Monthly Archives: March 2013

Jack dreams of solar systems and fails his class.

Continuing with pedagogical themed post, I decided to do something different. I was looking through my previous works from college when I found this short story I wrote for an English class. It is about a boy, named Jack Sandoval. It is a critique on standardized testing in public school. It uses colorful language at times, while painting a profile of a low-income student. I decided to posted it here to ask my readers this question: Why don’t we focus more on problem solving skills and logic than teaching test taking skills? Let’s make learning more socially engaging. I provided an annotated bibliography that gives more explanation into the ideas of my story. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. Enjoy.



The blankets were stifling that night, for they were pushed to the floor as he woke. The alarm buzzed and vibrated around the nightstand until he slammed the snooze button violently to cease the infernal racket. He didn’t want to get up this morning. Turning the fan on full blast he sat up, letting it cool his racing mind. Continue reading



Filed under blog, literacy, pedagogy, writing

The Student Whisperer

Mary dressed upHave you ever seen the Dog Whisperer? It is one of my favorite shows! It is also a show that has changed my pedagogical persona as well. I am always trying to make connections when I learn something, so I can better acquire the knowledge.

The show, The Dog Whisperer, promotes the idea of calm, assertive energy to better connect with your dog and properly discipline when needed.  Alright so if I take that idea from the show and apply it to my classroom it makes perfect sense. Alright, I can feel that disapproval wagging its finger from here! I don’t think my students are dogs or I should treat them as such. Mary, my childhood dog  pictured to the left, would be a really cute student in class but my students are human beings; I should treat them with dignity and respect using the correct decorum.

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Filed under Japan, learning, pedagogy

This is Udon Country, son.

I feel this post has been long overdue. I had a friend in the US, whom went to the same college as me, do a “Ramen Run” for a farewell dinner of sorts. I was then featured on her blog. I feel that being in Japan I want to return the favor to my friend by doing a “Ramen Run” post.

If you have known me for a while you would know that I love tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata region in Japan. The broth is easy to mess up but when it is done right it is true pork magic. However, I live in a region of Japan that is famous for Sanuki style udon (hence the western style taunt in the title). Udon is the best here and good ramen restaurants are hard to find. There was a small shop that had blase tonkotsu ramen in it, which was recently bought and changed into a chain-owned ramen shop.

The shop is now called Menya Kiseki (麺屋軌跡). I never tried the previous defuncted ramen shop, but this was a massive step up.


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Filed under Japan

The purging of an Imaginary Enemy

Stress peaks, anger breaks, and emotions flow – Sure, I could describe how I feel in certain situations, but I find it incredibly fascinating when music captures a feeling and let’s me purge my own. I definitely remember doing a purging process in my car to White Zombie’s old metal grind “I am Hell” at 85 miles per hour on the freeway to school paying later in remorse for an excellent session as I stared at my speeding ticket.

White Zombie performs I am Hell

Music bring so much to the human condition. I found connections to this statement from a lesson I recently taught about art. Any art form has meaning behind it. I think both my students and I were in agreement that art is engendered with human emotion. The creation is organic and relatable to all people around the world. This is why music is so powerful.

So recently, because of some personal events in my life, I have really connected with the song Imaginary Enemy by Circa Survive. It is strange because this is really not my favorite style of music. I latched onto the song because I can somehow see myself in it some how: my feelings, a similar event that relates to the meaning of the song, etc. I can’t stop listening to it. I am engrossed in a purging of my emotions through the power of music. What is something you’ve purged your emotions to lately?

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Filed under Music, words