Friday, October 31, 2014


A doctor, leopard,
The Queen of Hearts (actually a guy)
and a deer!
Dr. Who (Danny) and
a Zombie (Zeke)
Well, it's Halloween. A lot of kids dressed up this year, more so than in past years. And there are some really good costumes! We have a minimum day today, not because of Halloween but because it is the end of the second progress grading period. and I'm glad it's Friday! I'm on my way out to buy some Kettle Corn at the Halloween Fair on campus. I hope most of my students have a good weekend. It is supposed to rain tonight for the first time in months. I just want them to stay safe on this crazy, spooky, holiday.

Minnie Mouse and Wednesday
from the Addam's Family
 (although I think the doll should be headless!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014


     I think a lot of people would be amazed at how many high school students have tattoos, or ink in the more popular term. The number of students with tats has grown substantially just since I started teaching 8 years ago. I have had many, many students with tattoos in my class so I think they are growing in popularity in this age group. And yes, I know, you question, "But how can they get a tattoo when they are underage?" Age doesn't seem to make a difference any more. 
     Many of the tattoos one sees around the school are done by ex prisoners. Usually an older brother or uncle of the students who learned their art while incarcerated. Other times the students get an older relative to go to the parlor to sign permission slips. One of the kids in my 3rd. period class recently got a new tattoo with his mother's name, on a ribbon, wound through two large roses. It was nicely done. But, again, it was done in just black ink, probably because colored ink is more expensive and the boys, especially, seem to think that colors are not manly. His uncle took him to get it and signed for him. I asked the student if his mother was mad. He said she had been in the beginning but she was glad it was her name and not some girlfriend's. 
     My kids have a wide variety of tats from "Family First" to "Mom" to their children's name (those that already have kids) to dates of a loved one's passing. And then there is the gang related ones like the "805" that crawled up the side of one kid's calf to his knee. He liked to wear shorts to show it off until administration made him start wearing high socks to cover it. 
     When I first started teaching I was a trifle shocked to see a tattoo on kids this young, (some are freshmen) but now it doesn't seem to bother me. The kids see it as art and a way to express themselves and we usually have a nice conversations about them. My students ask me if I have tattoos, or would I get one? I have flirted with the idea, but always shy away from it. Maybe someday...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


     As I walk around the campus every day I hear snippets of conversation between the students and their friends. And many of my students will either call out to me or stop and talk. So here are some of the things I've heard and talked about this week: "Hey! Mrs. Nelson! Wanna buy a phone? It only has one crack on the back!"
One boy to a girl: "What do you mean she doesn't want me to call her? Doesn't she know I'm the whole package?" (He was being serious!)
"Guess what, Mrs. Nelson, I just found out I'm pregnant!" (One of my former students, now a junior. She was excited!)
"Mrs. Nelson do you want to hear my new pick up line?" "Sure," I said, "I can hardly wait!" He says,"O.K. here it is. You walk up to a pretty girl, see, and say 'You're a 9 and I'm the 1 that will make you a 10.' " I couldn't help but laugh. "Cute," I said. He was very pleased with himself.
"It's been 3 days since I had a Coke. I'm dying!" (One girl walking to lunch with another girl.)
"You should have worn boots today, Mrs. Nelson, then you could have kicked his ass." One student talking about another student cutting up in class.
When I asked a student if he had completed his reading logs: "It's all a matter of perspective, Mrs. Nelson."
"Mrs. Nelson, do you want to sponsor my race car? Tires? They only cost $100 a piece. I'll put the name of your blog on my car!"
And the laugh of the day: On a walk to the library: "Look Mrs. Nelson, I can balance a book on my head!" I said, "Young ladies used to practice that to learn about poise." "Aw, I don't need that! I know all about boys!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Football vs Soccer

