"Who are you?" Narrative Questions#
If you're ever looking for a set of questions for helping people get to know each other or to write a personal narrative.....

Your first homework assignment is to post an introduction about yourself (which is to include answers to the following questions), your narrative is due _______.  At that point, you will be able to read about each other.


Questions to answer:
1. Background information (i.e., name/what your students will be calling you, # of sibling?, pets?, hobbies?, etc.)
2. Favorite foods & the main foods you avoid
3. What influence have your teacher(s) had upon your current situation in life?  (Alternative to this:  What is the most important lesson you have learned?)
4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where and why?
5. What made you decide to apply to this program?
6. What grade level will you be teaching?
7. What are you most looking forward to this summer?
8. What are you most nervous about this summer?
9. What unique skills and/or knowledge do you intend to share with your fellow teachers and/or students?
10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?  (sorry- answers like "sitting on a beach in Hawaii or some other sunny spot" does not cut it; we're talking your future and where you see yourself)

For the Advanced Learners: What would you like to know about the other people?  Might as well begin getting to know each other since you will be spending MANY hours together.

Monday, June 04, 2007 8:30:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) #    Comments [18]  |  Trackback Tracked by:
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Monday, June 04, 2007 9:39:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My name is Jill Fischer, I teach 7th grade Science at Hoover Middle School, my students during the school year call me "Mrs. Fischer", but during the summer, the teachers I mentor here at BreakThrough (BT) call me "Jill". This is my second summer working with BT, it will be my 6th year of teaching (although you would not guess it when you meet me I blend in with my middle school students). I have worked with students ranging in ages from 1st grade through college. I come from a long line of teachers (dad, uncle, sister (technically) grandmother & grandfather, great grandfather, great aunt, great uncle, and even a great great aunt). I'm actually the 4th generation of the "Geer" family (midden name) teaching in California. Needless to say, teaching is in my blood. Although I always had a list of future professions, teaching was alway one of the options. My parents let me consider any and all options, even after I changed my major 5 times... I still graduated in 4 years. I started at Sonoma State University and switched to San Jose State University, and graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies for teachers and a minor in mathematics. I continued on to University of San Francisco (regional campus in Cupertino) where I completed my coursework for my teaching credential, and started in on a Masters of Arts in Teaching (have yet to finish).

I occasionally think about what I would be doing if I was not a teacher, but aside from taking time off to have a child (possibly at some point in the future), I don't have a clue as to what else I would do outside of the education field. In ten years from now (provided that I am not a classroom teacher), I can see myself working with student-teachers in the education department at a university, observing student teaching (basically what I am doing now). I also see all of our household projects completed (the current one is working on removing the old rotting deck, and replacing it with who knows what). My husband and I finally finished all of the interior painting projects (well, at least the ones we intend to tackle pre-remodel of a bathroom), we figure we paint the house, change the landscaping, and re-pipe at some point, but that is in the 10 year revolving plan. I have learned to be patient, and that all of the changes & improvements I would like to make do not need to be done all at once, and the best advice I received from my father-in-law, was to only work on one project at a time. It is so true! If we were to take on too much at any given time, we would get so overwhelmed and not be able to finish even the simplest tasks on the house. Needless to say, I am very appreciative that my husband was well trained by his father in the basic fundamentals of good construction (he knows enough to be dangerous).

Growing up, I remember my parents working on the house during the summers, which is where I first saw that one project at a time (provided you want to live in the house) is the best bet. In the summers when my parents were not having work done on the house, we would travel. I have been fortunate enough to have gone all over Europe, to parts of Asia, parts of the South Pacific Oceania, and the Americas (South, Central and North America). I still would like to go to Antarctica and Africa, my two remaining continents, but I figure those trips will be in the future because I am really looking forward to spending this summer with BT, watching my current 7th graders become 8th graders and my future 7th graders move out of the 6th grade stage, all within your classrooms.

