Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pay it forward

A former student of mine from SJSU invited me down to visit her student association last night. I met up with about 15 Bio students at SJSU and gave a talk about "my story" - how I got to be where I am. Three of my former students attended and it was so, so fun to see them. They are all getting ready to graduate and move on with their lives. I'm thrilled that I could have been a small part in their education. And that they enjoyed their time with me.

I wrote a letter of rec for another student. She got into a graduate program that she was applying for, and she sent me this lovely little figurine that says "thank you". It's amazing to make a difference in people's lives. I am so glad that I could be a part of these students' lives, even for a brief time.

One of my former students is applying for medical school. She is incredibly talented and has always wanted to be a doctor. When I asked her where she is applying, she said CA and NY, mostly because she feels safer here. She is Muslim. 

Diversity is one of the things I value most, especially in science. It's so refreshing to see new perspectives and to hear new ideas. I am so hopeful for the next generation of scientists and biology majors. And I hope I can keep inspiring students to study science and to be good citizen scientists. I think we have a ways to go. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Mudslide with tree
Blurry waterfall 
Another mudslide.

Tuesday, the rains came and all roads in/out of LH were closed. Mudslides, rock slides, trees down, wires down. All of it resulting from supersaturated soil. 32" of rain so far this season.
Yesterday we headed into work on the only open road - long & twisty. About 45min in, D barfed everywhere.
Alex brought us back home & then he went to work. 
Jumping in mud puddles 
Stir crazy

Last night, Alex got almost all the way home on twisty road & encountered a huge Redwood down on the road. No passing through. Back up to top of hill, went very far north to another highway, into Half Moon Bay and all the way around on the coast. 

We are home today. More rain in the forecast. Roads barely open & likely to close with more rain. Expecting 2-3" today.

We might lose our minds :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

End of January - how'd I do?

I set some goals - lets see how I did!

1) keep a gratitude list - one entry every day - I made 12 entries...
2) Read 4 books: I read 7 books!
3) Blog 6 times: I blogged 6 times!
4) Plan a date day: nope
5) Do the Whole 30 - done!
6) Do the 31 day Yoga Revolution - done!
7) De-clutter back bedroom - threw out a bunch of paperwork, but still have a pile of things to donate
8) Make student loan payment - done!
9) Try the envelope system: tried this, but didn't keep up on it
10) Discuss budget with Alex - done!

Mantra for the month: Let go of the past

Some things I am proud of:
1) I made my health and self care a priority and that turned out really well. I committed to eating well and exercising every day and I am super pleased about that. Last night, when I did my last of the 31 day Yoga Revolution, I almost cried. It was such a super thing to complete.

2) I've been experiencing some serious setbacks with my project at work and I've been struggling every day with it. It's been weeks. But I've been focused on pushing things forward. I've identified ways I can change and adapt. Things I can do to improve. And I've learned so much more about a programming language and using the command line and I'm really proud of myself for that. So even though I didn't complete all the goals I wanted, I still feel proud of myself for sticking to the project and seeing it through.

3) This month we had a lot of tough things to face. The weather was really rough on our little town and the rain washed out a portion of the road we drive every day. Most days were unpredictable - using alternate routes to get into work, losing power, flooding, etc. But I tried to keep my mood and my life as routine as possible and we have made it through. Doubtless, more storms are coming. But I feel more prepared.

Conversation with D

(driving home)

D: Who lives over that hill?

Me: I don't know.

D: Maybe Casey?

Me: No, honey, Casey lives far away.

D: Why?

Me: Because he lives near Grandma and Grandpa

D: Maybe Casey lives over that hill to keep away from the ants.

Me: ....

Friday, January 20, 2017

Flowing thoughts

Not a haiku today
too many thoughts
end of an era
I thought we had it so good
now, uncertainty
elimination of comforts
little government support
let's start "winning" again
life will change
probably not for the better
I'm concerned for lots of things
climate change
science deniers
vaccine refusals
free speech
civil rights
human rights
conflict with police
elimination of federal money for education
creating a dumbed down society
more people to vote for Trump
somehow people wanted this
voting against their own interests
how the republicans do it I will never understand
I refuse to believe I live in a liberal bubble
I like people
I want to help them
help my students
give them a leg up
when we all look out for one another
we win
yes, we can

looking for leadership
I hope I can find some
or be some
let's comfort one another
love one another
then, let's prepare for battle
it's gonna be a long one

Friday, January 13, 2017


Back to civilization What does your commute look like?
Part of the road to our house is falling away
But there were blue skies this morning
We had to take a detour to a one lane road
In the trees
Wait for our turn
Make sure we have rescue bots in the car
Fallen trees
And power lines

Friday joys

Learning the joy of the selfie stick
Tshirt selfie
My loves