I am currently a teacher at YSC Academy, a school for 8th-12th grade students who are gifted and talented in soccer. I am the English teacher for grades 8, 11, and 12. My students love to give me a hard time because I am so meticulous about writing, and I am a strict teacher when it comes being constructive and respectful in the classroom. As a school for competitive, sometimes egotistical, and proud and confident student-athletes, we have to remind them EVERY DAY that they are here to work on their habits of mind.
As their English teacher, I put a lot of emphasis on metacognition and persistence, for those are integral parts of the writing process. The writing doesn’t come out right the first time. Nor the second. Thankfully, I had wonderful experiences and teachers who allowed me and encouraged me to grow through my mistakes.
I was born in 1981 in Houston, TX to a mother and father, already with two sons. My mother was a professor of Microbiology at the University of Houston (Downtown campus) and my father was an oncologist-hemotologist (just retired). All of my family was born in New York City. As the lone Texan in the family, and the youngest brother of three, I made it my duty to embrace and encourage all of them to have a little bit of “country” in them. That’s why, to this day, I have a soft spot for such country antics and music like David Allan Coe, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willy Nelson, or just hanging out with a group of good ol’ boys on the farm.
Oh, those sunsets overlooking the lake! Waking up and hearing the birds chirp like there is nothing but hope in the world. Being lazy on the river! Letting the sun soak my skin! With summer approaching in just a few weeks, I can taste the Texas air.
Life hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows for me, and for that I’ve had to learn how to overcome a lot of grief. Every day I am reminded of whom I have lost. When I was eighteen, I lost my oldest brother Jesse to a terrible freight train accident (there’s more to that story, but for later), and when I was twenty-three, I lost my mother to cancer. Now at thirty-six years old, I have lost my first-born child. When I look back at my life and look through the photos, I am reminded of the ephemeral moments of connection, happiness personified, and a smile.
Well, that’s me. I also like RPG video games which take many hours and strategy to beat (but not 1st-person shooter games — more like over-the-shoulder 3rd person games like Zelda, Assassin’s Creed, or God of War. I like to connect with people through art and music, and I love being silly.
I don’t have to look very far to know the importance of momentary silliness. Sometimes, I like to put on any pop music and just wiggle my butt until the endurance wears off. Fun can be had anywhere.
Welly, welly, well. That’s me. Until next time.