerful. Put the theoretical in context allow students to see the reality of what you are teaching. We are going to the Gemological Institute of America this coming week as an extra credit field trip... They will see professionals working with minerals and crystals - it honestly does not get better than this... :0 Thank you Jack for arranging this.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


My son and daughter in Kansas posted some pics - I had to post them here as well...

This reminds me why teaching is so very important - all my student's are someones grandchildren... :) Aren't they precious?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Football - a great sport to enjoy as a teacher. "Go Longhorns...!" Here is my grandson Jon - enjoying the latest game..

Monday, September 29, 2008


Well I have to thank my daughter for her help in getting this lab off the ground. She came in and gave a talk on Civil Engineering to my Earth Science class and she shared a project she had worked on. We were able to dove tail off the project to create a lab for the students to build a topographic map of the area she was working - awesome


Individual work
Group / Team work

Here are some of the pictures of the models:

Some more cuties

Here are some more cuties building webs:

Sunday, September 14, 2008


And here is a picture of our latest addition to the family - a beautiful grandaughterl:

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We are so proud of our grandson... he is progressing through his TAE KWON DO..

Thursday, September 04, 2008

pachygrapsus crassipes

What a great observation lab... this is a great lab from set-up - getting our own water, and catching our own crabs, to keeping them for a week to doing lab with the kids - awesome - thanks to Mr. B, Alex, and Tatiana! Great team! They went back into the ocean today...
A student showing a male crab:

Sunday, August 31, 2008


After going after marine arthropods this morning in Oceanside - preparation for an observation lab in class, tonight, I photographed a terrestial arthropod - a large spider building a web between our shed and a guava tree. Beautiful creature! The first one he/she was building the web:

The second picture was taken when it positioned itself ready for his meal. The scale was added for reference - also the flash overwhelmed the color on this picture so I reduced the brightness a bit so you can see it a bit better. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My summer plans were as follows:

Well - Physical Well Being: I am back in the gym - that is good, my lab work and Dr's checkup went as well.

With the help of Jack Basmadjian - Earth Science PLC and curricula is built and ready to roll - we received many compliments!

P/L Prep moved along and we are ready to start - thanks to the support of Dr. Garza!

BTSA - completed the curriculum mapping for Earth Science - turned out to be of use to other teacher's as well.

CSUSM Classes - completed six units: two graduate classes EDST 635 & 636 - excellent progress.

Personal: Lots of odds and ends - not enough time to do all I wanted to do - but one thing of note is that I have a new, tool:

Travel: ...Alaska of course.

Overall the plan was achieved... now the plan is set for 2008-2009 - as school started yesterday with "Buy Back" days. Students start on Monday August 25th. My room is shaping up!

I thank God for all that was done and what is ahead for the coming days, weeks, and months - may His perfect will be done.


Well… wrapping up the summer – we went to the Moon Light outdoor theater in Vista last evening. We were treated to a wonderful production of Les Miserables. Victor Hugo’s timeless message came across in tympanic sharpness touching the audience’s – or at least this attendee – heart, mind and soul.


Monday, August 18, 2008


A High School play under professional direction in a world-class outdoor theater turned out to be one my highlights for the Summer of '08.

This was an incredible performance by outstanding talented young people. The unique multilingual presentation (both in English and Spanish) was strange at first. I would even say uncomfortable for many - but as the play moved along and as the actors (White, Brown, Black, Yellow, Red) spoke both languages in appropriate sequences - it had a very powerful effect. Shakespeare transcends languages. Very innovative and refreshing.

Thank you Amber for the invite!

Check out their BLOG:

Friday, August 15, 2008


While the Russians played a game of world chess - some of us were immersed in other power activities: UbD and SIOP. I don’t know about you, but this profession has so many acronyms I think Harvard is offering an Eduspeak PhD. Just kidding…

In any case, I felt it was intense and worthwhile training. The SIOP model, which I was familiar with, turned out to be a real positive surprise. A superb fireball of a teacher – Martha Trejo brought for the district an intense 3-day seminar couched in what seems to be a very good strategic move for our district – congratulations!

Content Objectives and Language Objectives – here are some pictures…

Funny name SIOP – highly recommended.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Wow - this was done out of sheer frustration attempting to do Spanish and English... - and switching keyboards on a laptop is not something you do very quickly or conveniently... In any case here out of my frustration came up the following cheat sheet... I know, I know why did it take me so long...

° ¡ ” # $ % & / ( ) = ? ¡

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 ’ ¿

Q W E R T Y U I O P ö * ]

q w e r t y u i o p ó + }

A S D F G H J K L Ñ [

a s d f g h j k l ñ {

Z X C V B N M ; : _

z x c v b n m , . -

Photo credit (c)

Sunday, July 27, 2008


In one of my CSUSM classes this summer, Dr. Sharon Sutton mentioned the book “Disrupting Class – How Disruptive Innovation Will change the Way the World Learns” by Clayton M. Christensen... so I picked up the book.
What an outstanding and practical read – the book is ambitious in its premise and very real in its delivery. The book brings to bear the success of Christensen in the business world dealing with innovation.

Here are some quotes:

“The students who succeed in schools do so largely because their intelligence happens to match the dominant paradigm in use in a particular classroom – or somehow they have found ways to adapt to it.”

“The question now facing schools is this: Can the system of schooling designed to process groups of students in standardized ways in a monolithic instructional mode be adapted to handle differences in the way individual brains are wired for learning?”

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in improving education.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


It is really delightful to come across something like the flyer below. It is a reprint of an article I wrote for the Dallas Medical Journal back in 1995. I was running my business selling medical solutions and saw that the whole industry was just getting started and that the impact of new technology would be profound. Ha! How little did I know… :)

Some highlights…. Come on – laugh with me! Remember it was written in 1995!

“…On year ago, disk storage of 1000 megabytes, or 1gig. Capacity cost around $1000. Today you can find the same capacity drives for $450”

“[on clinical notes] …a screen in every exam room… allows him[or her] to enter data as he [she] examines patients.”

“The physician also can dial CompuServe or the Internet and send professional messages to colleagues across the country or across the world.”

“When he leaves home, he may consult an alpha-numeric pager that is programmed to receive the latest stock market information…is [also] used by the office staff to send messages to the physician. In an emergency, via a cellular phone, the doctor can review a case with a colleague and have all his patient information available on a laptop computer.”

This had to bring a smile to your lips… oh to be so right and WRONG! In any case, I am sure you just picked up your latest iPhone, looked at it – and laughed!

Me too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My nephew Jorge (a tocayo) sent this from Bs. Aires.

It is always good to keep perspective...

Monday, July 14, 2008


This fourth of July my wife and I took the plunge and headed to Alaska on the ms Amsterdam cruise ship from Holland America. What a treat! We left Seatle to Juneau on July 4th and came back on July 11th...All I can say it is way way too short!

Recommended hands-down to anywone looking for a real break and small vacation that is relaxing, envigorating, and just plain wonderful!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Daniel graduated with his PhD from University of California - Riverside this past Monday - awesome! Mazel tov, son!

The new soil scientist is on his way to KU to start teaching in Fall. We will miss him and the whole family! :( On the other hand, it will give us an excuse to travel, no? :)


Deleted analytics - oh well... next time. The blog is back to its old format. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Google Analytics

Well... I added the code for the Google Analytics stats gathering to my blog and it messed the format! Oh well... the content is still there - so I won't mess with it. Probably pasted the code in the wrong place in the HTML... live and learn.

Monday, June 09, 2008


My personal summary plan for the summer of '08' is shown below:

I think it is a question of balance...

Model WWI Plane by Estefani & Nereida