      Like almost every high school in the United States, we have a football team. We are proud of our football team. They try hard and I see them practicing every day. The coaches make them work, usually in full gear! But the sad thing is that we don't usually win many games. Part of the problem is that the Hispanic population in our school are not very big people. This serves as a big disadvantage, especially in the game of football.
     I have often wondered why we don't concentrate more on soccer in this school. Soccer is the national pastime in most of the South American countries where our students hail from. They are obsessed with soccer; the team, the players. I have many students stay home during the World Cup games, even if Mexico is not in the play offs.
     On any given Monday the talk about the classroom is intense about soccer! They argue back and forth and relate the best moments of the weekend's game, usually at full volume. And, we have some really excellent soccer players in this school. We have made it to the CIF Championships many times, but it is always just a footnote in the daily bulletin. It deserves more acclaim and recognition because it is something the kids on this campus really excel at. I don't know if it will ever change. Football has been the hallmark of the high school team games  for so long and soccer is relatively new. I just think it is a shame that we are missing out on the opportunity to showcase our student's talents.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Red Ribbon Week

     Today marked the start of Red Ribbon Week. This is a new celebration for our school. Most of the grade schools and junior highs do this but we decided to get on board this year and have our kids pledge themselves to a life without drugs. I think it is a great idea! The picture is of the ASB kids but many of the other kids, and teachers, also wore red today. Each day of this week they came up with a different motto for the day and activity to match. Monday was "Red Day": Wear red from head to toe. Tuesday will be "Drugs and I Don't Match Day" and students are supposed to wear mismatched shoes and socks! Wednesday will be "Give Drugs the Boot Day" when students will wear western attire, especially boots. Thursday will be "Turn Your back on Drugs Day" with the students wearing their clothes inside out or backwards. Friday will complete the week with "Drugs are Scary Day" as the students and staff dress in Halloween costumes and there is a contest during lunch. Before I taught at a high school I never realized how many activities are promoted to get the kids involved on a weekly basis. Something is always going on. We want our students to "own" their campus and all these activities help in that effort. When I was in high school we didn't have all these activities. We had "Pep Rallys" before the home games and we had student elections and Homecoming and Spring Formals. But it seems like we have something going on every week here in Santa Maria. The end of this week marks the end of the second progress grading period. I am hoping that my kids step up and do better than they did the last progress report. I'll keep you posted.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Marijuana Socks

     Yesterday I talked about my shoes and how the students notice everything new about me. But today I want to talk about an alarming trend I have noticed about the students.
     Almost every day I see students with brightly colored socks. This morning, in 2nd period I had one boy wearing bright pink socks and one girl wearing bright lime green socks. In my 5th period class I had one kid wearing the stars and stripes of the American flag. (I always was taught that wearing or using the flag in any manner other than the intended use was disrespectful, but standards have relaxed and this tradition has sadly gone away.) Even with the issue of disrespect, I find those red, white and blue socks to be less offensive than the other footwear of choice: the socks with marijuana leaves printed on them.
     The first time I saw these, I was shocked. I do not live with my head in the sand so the socks themselves did not shock me. It was the fact that I had a student wear them to school. I asked him, "Are those what I think they are?" Maybe he didn't know what it was... I know. I'll wait while you have a good laugh...
"Yes," he said.
"Who bought those for you?"
"My mom."
"Does she know what that is?"
"I think so."
"O.K. even if she did know what that is, and she did buy them for you, why on earth would you think you could wear them to school? They're inappropriate."
"They match my shorts." He was wearing black and white plaid shorts.
I told him to take them off and put them back on inside out. That didn't work. Now he had black socks with white leaves on them! So I told him to just take them off and put them in his backpack.
"What? I can't ear shoes without socks!" he said.
"Lots of kids do."
"But my feet will get cold!"
"Too bad. We're in Santa Maria, not Alaska. Buck up!" (Remember...he was wearing shorts.)
With a disgruntled sigh he took off his socks and jammed them into his backpack.
"And you better not put them on again. I see you going to other classes every day. And don't wear them to school again!"
"Ah, Mrs. Nelson!"
A teenager's motto: Test the waters at all times. Maybe no one will notice.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