During the past school year, I had students come up to me (who were in the classrooms which I observed here at BT) and tell me about how the information learned here at BT was being taught in their science classes. Some of the 8th graders will have been with me during the school year for Science as 6th and 7th graders, and I will be letting go of them at the end of the summer, but I am able to still consider them as my students too (by proxy at least) as they are sitting in your classes. The studnets are genuinely excited, and have even stayed in communication with their teachers from last summer. The students have had such wonderful experiences during the summer, and they are looking forward to being in your classes, and groups. You will have a busy summer, and I do worry that balancing the various roles which our teachers preform during the summer can be overwhelming, but that is where I come in.

I can help with resources, grade level planning, classroom management (a.k.a. giving you various techniques to keep the lesson running smoothly while keeping students interested), and providing helpful feedback. I will be in your rooms at least once every other week (hopefully more like every week), meeting with you after observations, checking lesson plans (it is a draft, and hopefully final copy process- remember, if you do not have time to do it right the first time, you have time to do it again), teaching you how to plan lessons. I am nervous that we will be in regular classrooms (no science rooms due to a remodel of the labs), and that my regular classroom will be off limits (over at Hoover) due to Summer School. I will try my best to have resources (written and physical materials) but that becomes difficult when I must turn in my key so the summer school teachers may use it.

I'm burned out on questions for other people since I came up with the first ten. Oh, I have a few more details yet to answer: food! I don't eat fish, and I used to dislike green food (i.e. veggies), I have begun to appreciate meat again (once again, thanks to my in-laws), and although I like junk food, it is something I try to avoid -- mainly due to its effect on my teeth. I am looking forward to being virtually next to Japan Town, there are some great Japanese restaurants, and I have been wanting to try the shaved ice place since I found out that there was one in the area! (They only take cash though)... it's on my way home and or within walking distance. If you go there, it has to be outside of program hours since it is a closed campus for the teachers and students. Ok, last of all, you've already figured out about my hobby of home improvements, but I have also found that making baby blankets is quite fun. I have finished 3 since I got a sewing machine for Christmas.

Jill (MT)
Wednesday, June 06, 2007 12:49:33 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My name is Dacey Storzbach and I'm going to be a junior at Scripps College next year. (I was at Haverford College in Pennsylvania for my first two years - hence the email address - but I decided to transfer this year.) I'm probably going to major in either cognitive or molecular neuroscience (I have to pick all over again) for the next couple of years, but I'm interested in basically everything. I live in Portland, Oregon when I'm not in school with my younger brother and parents. I've lived in lots of other places (I've moved 14 times) because my dad was getting his degrees while I was growing up. But of all the places, I love living in the Pacific Northwest the most - there's a forest right outside my house, the coffee is great, and it's rarely above 85 or below 40 here. I spend a lot of time in that forest hiking and reading lately. I also play piano (badly), knit (also badly), and watch a lot of really stupid/funny movies, and next year I really want to take singing lessons and join the Claremont swim team. I'm Jewish and spend a lot of time at school with the Hillel group, and I probably will at Claremont too. I eat basically anything, but my favorites are Thai food, pho (San Jose has awesome pho, which I'm looking forward to this summer), ice cream, dark chocolate, and coffee. The only things I really don't like are eggs and blueberries (both because of past associations with illness).

This year was kind of a hard one, life lesson-wise, but I did learn a lot. The biggest thing I learned was that I need to admit when I've made a mistake, and that it's ok to change your plans in a way you never thought you would. Right now I feel like there's this big fog over my life after August, and even though it terrifies me (I hate not having things completely set out for my future) I'm ok with it for the first time I can remember.

I desperately want to get out of the country - I think I've been to every continental US state, but I've never even been to Canada. I really want to go to Chile, Argentina, or Spain to improve my Spanish, I want to work with a health clinic in Haiti, and I've always wanted to go to India just because. I just want to see and do things elsewhere, so it really wouldn't matter where I went at this point - I just need to see more than I have.

