January Roundup


This month I finished my three week backpacking trip around Ecuador, wrote report cards, and participated with my class in our first ever trip to the Educational Immersion Center (EIC) at my school.  Other than report cards, it was a month full of firsts: first time riding a wave as I went surfing, first time ziplining, and the first time at the EIC.

The EIC is a tech lover’s dream come true because it is a simulated space ship equipped with two ipads, a laptop, and other doodads for each student.  They work as teams to accomplish a mission over the course of five days for two hours every day.  It is intense, but fun!

Now I am already starting to plan for my next December break: Chile or Brazil?  How can I top Christmas in the Galapagos and NYE in Montanita? Thoughts?! 

Around the Web:

Whenever I think about how slow my internet is in Venezuela I can remind myself that I don’t need to use El Paquete like they do in Cuba.

As a teacher, I think it is really awesome that Columbia University has created The Open Syllabus Project.  They have collected tons of syllabi and have dissected the data and ranked the most commonly assigned books in university courses.  Open Culture has provided links to many of the most commonly assigned books.

If you are planning on visiting me (or going to one of the other Latin American countries nearby) postpone the trip if you are pregnant.  We have a new dengue like fever, called Zika, going around that is said to cause birth defects. So far two of my students have come down with Zika since we got back from break last week.

I’ve never thought of going on a vacation with the primary goal of taking pictures, but what if you could take a “Photography Vacation“? Where would you go?


In case you missed this live performance of Aretha Franklin’s famous “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” check it out because I got goosebumps when I first heard it! That woman can STILL belt it out!

I’m not a big Beiber fan, but my friend shared “Love Yourself” with me on the way to the beach the other day and it is really sweet:


I have a goal to read 105 books this year (for fun- not including the many books I read to my class). I keep track on Goodreads.com; give it a try if you haven’t already. So far I have read 12 books, but as of now, not many of them are very notable.  Has anyone else found the Kindle Unlimited books to be a bit less exciting? Recommendations?

One book that I managed to finish in just over a day is “Wreckage” by Emily Bleeker. It is about a man and woman who survived a plane crash and lived to tell the tale.  What are they hiding and why does everyone think they are lying? This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn’t want to put it down.


I know that I am REALLY late, but I juuuuussssttt watched my first episode of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. I don’t know how I missed out on this show for so long.  Great acting, good looking actors, and a fun plot- sweet!

Shameless is back on TV!  I love watching this TV family overcome so many struggles and then fall right back into the same old drama.



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