    The subject today is shoes. I only mention this because my students are so observant! They notice everything about me that changes. If I get a new hair style, when I get my nails done, if I choose new glasses. But the thing they notice most about me is my shoes.
     I wear Birkenstocks. I love Birkenstocks. I have been wearing them my entire teaching life (8 years.) A few years before I started teaching I had some issues and a small surgery (actually more of a procedure) on one foot and ever since them I have found comfort in Birkenstocks. I could be the poster child for them, or the spokesperson at the very least.
     I wear the standard sandals but I also have quite a collection of the shoes, everything from tartan plaid to burgundy polka dot. I have green ones with flowers on them. I have blue with a paisley print. I have a grey and pink plaid and I have black, brown, navy and tan solids and others. And the kids notice them. They ask me about them; how much they cost and where I get them. (Not that they want to wear them, of course; but they are interested.) I tell them they are way comfortable and worth every penny they cost. I would love the ones shown in the picture above; they are cool. and I would love to have a red plaid pair, which I saw while looking for the above picture.
     I guess I should be happy the kids are awake and interested in something... now if I could only get them to take as much notice of their school work...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


     This was me today. Yesterday I started to edit the Works Cited assignments. Today I continued to edit the 5 periods worth of work and I was almost done, by 6th period, working in the last of my 7th period's papers. I was feeling pretty good. I was happy! And then it happened...I started reading the citations on a student's paper and realized I had read them before. But there were no marks on the paper. I stopped and thought a minute and then it hit me: I had another paper with the same citations on it. Same incorrect formatting and everything! I started digging through my finished papers and found it in the 6th period pile. I took it out. Laid them side by side. Yep, Exact.      
     This happens to me every once in awhile. I catch students cheating. I HATE it (and I don't use that word too often, really hardly ever) when students do this. I become so mad. I really take it rather personally. How on earth do they think they can get away with this? Are they assuming I won't read the papers? Do they actually think I'm stupid; that there will be no repercussions? 
     So, I set them aside and move on. I'm putting off thinking about it. When BAM! Another exact copy of the paper appears before my eyes. Now I have 2 students in 7th period and one in 6th period (all young men, although that hardly matters, really) trying to cheat their way through an assignment. I can hardly believe it! I throw my pen to the desk and just sit there. The kids are still watching the movie The Crucible so it is dark in the room. I am surprised my fumes weren't lighting up the space. 
     I quickly grabbed my pad of sticky notes and wrote out "Lunch in my room, tomorrow. Be there!" and handed it to the perpetrator in 6th period. Then when the students filed in for 7th period I handed each of the offenders the same note. I could have taken those two out on the ramp and spoken with them then but I wanted time to cool down and I also wanted them all together. Tomorrow before lunch I will send each of them a reminder note. If they don't show they will get met with referrals as they come up the ramp. 
     I will not stand for cheating of any kind in my class room. One of these young men has had me before so he knows me well enough not to try this. At least I thought he did. I guess not. I am anxious to hear their excuse tomorrow. They may get referrals anyway, as a consequence of their actions. And I think I will have their counselors call home and inform their parents what they did. 
     What an end to a perfectly good day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


     Today my students are watching The Crucible, after having finished reading the play. With the new schedule it will take me three days to have the kids watch it, but it is a good movie and follows the play almost exactly. I am taking advantage of the three days to correct (edit) the recently-turned-in Works Cited assignments.
     Here's how that's going:
In the beginning: "Please make sure you format your citations correctly!"
               Then:  "Please format your citations correctly!"
     After a time:  "Please format citations correctly!"
               Soon:  "Format correctly."
               Then:   "Correct format."
                Now:  "Format!"
     I am through three classes of papers. The students have shared with each other about 1/2 of the citations. Unfortunately, the first person to do the citations, did them incorrectly :{ But I will edit them all, (my eyes are crossing from the strain) and hand them back and give them the second due date. They will redo these papers repeatedly until they get them right. Without this base of information, they cannot go on to do essays and PowerPoints, as both of those require citations and a Works Cited page/slide. and through all this I keep repeating, "Writing is a process." I hope they get the "process" before June!