This is my second year teaching - I taught 8th grade physical science last year too. Of all of the internships I applied to last year, Breakthrough appealed to me the most. I've done education-type things since I was 14 (taught Hebrew, worked in the education department at the Oregon Zoo, and mentored/tutored), and I really loved it, even though I thought it was more of a hobby on my way to a science Ph.D. Last year I kind of went with my gut when I picked Breakthrough, and it might have been the best thing I've ever done. Applying this year was different. Last year, I had the most fulfilling summer of my life, working at something I really loved and having these incredibly full (literally) and rewarding days, but I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to come back having had the experience already, because I feel like I'll be able to accomplish more of what is supposed to happen at Breakthrough now that I've been there. I'm so excited to be teaching some of the students I had for the 7th grade elective last year (and some new ones!), getting to know the new 7th graders, and working with the 9th graders (some of them are my former students too!). I'm also really looking forward to getting to know the new teachers - building the kind of camaradie that comes out of working 50+ hour weeks (you probably think I'm joking) is exhausting but incredibly fun. I'm apprehensive, though, because I have a feeling a lot has changed with the program and with the kids, and I feel like it may be disorienting. I may be more nervous as a second-year than a first-year - at least last year I felt like I was expected to make a lot of mistakes. This year I have to be better, make fewer mistakes, and take more responsibility for what I do...and I'm nervous that won't happen.

As for what I have to offer, I honestly have no idea what I've got there. I know what I really want to improve on this summer is supporting the other teachers in my department, because there were definitely some support issues last year. So if there's anything anyone needs, support in the class, materials, anything, I'd love to help. I guess that qualifies as a skill!

Ten years from now feels way too far off to plan for - I'm having trouble figuring out how to deal with this coming fall. But there's any number of places I can see myself now. I could be teaching, and if I did, it would probably be science. I could be in residency after graduating from medical school. Maybe I'll go to a clinical psychology program and go into forensic science, or I could be working in a public health non-profit in another country. I've got the next four years of my life covered with getting my undergraduate degree and Peace Corps (if I get in) - after that, I'll figure it out.

I'm really excited to meet all of you (it's what, two weeks now?). Sorry that this was so long! It's really going to be a great summer, and I can't wait for it to get started.
Monday, June 11, 2007 10:35:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My name is Maryknoll Anne Manay, but people just call me Maryknoll for short. I am going to be an upcoming senior this year at Notre Dame High School in downtown San Jose. I am the oldest out of two, having a younger brother. I have a chiuahuah dog named Woody because I absolutely love dogs. Some of my hobbies include playing the piano ever since I was five years old, and singing. Some of my favorite foods include coffee ice cream and some of the foods I try to avoid are eggs and certain Filipino foods.

Some of the lessons I've learned from my previous teachers are learning to be prepared for class and to also learn from your mistakes. All teachers have a different way of learning because all students also have a different way of comprehending. My 8th grade social studies teacher taught me that we are built on our past, and that we also learn from our past. This has helped me in my own life by letting go of the mistakes of yesturdays, and to look for the goodness in the future.

If I could go anywhere in the world right now, it would probably be the Philippines. I enjoy the small islands with the white sand and clear waters. I miss seeing my family and friends in the Philippines. To me it is the best getaway when I need a vacation with my family. Though it is very humid just like all other Asia countries and islands, it is very relaxing.

Breakthrough came to a suprise to me when Jessica Sanchez came to visit my school. I had heard that BT was comming in the daily bulletin and the meeting was going to be during lunch. Good thing my classmate reminded me of the BT meeting that day. I got a little skeptical about hearing it afterwards when I found out it was during the summer. I was thinking to myself, "There goes my summer, should I really even do this?" This summer was challenging because this summer was going to be different than the rest of them- I was finally able to drive. After the meeting, I didn't think much about BT afterwards, but then I came home and decided to check out the website. I told myself I would at least apply because I knew that if I got accepted it would be good experience. I knew I wasn't wasting my summer if I was going to teach at BT because it was going to be fun-filled with the students. I talked it over with my mom and that I was planning to apply, and she supported me every step of the way. Next thing I know, Jessica calls me and I get accepted :D

The grade level I will be teaching this summer for BT is 7th grade Life Science. This is going to be fun and interesting at the same time because this comming fall, my brother will also be learning this subject, for he will be in 7th grade this year. My two favorite subjects are Math and Science but I'd rather learn about Life Sciences than Chemistry.

