My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
7/10. If I had to redo my high school experience, I would talk to more people (I was very quiet in my classes) and show more of myself to those who were not already my friends. That's where the score of 7 out of 10 comes from. High school was fine; not great, but not bad. I never strayed from who I was back then and fully believed in myself, and still do. I had a lot of good friends and we had a lot of fun but I don't think my teachers knew me.
Grades in high school
A's and B's. My parents supported me and encouraged me to do my best but were not upset if I received grades lower than an A. I never felt pressure to perform. I was in Honors English in 9th-11th but had no interest in being in the advanced classes so I transferred out to regular 12th grade English senior year and it was a wonderful respite. I ended up going to a university where there were no letter grades and I still feel strongly about the negatives of grades.
English, Visual Arts
I was always in "B" lane math but for senior year I was placed in an "A" lane physics class with [teacher name omitted]. When, after the first few days of class, I told my counselor that it was too difficult, she told me I couldn't transfer out to the section that was better suited to my mathematical ability. The reason was there were too many others who were leaving the class and the teacher would not have enough students. I suffered through an entire year of physics, not understanding much, cutting class when there was a test, and writing in my diary about how I wanted to die because of it. Pretty sad.
Arts / Crafts
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
UC Santa Cruz.
I first majored in anthropology but then switched to Art and focused on ceramic sculpture.
Post-graduate education or training
After five years of undergrad, I did a one-year post-baccalaureate program in Art at UCSC. I got my teaching credential when I was 30.
Places lived in US
Current occupations / past occupations
I am a 6th grade teacher, artist and running coach. Before that I was an artist in San Francisco and worked at a natural foods grocery store and at Peet's Coffee.
Industries I've worked in
- Retail Trade
- Educational Services
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Success is not related to money, nor is it about how many possessions you have or what you look like on the outside. Perhaps love is involved, but not necessarily love for a life partner, but more love of self and love for life. Success means you are making a positive difference for other human beings. Success is not selfish. Success is being able to find happiness in things such as the outdoors, art, friends, family, books, walking, running, etc. Success is working on something and accomplishing a goal, no matter how simple or small.
My definition of success has not changed over time.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Being an elementary school teacher for 17 years and guiding hundreds of 10-, 11-, and 12-year-olds as they find out who they are. Giving kids a path to understand how to become themselves as participants in the world around them. Facilitating a way for kids to find their voice and see the larger picture outside of their bubble. Helping them deal with social issues, gain skills to handle the stresses of life, and be mindful and reflective as well as empathetic and kind.
My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
Foothills Park or the Baylands.