Friday, October 17, 2014

And...she won!

     Well, Kimmie won her bid for Homecoming Princess! She was really excited! The rally was a success. In the past the rally for homecoming lasted over an hour and consisted of skits put on by each class. The seniors usually won. But because of the shortened class schedule this year, the skits were done away with and replaced by a dance number done by each class. These are graded by the teachers and a winning class is announced at the end of each rally. Yes, we have more than one rally. Our school population runs 2700 +/- and we can only fit half that many in the gym at one time, so they have two rallies. In the first rally, that I attended and took my class to, the juniors won the dance competition. We won't find out who won the second rally's competition until later today. 
     In other news, it's Friday! Yay! SSR and a journal will eat up the periods today. I have to do a lesson plan for the substitute I am having on Monday. I am taking the day off because I am going out of town this weekend; to the Pacific International Quilt Festival, in Santa Clara, CA. Sunday we will be late getting home after a day of walking the convention center, looking and taking pictures of quilts and shopping, so I always take the Monday off. I'll be tired but it is a nice weekend with my daughter and daughter-in-law and I even get to see my son for dinner. A good time will be had by all!
     Next week the students get to finally watch The Crucible, after finishing the play. On this schedule it will take us three days to watch it but I have Works Cited assignments that I have been waiting to grade so it will be a productive 3 days for me.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kimmie for Princess

     This is Kimmie. She is running for Princess of the homecoming court. She looks cute, huh? She IS cute! I had Kimmie last year in one of my Sophomore, World Literature Classes. She is very out-going and personable. She dances (modern, I think) and is very involved in ASB, and overall, a good student. She's the girl on campus that everybody likes. She came up with this big sign (all the other candidates are putting 8"x11" posters around school: in windows and on poles) that no one has thought of doing before. Then, I noticed today, that she got one of the tallest guys on campus to carry it around, while she walked with him. She only came up in height to his arm right above his elbow. So not only was it very creative it was highly visible! Clever girl! They voted for the court today and it will be announced at the Homecoming rally tomorrow, (my student teacher is really excited to go to the rally. I informed her she had to wear red!) and the King and Queen will be voted for tomorrow and announced, I believe, at half time of the football game tomorrow night. Then the Homecoming dance is Saturday night. I have heard from a lot of the kids that many of them are going. Should be a big crowd. I will be happy if Kimmie wins her post as Princess tomorrow; I think she deserves it. But if she doesn't, it surely won't be for lack of trying!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Student Teacher

     Today I got a student teacher. I love student teachers and I love being a master teacher. In my eight years of teaching I have volunteered to mentor three student teachers. One was from Cal Poly and two have been from the same credentialing program I went through: Brandman College, a division of Chapman University, which is what they called it when I attended. (And I have the sweatshirt to prove it!) For those of you not familiar with student/master teachers, it is a program we teachers go through at the end of the credentialing process (2 years of classes after our BA.) Different schools do it differently, but Chapman has a student assigned to an already working teacher, at the grade level the student will be credentialed to teach. They have two assignments: each 8 weeks long (40 school days.) So, all of my student teachers have a single subject credential and will teach junior high or high school in the State of California. That is, if they pass all their classes and excel in their student teaching assignments. I am the second assignment for this young lady; she did an 8 week assignment at a junior high. This is her first experience teaching high school so we will have a lot to talk about. After the first day she can already tell there is a big difference in student behavior and attitudes. I should think so! When I did my student teaching I, too, had an assignment at first a junior high and then a high school. I could have taught the junior highers but I really preferred high school kids, so I am glad I got hired on at the high school level. 
     I will keep you posted on how things go. I hope I will be able to impart some good, solid, usable information to this budding teacher and be of help along her journey.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oh, No! Grades Again!