This summer BT is basically going to be my highlight. I wasn't planning to do much over the summer because my parents usually work and we usually go on vacation around August. The summer after I graduate I plan to go to Hawaii with my friends and possibly the Philippines with my family. This summer I am nervous about teaching at BT since this is going to be my first year teaching. I know that a lot of teachers will help me during the preparation week and hopefully that will ease my nervous-ness. I know that once I overcome all of the little things in the beginning I will be totally comfortable with everyone.

Some skills I have that I can share with my fellow teachers and students include being able to listen carefully, take control when I need to, and follow/take directions. As a student, I know that learning can sometimes be boring, especially if one doesn't really enjoy the subject. So as a teacher, I want to make learning fun for the students and that education is essential in life.

Ten years from now I will be twenty-seven years old. Hopefully I will have a family by this time and my own beach house that I've built in the Philippines. I will have graduated college with a master's degree of some sort in medical and working in the hospital. I go to church every Sunday with my family and in my spare time try to help out my community by doing some volunteer work.

Well, thats all I have time for right now. Sorry if its short. All I can say is that I'm eager and excited for BT to start!

Friday, June 15, 2007 1:52:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hey all. My name’s Douglas Le (but Doug works just fine) and I’ll be teaching 8th grade science this summer. This’ll be my first time teaching the summer program with BT but I have had some previous exposure to the program and the kids since I did the BT after-school tutoring program during the 2nd semester of this school year. As of the moment, I’ll be an incoming senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory (pretty darn close to where we’ll be working). I suppose our school is notorious for its excessive school pride, so I’ll be doing my best to keep talk about my school at a minimum.

All my life, I’ve been a private school kid (I attended St. Lawrence Elementary and Middle Schools prior to Bellarmine), so the public education system has remained for the most part, a foreign subject matter to me. Despite living right across from (as in, cross the street and I’d be there) Silver Creek High School, I had never bothered to learn about public schools. So when I began working at Hoover with BT’s after-school tutoring program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I admit, it was a different (and at times difficult) experience for me. The main thing I noted during my time working with the then 8th graders (now freshmen) with their homework was that they needed constant attention. And I mean it literally. If I were to leave one student to help another, the previous student would beg for me to come back to check over his or her work. When I went back to check the previous student’s work, the other student would be awaiting my help on another problem. And yet another student in the far corner would be waiting for me to come over there and explain something to them. And this didn’t happen to just me, this happened to all 4 tutors that worked with the then 8th grade class. So I can easily and confidently say, I know BT will be a demanding job (that and, group your students close together so you don’t walk 3 miles a day).

I actually decided to apply to Breakthrough last summer. However, I also decided to apply for this summer, rather than the last, since I was a little apprehensive about the work load and my own abilities. But this year, after working with the after-school tutoring program, I realized that the service that I would be doing for these students would be invaluable and completely worth the work load. The genuine difference that I saw that I could make through spending my time with the students and their overall appreciation of me encouraged me to sign up this year so that hopefully, I can continue making a difference in their lives.

I’ve had multiple teachers that have been a strong influence on me, two of them being recent teachers and one being my own 8th grade teacher. The thing in common between all three would be their undying enthusiasm for the subject they taught. And in truth, despite how cliché and simple that seems, I find this trait to be the most effective trait of a teacher. Their interest in their subject was apparent and infectious from the start, so much so that each and every student in their class was literally ranting and raving about the latest lecture/presentation. If anything, I feel that the most important lesson that I’ve learned from all three, beyond that of history or literature, is that being truly passionate about something can affect another to be truly passionate about that something as well.

I’m not quite too sure what to put down for skills/knowledge. However, I’ve been known to be a box of random information, so I guess if there’s ever a problem or question, you can try running it past me. Who knows, I may just know that arbitrary fact/joke/quotation that’ll set you about your day. I guess it follows that I have an unusually long memory-span (plus, I try and record down things that are often hard to remember off the top of my head), so I sometimes act like a verbal agenda for those around me. Either way, I try to be as helpful as possible, so ask me if you ever need something.

