Category Archives: Life

Start of a New Chapter

Family Photo

In just a few days, I start graduate school at USC. It hasn’t really hit me yet even though I completely moved into my downtown LA apartment on Sunday. It still feels like summer to me, just chilling with Sonya and Kobe here in San Diego. It will probably hit me that I’m really away from home (SD) sometime next week. On the flip side, I am extremely excited to start my program. I already discovered that the Trojan Family was real from my internship this summer. It’ll also be fun to finally be a part of a Division 1 school. Even though the football team is still banned from bowl games next year, it should still be a good season. I can’t wait until the homecoming game vs Stanford on Oct 29th. If you want tickets to any games, just let me know!

Kobe is now 13.5 months old! He’s pretty much full-grown, but I think he’s the perfect size right now. A few months ago, we discovered another dog park off of Carmel Mountain Road. It’s a lot bigger than the Nobel dog park, and it also has a lot more grass. One of the big perks is that this park has a lot more golden retrievers that go as well! Kobe found a best friend in Astro and a girlfriend in Lucy. He loves to wrestle and chase them all the time. We actually think Kobe and Lucy might even be related. They were both from breeders in North SD, so it’s very possible they share the same lineage, probably from Kobe’s father. It’s funny, their faces look so much alike except Lucy is darker. They even play the same exact way, going for the legs, pinning dogs down, sitting on dogs faces, and using their butts during body slams. It’s too bad Kobe is fixed, because Lucy is real cute!

Kobe and Lucy!

A few weeks ago, we met a photographer named Ann at the Doggie Street Festival in downtown SD, and we decided to do a photo-shoot with Kobe before I left for LA. It turned out great, we got a ton of shots of Kobe and even some family portraits haha. Check them out here: the code is Kobe.


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Kobe Becomes A Dog! Part 2

Number two. This just happened this morning – Kobe finally learned how to swim! We’ve taken him to the dog beach a bunch of times, and he loves the water, but he never went out deep enough where he had to swim. I think he was scared of going too deep, and little bit scared of the waves too. But today, with a bit of nudging, he finally swam! Even though it was only for a little bit, it was still pretty cool to see him doggy paddling around. It’s really strange though, at the dog park he only retrieves the softball, and at the dog beach he only retrieves his red frisbee. What a silly puppy!

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Kobe Becomes A Dog! Part 1

Couple of real exciting milestones happened in the past few days for Kobe.

Number one. Although a golden retriever, Kobe never had a knack for retrieving things, he would only do it sometimes in the house. Whenever we would take him to the dog beach or dog park, he would just watch other dogs chase down countless balls thrown by their owners, too lazy to run long distances. However, when we took Kobe to the dog park on Thursday, we happened to find a bright yellow softball lying in the corner. Amazingly, Kobe loved playing fetch with it! Even if I chucked it to the opposite end of the park he still ran it down and brought it back, with his floppy tongue sticking out under the softball that was almost too big for his mouth. We are real proud of him for finally retrieving, not to mention that it’s great we found something to tire him out faster!

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Adventures of the Kobe Part 1

**I realized I wrote this back in April and never finished it, but I’m going to post it up anyway

(Disclaimer: While writing these posts about Kobe, I have come to realize just how much bigger he has gotten since we first got him. It’s pretty amazing..but of course that’s what everyone kept telling us)

In hindsight, Kobe was a great puppy, still is. He’s been easy to train, friendly (sometimes too friendly) to all people and things, and keeps on loving. It didn’t take too long to get into a routine of eating and going out to pee/poo, which made our lives a whole lot easier compared to the first few weeks we got him. The only real health issue we had with him was that he would get a bout of diarrhea about once a month, usually getting bad enough that we had to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night just to take him out. After going to the vet the first two times, we got some medication that seemed to help each time. However, after the third time, we decided maybe it WAS the food that was causing it, even though he had been eating the same “Taste of the Wild” food since he was at the breeder. So, just to give it a try, we gave Kobe “Blue Buffalo” after the 3rd run-in with diarrhea, and it worked! He’s been having solid, healthy poop since then! I still don’t know why the first dog food caused the diarrhea, I guess it’ll remain a mystery.

We’re really lucky that we live in an area that has so many dog friendly places. Kobe’s favorites have to be the Nobel dog park and Fiesta Island.



Kobe (14 weeks) at an IM football game. He used to love tearing out a lawnmower

Kobe (15 weeks) could still fit in the chair

Now, he’s almost full-grown. At 9 months, he is now almost 70 pounds! There was one day we met up with the San Diego Golden Retriever Meet Up Group to go hiking around Lake Murray. It was fun to see 25+ goldens walking around and we got to join in the fun and exercise. Kobe loves to make new friends!

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It’s Been A While…

It’s been over half a year since I touched this blog, and that needs to change starting right now. It’s been a pretty eventful 6 months, so I think I’m going to start blogging again by documenting little snippets, from Kobe growing up to school/work news, and whatever else comes to mind. Be on the lookout!

A side note: If you are a SF Giants fan, please go get a copy of the book by Andrew Baggarly (Giants beatwriter) called “A Band of Misfits.” It’s a must read. If you’re like me, someone that follows Baggs’ blog on the Merc news site, you should have already been done with the book like me.