     Well, here it is again: grading time. The sad thing about these grades sheets is that most of them are not any better than they were the last grading period. :-/ I am so frustrated! I just want to scream! I cannot impress upon these young people just how important their junior year is when colleges start looking at transcripts. My lowest class average is 56%. The highest is only 83%. They are just not doing the work. As of today I have 39 kids failing my class. With a total of 132 students, that is just under 30% failing. (And that doesn't even account for the 8 people that are getting D's which in my mind might as well be F's) It is scary because I haven't even gotten to the hard stuff yet! I think it is time for interventions. This means that I am going to have some personal sit-downs with the failing students. Now I just have to figure out when I can have these. Hmmm...Looks like I'll not be having lunch for a while. 
Grade sheet posted (free of tears so far)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reading with Technology

     Every Monday my students have an assignment due of 5 reading logs. They are supposed to read every school day, for 20 minutes, and then do a log of about a paragraph in length. This came from the old California State Standards that required 9th and 10th graders to read 1 million words during the school year and 11th and 12th grade to read 1.5 millions words. To accomplish this goal it was determined that one would have to read 20 minutes a day for the school year. No. I haven't done the math. I always thought this was a good goal. So I instituted SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) when I started teaching. Those California State Standards are now being replaced by the National Common Core Standards but I still think that reading is a good thing to do so, I kept the weekly assignment. These reading logs are above and beyond any reading we do in class, like plays and novels, short stories, and poetry, not to mention any non-fiction we read. And to let the kids know how important I think they are; they are worth 25% of their entire grade.
     Last year, when we had our block schedule, (95 min. per class) I was able to let the kids do their SSR almost every day in class. Now with the new schedule, (50 min. per class) I can only carve out the time twice a week. So the students have to do much of the reading at home. But, here's the bad news: most of my students do not get a daily newspaper, or a monthly magazines or even have any books in their house. I find that hard to imagine, but it is true. Their parents don't read (I don't know if it is because they can't or won't) so don't feel it is important to have these items around. And the majority of the kids have never even been to the city library.
     But there is a light at the end of this discouraging tunnel. Many of my students are reading on-line newspapers and magazines on their phones! It's portable and free and they always have it with them, so they can read while their mom grocery shops or while waiting for a friend. I am encouraged by this. Sometimes, society downplays technology and says we are becoming anti-social. Teenagers are social by nature so I'm not too worried that their reading on their phones will make them out-casts. They have adapted and learned a new skill!
     Technology:  BRING IT ON!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Quiet Friday

     It's been a quiet day for me. Most of the kids in my periods before lunch went to the Career/College Fair at Allan Hancock College this morning. In the years past teachers accompanied the students but this year they gave the job to the counselors, so my periods before lunch were sparsely populated. I decided to show a movie to them and since I didn't want to create a separate lesson plan for only the periods after lunch, I let them watch the movie, too. I have taken the opportunity to get quite a bit of school work done and some personal computer stuff along the way.      A couple of times a year I have a day when I just show a movie. We all needs a break every once in a while. The kids seem to like it (of course they do!)and they never complain about the movie I show, (because if they do we get to do something really hard!) My first year of teaching I let the kids pick the movie for movie day. One time. It was a disaster! I couldn't get a majority vote and ended up wasting 15 min. on the process. So now, I randomly choose a movie I like (since I have to listen to it all day, 5 times) and that's the one they get. This one is one of my favorites, but my very favorite one of all is Bolt also by Disney. I have a selection of movies and TV shows I play on Halloween (nothing much gets done that day) the day before Christmas vacation (ditto) and the last day of school, (that's a given) Other than those, I show movies that correspond to the curriculum. Unless, of course I need a break, which unfortunately for my students isn't too often. (Or at least not as often as they would like me to need one!)
     But today we all needed a break. Monday we will be back at work. Another progress report is coming up in two weeks so we can't slack off too much! And no, we can't finish the movie Monday...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