To be honest, I’m not too nervous about anything quite yet, but that can be partly credited to the fact that I’m not too sure about what to expect about this summer (besides long hours). However, even if there were something to be nervous about (and hopefully, there isn’t), I don’t think I’d be the type of person to fret over it for long, what with an entire team to provide support to one another. That said, I’m really looking forward to a good summer, spent working with awesome people, teaching remarkable kids, and learning amazing lessons for myself. And from what I’ve heard so far, I’m pretty sure I’m going to come out of this summer satisfied. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that I’ll be so pleased by the end of this summer, that I’ll sign up to return the following summer.

Now for the last 3 questions. As a whole, I can pretty much eat any type of food given that the meal consists of more than just veggies (guess I won’t be going vegetarian any time soon…). My favorites include seafood of any method of preparation (i.e. raw, grilled, etc.), noodles of all types (I know some good pho places, and I’ve been dying to try this one ramen place), and just about any kind of food that can be served with a side of fries and honey mustard (my guilty pleasure). If I could go anywhere in the world, a cross country journey across Europe and Asia sounds ideal. Europe mainly because of the culture (and food), and Asia mainly because of an undying desire to experience my heritage first hand. In 10 years, I see myself working in a hospital, overworked and tired, trying to get my residency over with (but hopefully loving every moment of it, a la my favorite show, “Scrubs”).

Well there you have it, a brief glimpse into my life. I never thought I’d say this, but I am getting a bit bored of movies and the mall. So, I’m looking forward to meeting you all next week.
Friday, June 15, 2007 9:14:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My name is Jasmon Dixon and I’m going to be a sophomore next year at Centre College, a liberal arts school in Kentucky. I’m going to major in international relations and a foreign language (I speak intermediate Spanish, a little Creole, and a few phrases in Arabic due to Muslim family members.) I live in Evansville, Indiana with my mother, 17 year old brother and 13 year old sister. Most of my family on my mother’s side lives in Southern California and on my father’s side in the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Haiti.) Why do I live in the Midwest? I can’t answer that question but, honestly, I have to say I love it here!
My hobbies are music, film and immersion into things foreign to me. From kids beat boxing in the streets to the church choir’s divine harmonizing, music has been all around me ever since childhood. My favorite type of music is hip hop because that’s the type of music I relate with the most. But I appreciate ever type of music as long as it says something and has a nice beat. I play tenor saxophone and most ethnic drums like congas and bongos.
My love for film began in the summer of my junior year in high school when I took a film class during a summer program in Louisville, Ky. We were taught by a guy named Craig Miller, who is a D.G.A. (Directors Guild of America) certified Hollywood director. It’s not everyday that you can learn filmmaking from an actual working Hollywood director.
During high school, I went to Europe with the international club and it was a life changing experience for me and my whole neighborhood. No one would ever think of going overseas to another country, but when I did it was a big deal. I came back as a global citizen with an extremely opened mind and new values that I shared with my friends and family.
My favorite food has to be exotic seafood, mainly shell fish. I absolutely love black mussels too! The main foods I avoid are all greasy foods and meatloaf! Loaf is meant for bread not for meat, that’s just not right! When I go out to eat I usually pick an exotic restaurant like Ethiopian cuisine or Thai food.
Without mentors and role models like the one’s I have had in my life, I would probably be another statistic. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and programs like Breakthrough showed me that there is more to life then what you see everyday. I think this is the reason I chose to become apart of the Breakthrough program. I can relate with kids who come from underprivileged backgrounds but want to succeed in life.
Although I’ve never been, I have a lot of family that live in the West Indies. I think it would be great to go to the West Indies to meet some of my family members I’ve never met and to immerse in their culture. It’s interesting when you have family who come from a whole different background then you do. They’re my family but we are immensely different in beliefs and values.
If you didn’t already guess I’m a first year teacher and I’ll be teaching 7th grade life science. I think it will be great and very enjoyable! I look forward to meeting new people. I think that it will be great to get to know each kid and witness all their different personalities. I’m not really nervous about teaching. I’m nervous about being a boring teacher. I really dislike mundane classes that make you feel drowsy and force you into a hypnotized like state. I prefer classes to be hands on and GRIPPING! I want to make sure that my class is that way.
I have a Hakuna matata like mindset and I believe that this mindset has taken me a long way in life. Though problems may arise it’s going to be alright in the end. I’ve been in a lot of stressful situations but I’ve maintained a positive state by just saying, “Everything’s going to be alright.” You just can’t stress yourself out and beat yourself up! Just let it go and say, “Hakuna Matata.” I believe I’m extremely relaxed and I see myself bringing a relaxed feel to the Breakthrough program although, in reality, it may be intense.
In 10 years, I see myself as a working anthropologist completing an ethnographic research on media in Nepal. I want to pursue a career in anthropology because I have always found a love for immersing myself into things foreign to me (as you’ve learned previously).
I hope you’ve enjoyed my writing and I’m hyped about meeting everyone this Monday!

