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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Kayaking at La Jolla Cove

Yesterday, Jeff and I redeemed our Groupon for OEX Kayaking at La Jolla Cove. We went with our good friends Randall and Lizzy on Tuesday, when it was really foggy and overcast. It turns out that we got there too late, which was not made clear to us over the phone. After Jeff complained a little bit about the confusion, they offered to squeeze us in on Saturday which he said was fully booked already. It’s a good thing we went on Saturday instead, the weather was beautiful! 80 degrees outside, not a cloud in sight! We suited up with a life jacket and a helmet and headed out toward the left side of La Jolla Shores. We grabbed oars and all boarded our double seater kayaks and pushed off into the ocean. As we were going over the waves, we saw a huge peach colored jellyfish near the surface of the water. As we went out, we also saw a bunch of big leopard sharks swimming just a few feet under us! There were so many of them! We went out in a group of about 14 people or so, with a tour guide named Tyler. He showed us around La Jolla Cove and we even got to paddle into a small cave. We saw some sea lions and two sea lion pups playing around too. The 1.5 hr tour was well-worth the Groupon and I’m glad we were able to enjoy it on a sunny day-it’s too bad we didn’t have a camera to document our trip.

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Kobe & Us

On Thursday, September 16th, we welcomed in the newest member of our family, Kobe. He is a golden retriever puppy, just a little over 10 weeksold. We’ve been thinking a long time about getting a puppy (I’ve wanted a golden since I was a kid), and we finally decided that this was the right time. So after days of researching and searching, we finally decided on a couple breeders that we wanted to check out. The first one we went to was a very nice woman in Escondido, and she made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. It didn’t hurt that she had been breeding golden retrievers for over 35 years and used to be the president of the Golden Retriever Club of San Diego.

This is a picture the breeder took of Kobe

The puppy at the breeder!

We knew we wanted a male, and she had told me earlier that she only had one male left that was “pet” quality, which basically meant that they didn’t have the ideal bone structure compared to “show” quality dogs, and cheaper too. However, with the puppies being categorized at such a young age, there’s never any guarantees, meaning a pet quality puppy has a chance to look just as beautiful as a show quality puppy. Either way, we instantly fell in love with this little guy and his cute personality. We decided he was the one, so we never even made it to check out the other breeder.

Kobe comes from champion show dog parents, both coming from a long line of champion show dogs over the past 6-7 generations. Hopefully these great genes will let him live a long happy life! He has a great temperament for a puppy; so far he can be super energetic or a pooped out pooch. It took him 3 days to get crate trained, and from day one he’s been getting better and better with potty training. Yesterday was the first day he had no peeing accidents inside, and he’s learned to either scratch at the door or bark to let us know to take him out to take care of business.


When he’s pooped out, he loves to sleep under the couch.

We want to train him well, so we’ve been reading up on training methods. We went with positive reinforcement, and it’s been working great. He has learned to sit very well already. Other than the times that he’s been chewing on things around the house (and us), he’s been a good boy. He loves to sleep under our chairs and couches on the floor, probably because it’s a cool surface for him to sleep on. Kobe also does very well with other dogs and meeting new people. He doesn’t freak out or yap wildly like small dogs do, which is great.

Chilling by his crate with Snoopy

On the 3rd day, he stopped crying in the crate and was comfortable enough to fall asleep in it!

Everyone that meets him always tells us to take lots of pictures and videos of him because he’s going to grow real fast. I believe them; Kobe has grown in the few days we’ve had him. He can now jump up on the couch and climb the stairs! We’ll be sure to document everything!

Sit...good boy!

If you’re in the area, you should come over to play with Kobe!

The fam minus Chester



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Start of Grad School

I’ve just finished my first three weeks of classes of graduate school. I’m really excited because I get to stay at UCSD, which I love. The program here is really great, and the professors, faculty, and staff all get to know us really well. After this year of grueling hard work, I’ll be able to get my preliminary multiple-subject credential as well as a M. Ed. It’s been really fun because the majority of the class also took the Education Studies minor at UCSD before, so we know each other well and we’ve been in classes prior to grad school, but there’s also a few who have joined us from other schools and we are getting to know each other better.

Our classes started at the end of August, a few weeks earlier than fall quarter really begins. My first two classes were an introduction to research and teaching and a technology class. It was nice to ease into graduate school with the first three weeks because it got us into the mode of school again and both classes started to get us thinking about teacher inquiry and finding resources to help with our research. If you’d like to check out what I’ve been doing in class, you can check out my website!

Fall quarter is officially about to start now. While going to class at Pepper Canyon, we’ve started to see some of the sixth college students move in and attend orientation. Once our new set of classes start, I’ll find out my placement for student teaching for the first half of the year. I’m really excited for this year and all the things that I’ll be learning about, but I know it won’t be easy and I’ll probably be very very busy. If you’re in San Diego this year, please help me find some time to hang out and relax when I’m not student teaching or in class!

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Let’s Go Giants!!

Last week, the Giants came to San Diego to play the Padres. It’s an exciting time because the Padres were #1 and Giants were #2 in the West, so if the Giants won all the games, we could take the lead. Jeff and I went to the first two games to root for the Giants!

We got some good seats on Thursday night right by 3rd base.

I got another ball signed by Cy Young Award Winner, Tim Lincecum!

Thursday night’s game was the most exciting baseball game I’ve ever been to! The Giants came out strong and hit lots of home runs, I think there were seven total that night. Two guys broke their bats, and I got an autographed ball from Tim Lincecum. It was so much fun!

We went to Friday's game with some of our friends.

Great View from our seats at Petco Park

Friday night’s game against the Padres didn’t have that many home runs, but the Giants won again, so yayy!! It was definitely a fun two nights out, there were so many Giants fans in the crowd! Now, the Giants are currently in the lead!

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