College T-Shirt Days

My Alma Mater: University of Maryland University College
It's time to get applications in for college! In an effort to encourage students to apply to college the teachers and staff have made a commitment to wear their college t-shirts and sweatshirts to school, every Thursday during October and November. Unfortunately I only have sweatshirts and long sleeve t-shirts from my colleges and it has been way too hot to wear them. Hopefully, the weather will change and I'll be able to join in. The funny thing is that I don't know if the students realize we are wearing these for a reason. If they asked, we would tell them but I've never had anyone ask before :) and we have been doing this now for 6 years! If it doesn't cool down by next Thursday, maybe I'll pump the AC up in my room a couple of notches so I can wear one of my t-shirts or sweatshirts. A small waste of energy will be worth it. After all, it's for the good of the students!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Santa Maria Grapevine

I have this second period class that starts at 8;30 in the morning. It is my first class of the day as I do not have a 1st period (thank heavens because that starts at 7:30! Yikes!) It is very typical with teenagers to be inactive until 9:00 or so. (I don't understand, with all the research done, why schools insist on starting at a time when the teenage mind is not able to focus.) I have told this class that they are going to have to "WAKE UP!" because it is like pulling teeth to get any answers out of them, even to easy questions. They have mentioned several times that they would like me to furnish them with some coffee. Well, I'm not about to buy 26 kids coffee, and I am not allowed to let them sneak off campus to the next door 7-11 (although sometimes it is tempting!)
So, this morning, I was able to leave the house a little early and swing by the local Von's grocery store and buy that one period doughnuts. Von's sells fresh-daily doughnuts for $6.99 a dozen. I surprised the class with them and they loved it (and me, of course!) But, I told them that they couldn't tell the kids they knew in my other periods. I can't afford to buy all my periods treats like this all at the same time. Oh, the other periods will get some...maybe one period a month.
So, after second period I have a prep period, I disposed of the boxes (I ran over and put them in the ASB trash can!) and didn't think any more about it. 4th period came in and immediately wanted to know where their doughnuts were! Somebody snitched! I denied all involvement and told them they were crazy, that whoever told them they had doughnuts was pulling their legs. After about 5 minutes of this back and forth, they finally gave up. 
But just to let you know...the grapevine is alive and well at Santa Maria High! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Works Cited Page

   For the past two weeks my students have been working on a Works Cited assignment. A Works Cited page is part of MLA (Modern Language Association) documentation that is required on an essay where information is retrieved from another source besides one's own thoughts or knowledge. It is used to prevent plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's words, ideas, pictures, graphs, photos, etc... as your own, without giving them credit. (And that, my friends, is the basic definition of the word, although most students feel they would rather learn old Latin instead of this easy term and its definition.)
     So, like I said, my students have been doing this assignment for 2 weeks now where they have to find 13 random pieces of information, learn how to cite them and create a Works Cited page. The purpose of this assignment is to front-load (that means teach them in advance) the Works Cited page so that when they do their persuasive essay with research and their PowerPoint project they will know how to give credit to their resources.
     They had three days in the Computer Lab while I taught them basic formatting of the Word document, and taught them shortcuts to getting this paper done. that was at the beginning of the two weeks. Now, the assignment is due; this next Monday to be exact. I have asked them repeatedly how the assignment is going. "Remember," I said, "I'm here every day at lunch, before school and on most days I can stay after school if you ask. If you need help or have a question, come see me." Only 6 out of my 135 students have walked across the threshold to my room to ask a question.
     Should I be worried? One of my students stopped by my desk on the way out of the class the other day and asked me, (and I quote verbatim) "Mrs. Nelson? You know that thingy we have to do on that paper in the computer?" "You mean the Works Cited Assignment?" "Yeah," he says. "I don't know if I'm going to able to figure that out." (Must add here, he was not one of the six that came to see me, nor did he have any intention of coming to see me.) "And?" I say, "Did you have a question about the assignment?" "Yeah. Is there a Plan B for that?" He asks, to which I answered, "Plan B would be that you fail this class because you didn't do the assignments and I wave to you as I leave school for the summer and you are starting summer school to make this class up."
     It will be interesting to see if he comes up with the assignment or his own Plan B!