Jasmon Dixon



Saturday, June 16, 2007 11:11:58 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hello. My name is Ian Low and I am going to be a senior at Bellarmine College Prep. I will be teaching 7th graders this summer. I live in a medium sized family with my parents and two younger siblings. Before entering Bellarmine, I used to go to Montclaire Elementary School (up to 5th grade) and then to St. Simon School. Some of the hobbies include playing basketball, running, and hanging out with friends. Ever since I was little, I loved the game of basketball. Though I didn't make the school team, I continue to make basketball an active part of my life. Therefore, I coach the Varsity "A" team at St. Simon School. I also run on a daily basis. I love running because it gives me energy and enthusiasm. My family either live in Singapore (all four grandparents, all of my mom's side of the family, and my dad's second younger sister) or North Carolina (dad's first younger sister and younger brother).

My favorite foods include pasta with almost any kind of sauce, Chinese food, and Vietnamese food. However, honestly, I am also very picky with my food. I try to avoid all kinds of Japanese food, seafood, and really greasy foods.

I believe that everybody, at some point in our lives, needs some guidance. My teachers have guided me through the field of education and sometimes life lessons. They influenced me to spread knowledge to everyone. Everyone should be able to have the same opportunities as everybody else. No one individual is better than another. Moreover, I feel that my teachers have provided me a responsibility to use the materials I learn in the classroom and then pass it on to others. To this end, not one specific teacher has influenced me, but all of them have.

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to Rome, Italy. The first reason is that I love Roman history and to see famous landmarks, such as the Coliseum, would really be interesting and exciting. Moreover, like I said before, I love Italian food. Eating in Rome would be a memorable experience. In fact, some of my friends tell me that the food in Italy is actually rewarding and a lot better than the Italian food in the US.

When I first heard of this program, I thought of how fun it would be to teach middle school students. Having coached an 8th grade team in basketball, I wondered if teaching could be the same. Coaching was such a wonderful and rewarding experience just because the players had a great attitude. I was certain that teaching these students would be just as rewarding. Moreover, I would like to give these underprivileged students the same opportunities (in education) everybody else has. Teaching these kids would not only be exhilarating, but it will also provide me a memorable experience.

I am looking forward to teaching biology because biology has always intrigued me and teaching this subject will be extremely fun. I am also looking forward to just teaching in general. I will be able to teach the students and will most likely learn from them too. As a student myself, I learn my teachers, but I also realized that it is also a never ending learning process for the teachers. I am sure that learning from this group of kids will be worthwhile.

Overall, I am nervous about teaching, in general. Although I know it will be fun and rewarding, teaching requires a whole new level of energy. Right now, a whole bunch of questions are running through my head; for example: “Am I teaching the right way?” or “Did they get the information across?” I am just worried about being a good teacher for them so that they can learn without any complications. Though I know I will make some mistakes, just thinking about the outcomes from these mistakes makes me nervous.

As a child, my mentors and friends have praised my leadership and responsibility skills. I hope to bring those attributes to Breakthrough. My leadership will help lead these students, if they need help. It will also help bring students in order. If the leader of a group falls, then everything will be out of place for quite a while. By bringing my leadership skills to Breakthrough, I will make sure that nothing will fall out of place. Moreover, I can also lead some of the teachers. I hope that if a fellow teacher needs help, I will be able to lead him/her to the right direction. Furthermore, my responsibility skills will make me be responsible for these students. As their teacher, I am responsible for their actions. I am also responsible in getting my work done and helping others, both teachers and students, if they need it.