Reading this book gave me the chills, re-living the experience all over again.

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Transitioning from 3rd to 1st Grade

My spring break was pretty relaxing, but now we are back at school and in full swing of things again. We just found out our new placements, I’m in 1st grade now at Florence. I’m happy that I have good friends to carpool with to school and debrief with afterward. I’m also excited to get Rusty as a supervisor.

We went to orientation and stayed in the classroom all day today. It’s definitely a big change!! My new cooperating teacher is really nice. She says that she used to be a reading specialist, so she’s really strong in the reading/language arts area, so I’m excited to see what I can learn from her expertise in that area. On the other hand, she says that she’s not so strong math-wise.. She uses the InVision curriculum/program and basically just follows from there. She says she doesn’t like it as much and it’s a new program that the school is doing, they used to have Harcourt? Anyway, the students right now are using counters, determining which color has more and which color has less. How many more? How many less, that kind of stuff. I think it will be interesting to observe her teach math and how to work with the curriculum/program that’s given to us, and maybe I can find some way to do more in math.

The kids. They are bouncing off the walls! It’s kind of crazy! There are 24 in our classroom, 12 girls and 12 boys. In this classroom, it’s about 50% second language learners. The girls are very sweet, they don’t even know me, but they love that I am here and they are already giving me hugs on the first day. Some of the boys are kind of crazy and they are already trying to test me and trick me! While the teacher is doing some guided reading with 4-5 students, she has the rest of the students do centers/stations, there are about ten stations going all at once, 2 students per station, but it’s like the room blew up! The students got their materials and some got to work, but some of the others were definitely off-task, “helping” each other, unfocused, and they were all over the room. I probably would have it more structured and organized. I know it’s going to take time for the students to recognize me as a student teacher and that I have the same authority, but those boys are trying to trick me already!

It’s been an interesting day and the next 11 weeks will definitely be a challenge and an adventure!

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Halfway done with Graduate School

It’s been a long, long, long time since either of us have posted and I’m going to try to update this thing whenever I can!

For the last two quarters, I’ve been at the same school, Carrillo Elementary in San Marcos. It was such a nice school, good neighborhood, awesome teachers and staff, i had the BEST teacher everrrr, learned so much from her, real bright kids, involved parents.. it was seriously the best first placement ever. I feel like, before I was in the program, I already had plenty of experience tutoring or doing Reading Stars and teaching here and there. I thought that I already had the basics down and wasn’t sure what I was going to really learn in grad school, but I feel like I’ve learned A TON and I feel like I still have so much to learn, but i’m 1/2way done with my program!! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is classroom management, which is still the hardest thing for me, but I feel like I’ve had good role models and now I have more strategies! My teacher, Mrs. Martin was seriously the best mentor ever, I enjoyed watching her teach and she has a lot of good ideas that I’m going to remember and use in the future. Her teaching style is pretty similar to me but its so refined and I just want to be like her!

This quarter, I feel like I have accomplished a lot. For the undergraduate EDS classes, I was just a mentor, and TA in classrooms, just helping out the teacher and being an extra helping hand. I never really had to teach, just observed someone else teach. This quarter, I’ve actually gotten to be a teacher. We had to plan and teach the lessons and then do assessments too. Even though Mrs. Martin is in the room, she’s sitting on the side just taking notes, and not helping me at all. I am really the teacher in the class, so I have to worry about time and pacing, my lesson, watching the students, monitoring, etc etc. At first it’s a lot to handle, and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it and getting better at it. I’ve had a lot of fun teaching the lessons.. I’ve been really involved in teaching math lessons… I did a lot with fractions, and my students and I had some interesting discussions about where fractions belong on a number line. I also had some exciting science lessons: there was one lesson where we explored bird beak adaptations.. so some birds have strong short beaks so they can crack seeds, pelicans have long scoopy beaks so they can catch fish and filter out the water, hummingbirds have long thin beaks to get nectar, and eagles have sharp beaks so they can tear meat apart. We did a simulation and the kids really enjoyed it! I also did another science rotation where we explored fossils and extinction. I think that teaching language arts is okay… nothing too brilliant, I feel like its the same as what we’ve done when we were in elementary school. And history/social studies has been interesting too.. I thought that it’d be kind of boring and dry, but I managed to do a history/social studies sequence about the 3 branches of government that turned out well. We researched presidents and made posters, we discussed, debated and voted on a bill (like congressmen), and then we learned about the Little Rock Nine and about the plessy vs ferguson and brown v board of education cases. Overall, I feel a lot more like I can be a teacher in a classroom of 30 students, and I don’t feel like a TA anymore.

On the last day, the kids all wrote letters to me and they made it into a book for me. They also made me an apron and they all wrote their names with glitter glue on it. Super cute!! I admit it, I teared up a little when I told them I’d miss them so much and had to say goodbye! It’ll be interesting to see where I go next quarter.. it’ll probably be very different, and challenging.. and it’ll be interesting to see if I can apply what I learned this past quarter to wherever I’m placed this upcoming quarter. I’ll let you know =)

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