Monday, October 6, 2014


     This morning when I got to school I found one of these balloons tied to the hand rail of my ramp. It reads, "Buy your tickets for Homecoming Now 6th - 10th $10 per person 13th -17th $15
     I thought, "This is clever!" As I looked around I noticed them all over the place, red, like mine and white ones also. There must be well over 100 of them all over campus. Definitely a new way to advertise; must more eye-catching than a sign!
     There have been difficulties in the past 3 or 4 years, because of the economy, with ticket sales for the dances, including Homecoming and even the Senior Prom. We used to have several other dances a year but they have gone by the wayside now and just these two are left as far as I know. 
     We will have a rally, and a King and Queen and their court will be chosen and paraded around the field at half time of the football game. The students are already starting to campaign for this essential rite of high school passage. I hope the economy doesn't ruin it for them all!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Career Day #4

    Today was day four of the Career Unit I've been having. We had a presenter from SBBC (Santa Barbara Business College) Her name is Liz Mesa. Liz gave two different presentations. The first one was a personality quiz to let the students help determine what type of job they might be suited for. It is a nice interactive presentation where the kids watch a video and follow directions to make their choices with a remote control. The kids like this because they get to use a tool! :) The second presentation she gives is more of an informational video about what type of classes, degrees and certificates that SBBC offers. One of their more popular series of classes is Criminal Justice. Their newest addition to their classes is one that teaches Aviation: Aircraft and Equipment. This adds to the wealth of information they have gotten all week as we have entertained all the presenters. The career unit will culminate next week as we attend the Allen Hancock Career Fair on Friday, the 10th. 
     I am ready for the week to be over. It has been beastly hot this past week; today it was supposed to hit 100* Good Grief! The students are dying, going from class to class, and we have had several kids suffer from heat stroke (none of mine). I thank the powers-that-be for a room with an air conditioner. Some of the rooms on our campus, because it was built so long ago, do not have air conditioning. Yikes! This week has been fun but it will be nice to get back to a regular pace next week.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Career Day #3

     Today we had a representative, Robert, from UTI (Universal Technology Institute.) He gives a good presentation and I have several kids in each class that are highly interested in applying to UTI to get trained to be a car mechanic. Not only do they offer classes in general mechanics but they also offer big rig, diesel, motorcycle and marine engine repair. I find it interesting that, even though this field of occupation is 90% male dominated, the CEO of UTI is a woman who has been running the school for 20 years. So the presentation is not only targeted toward boys but girls also, which I really like. Being a woman in a field where there is mostly men, these days, that if the woman is good, she can usually make more money than a man, in the same field. I love that! And another thing I like is they don't sugar coat the amount you have to pay for the education. Right up front they tell you what it's going to cost you, but you can be a mechanic ($30,000) in one year (unless you want to specialize) and you are making a life-long investment in a career that will pay you much more than that in a year. Day three was well received by the students and again, I was able to get a lot of work done!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Career Day #2

     Today Teresa Hanan from the Arts Institutes came to present to my classes. The kids, as always, were fascinated. Teresa shows them clips of videos of students' work, some that have gone national on TV ads and in other venues, like You Tube and major corporations. The Arts Institutes has campuses all over the United States and teaches Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, Fashion Design, Fashion  Marketing, Animation, Graphic and Web Design, Advertising, Interior and Industrial Design, Game Design and Programming, Special Effects, Audio Production, Digital Film and Photography. I always have a lot of students who are creative and I have had many over the years actually go to the Arts Institutes. Tomorrow we are having a representative from UTI (Universal Technical Institute) coming.