Ten years from now, I can see myself either as a businessman or in graduate school. As a businessman, I hope to be successful and helpful towards others. In graduate school, I hope to be doing well in classes and also learn from these classes.

Well, these are the basics of my life and I hope to see you all on Monday!

Ian Low
Sunday, June 17, 2007 9:47:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Before I start my autobiography, I am deeply sorry that this homework assignment is late. I promise, I am not a flake. Continuing on...

Hi everyone. My name is Ray Yue, and just to make things crystal clear, I am a girl. (I often get mistaken for a boy because of my name.) Anyway, moving along, I am going into my second year at University of California, Davis. My major is currently Biochemistry, and I am planning on getting a minor in Chinese and/or Education. I have a younger sister and a younger brother. I have no pets, but I really want a dwarf hamster, so I might be getting one sometime soon. I am a huge arts and crafts dork. I love opening a craft book and making all the crafts in it. I am a huge fan of video games. I know that they are supposedly “bad for you,” but they are way too much fun. I must admit I am quite a pro at Super Smash Brothers (the original on Nintendo64).

My favorite food has to be home-cooked Chinese food; basically, whatever my mom makes. I also enjoy sampling dishes from different cultures: Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Greek, etc. My favorite comfort food has to be PB&J sandwiches, along with a glass of soymilk or orange juice. I tend to stay away from anything with cheese and anything that is really sugary, such as donuts.

I have been blessed to have had so many influential teachers. I still remember my 5th grade math teacher who taught me the importance of hard work. He showed me that school is not about the number of A’s that I received but the amount of effort that I put into learning the material. My teachers in high school have guided me on the path to finding my true identity. They often reiterate the phrase, “Do what you want to do, not what others think you should do.”

This summer at Breakthrough, I will be teaching 8th grade Physical Science and an elective on nutrition. I applied to BT because I like their philosophy of students teaching students. I feel like I definitely have not only science-knowledge but also life-knowledge that I can teach to these kids. I am looking forward to interacting with the students and just being a teacher in general. I have always been of a science geek, so teaching science will be fun. I plan to do some fun and crazy science projects/experiments. During spring quarter, I took a nutrition class at Davis. I think that learning about food and our body and developing healthy eating habits is definitely an essential life skill, so I wanted to teach that as an elective. At the same time though, I am nervous about making mistakes and not knowing what to do in my classroom. (Ah! What if the students start laughing at me?) However, I know that there will be plenty of people to help me out. I am certain that BT will be a memorable experience.

I have always been complimented on my enthusiasm, so I plan to share that with my fellow BT teachers and students. I intend to begin every school day with a positive attitude and a smile on my face. Hopefully I will be able to show the students that learning can be fun.

Ten years from now, I will be almost thirty! Hopefully I will have a family by then, or at least be married to a wonderful husband. I would have graduated from UC Davis and maybe even graduate school, depending on how academically driven I feel after college. I honestly don’t know what my profession would be, but I know that it would definitely include helping people in some way, shape, or form.

Well, that's me in a nutshell, a really small, tiny nutshell...

Ray Yue
Sunday, June 17, 2007 10:30:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
:) 99.5% completion on the first homework assignment! Fantastic job everyone, I look forward to meeting each of you tomorrow. My biggest fears with teaching (1) tripping over power cords (which are quite plentiful in a science room- the classroom architects never plan appropriately for power cords) and falling flat on my face -- it has nearly happened, but luckily I catch myself before I slam onto the ground and (2) a class that is completely out of control, and will not listen ... that's my usual first day of school nightmare; my Grandma was a teacher too (along with most of my family) and even 20+ years after retirement, she still had those nightmares from time to time. They're so vivid!

Oh! and I got a new one this year, being locked inside/outside the classroom with students on the other side of the door. That happened to the teacher next door to me this past school year and they couldn't even take off the hinges! The teacher had to wait outside with the rest of the class for the lock smith to arrive, as a few 8th graders who were in the room were asking the teacher what if they needed to use the bathroom. Talk about the stuff bad dreams are made of!
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