Sunday, October 3, 2010

Greetings! From Guate

If you have read the previous post, you will know that Mr. Pereira and I are starting this blog together. To start things off, we are telling you a little bit about ourselves. This is a curious challenge for me, as students at both the GW Community School in Virginia and the Equity American School in Guatemala City know me. However, many of you know me in different ways, so this is a great opportunity to write to you as a general audience of my beloved students. Plus, who knows what crazy crap I have told some of you, but not all of you?

In considering how to tell you about myself, I came upon a funny idea. . . I would go back into my digital past and dig up the Myspace (gasp!) profile I wrote for myself before I met Andie Arnold or Edie Garcia, Joe Ramsay Clark or Amir Mubarak. So I did, and I think it says a lot about me (for better or for worse). Here it is, in all its glory:

  • I am a teacher. I am a citizen of the world. I am an eager soul. I am a best friend. I am an awesome uncle. I am FOR sandwiches. I am interested in individuals, not systems (Beware the BUREAUCRATS!! BEWARE THE POWER HUNGRY STOOGES AT THE TOP!!!! IN FACT, BEWARE POWER IN ALL OF ITS FORMS!! IT IS NOTHING BUT TROUBLE!). I am full of gratitude (sometimes I am loudly full of gratitude). I am aware of the good I am capable of. I am carefully tinkering with how I might facilitate that good. I am sour sometimes. I am ready. I am great.

I received a Bachelors of Science in Education degree with a major in English Secondary Education from Northern Arizona University in 2005. While at NAU, I didn't do any research nearly as interesting as the stuff Mr. P did for his Cognitive Science thesis, but I was, as Mr. P points out, in a travelling hootenanny, which is kind of like a traveling musical party. We drove a van all over the United States performing something that wasn't quite a play, wasn't quite a concert, and wasn't quite a documentary in civic centers, playhouses, old converted churches, and casinos. One of the members of our band backed over a group of nuns because their outfits were the same color as the crosswalk he was trying to maneuver. No nuns were seriously hurt.

I think our college experiences explain a lot about how Mr. P and I differ in some interesting ways. While he was researching poetry in a six by six room, I was playing Woodie Guthrie songs for the good people of Tucumcari, New Mexico (pop. 5,268). I might be worldly, while Mr. Pereira is cerebral. But these differences almost completely miss the point, because Mr. Pereira is in fact more similar to me than almost anyone I have ever encountered. We're both remarkably curious people. We both love soul music. We both think Mr. Hartman has bad taste in movies. We are both pretty anxious and pretty loud. We are both intensely driven to be effective educators. Without that last similarity, in fact, I have no idea where I would be today. When I started out as a teacher I was, as they say, "full of piss and vinegar." This means that I was very enthusiastic and very confident, but not very skilled. Luckily, Mr. Pereira was there to teach me how to take my enthusiasm and turn it into effective education.

For four and a half years, Mr. P's and my classrooms were so close that we could often hear each other screaming through the walls. I for one miss his muffled voice very much. Now that we are 1,849 miles apart, we thought we would use the power of this blog to bring our classrooms a little closer together. So, while we're not physically near, maybe we can still hear each other screaming through the walls.


  1. I am ridiculously flattered that I was mentioned in this. I miss you.

  2. its nice how you describe your connection on your friendship with your friend Mr. P. i think its pretty cool on how you described the way you both thought that making this blog would make your classes closer once again. i also liked how you flash backed to the past of your life before coming to Guatemala and to Equity American School. i see that it must have been hard to come here to Guatemala without him.