Classroom Graffiti

It should be a recipe for disaster. The classroom left wide open during 7th grade lunch by a naive substitute. Seventh graders are notorious for shenanigans and poor decision making. Their favorite activities seem to be deliberately destroying things on accident and inventing new ways to bully each other. Low and behold a gaggle of 7th graders had snuck in to my classroom at some point and left graffiti splayed all across the whiteboard for me to find upon my return at the end of the day. It gave me strong feelings so I snapped a couple photos with my phone and then forgot all about it. I rediscovered the photos recently as I was going through and organizing older and older photos, trying to piece together the forgotten days of my past.

This was my white board on the day before the last day of school 4 years ago, which was coincidentally the last year I taught 7th grade science.



This is the type of thing that makes me really love being a teacher. If only every day could end like this.

Posted for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters


Pretending to be a Grown Up

I feel like I’m always pretending to be something I’m not. I won a Teacher of the Year award a couple years ago and I still worry that they’ll eventually  discover I’m some sort of fraud and cart me away, just another impostor pretending to be teacher. Apparently pretending is one of my strongest skills. Sometimes I wonder what I’ll really be when I grow up, if I ever do.

Here’s my list of things I’ve at one time or another wanted to be when I grow up.

  • Comic Book Artist
  • Dinosaur Expert*
  • Stephen King
  • Professional Baseball Player
  • Circus Clown*
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Fireman
  • Pizza Artist*
  • Hobo
  • Herpetologist*
  • Matt Groening*
  • Zookeeper
  • Graphic Designer*
  • Photo Journalist
  • Mountain Climber
  • Bank Robber*
  • Entomologist
  • Radio Announcer*
  • Screenwriter
  • Science Teacher*
  • Marine Biologist
  • Professional Skateboarder*
  • Cowboy*
  • Fabulously Wealthy
  • Stunt Man*
  • Retired
  • John Carter of Mars*
  • Professional Surf Bum*
  • Organic Farmer
  • Microbiologist
  • Landscape Architect*

When I was younger I used to think that I could be anything I wanted when I grew up.

I wonder when this idea of endless possibility became some silly childhood fantasy?

Hopefully it’s never too late to grow up and become anything you want.

( * indicates things I have actually been and/or pretended to be)

when i grow up i wanna (by globochem3x1minus1)

Posted for the DP Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender

Inside the Cal Academy of Science

I took my 6th grade scientists to the California Academy of Science last year. So much to see inside that magical building. So many layers inside other insides. Who would suspect that one could learn so much about the world outside by traveling inside.

For the DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Weekly Photo Challenge – “Selfies”

“Your ego is not your amigo.” – Tony Alva

I take lots of photos, but rarely any featuring myself. Every once in a while a selfie sneaks into my photo roll, but it is never a direct attempt. I see my students take hundreds of selfies in the course of a few minutes. They exalt in the fact that the word “selfie” has been added to the official lexicon of the English language. I know because they tell me about it every time I question their motives. Sometimes it seems that their main purpose in possessing a powerful portable phone in their pocket is to take pictures of themselves and their friends. How many different pictures with pouty lips and finger signals can one person take? More and more it seems that kids are truly the centers of their own universes.

I like this challenge because it gives me a a chance to share some of the things I have done and continue doing, and some of the amazing places I have visited during my doings. But I will never be the center of my own photos, but rather a small and after thunk accent. Sometimes I think I take so many photos because I have such a horrible memory. The photograph stands of proof that I was there, and helps me remember all those moments muddled in the memory banks. Why the hell do I need to be in it? I took the photo after all, didn’t I? I was there somewhere. I may not remember taking the photo, but it got on my camera somehow.

And despite my best attempts to quell my ego and lose myself in the moment, these photos stand as proof that even during my attempts to stay hidden, the evil amigo sometimes makes an appearance. I must try to remember that I am not the center of the known universe, despite the illusion of such provided by my unique and limited vantage point. 

Easier said than done.

Past, Present, Future

Another Object, for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge

thunder lizard skulll

science is a bridge between the past and the future

As a middle school science teacher and recovering biologist, I  love what this photo represents. Science is a bridge between the past and the future. It uncovers the past and shapes the future. The only thing that might have made it better was if I had actually captured a scientist working in the background. Apparently they were not working so hard that day.