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Graduate School Part 2

11 Aug

I recently realized that there hasn’t been a year of my life since age 4 that I have not been in school. I know that this is typical for medical and PhD students, but I thought I would be done with formal schooling a long time ago. It’s been just over five years since graduating college and I am currently pursuing my second masters degree.

Although I already have a masters in engineering, that was not enough for the state of NY to allow me to pursue a teaching certification. Apparently I need to take education courses in order to be fully certified. Well, I just finished up my first full year of this education degree and so far I have maintained a 4.0. This semester I took Educational Psychology and the History of Education. Having to take classes that deal with understanding people, after taking all math and engineering coursework in college is quite a shift for me. This report card is one for the fridge!

Report Card

Also, I must admit that I was quite proud of my final project for my class about the history of education and the different theorists. We had to come up with  a visual metaphor to trace the roots/foundations of American schooling. The visual representation had to include at least four of the theorists we learned about and at least two significant tensions, questions and controversies in American education. This is what I came up with:

Visual Project

And yes, that’s me, the mad scientists. Looking back, I should have put a meter stick in his hands instead of a spatula. I am not very artistic but I am proud of myself for this I might even hang it up in my room. Just one year left of this degree, hopefully I can maintain the 4.0

Student View

23 May

It’s been quite a busy time now that it is almost time for the regents state exams. I managed to finish the curriculum which finished with modern physics. Although I find the topic of quantum physics incredibly interesting, I found myself having a lot of trouble explaining the role of photons, hadrons and leptons in the subatomic world. It’s so difficult to teach a world that doesn’t function the way we are used to when it comes to interacting with the things around us on a daily basis. My fix to this was to pick up some books on quantum physics and read up!



Though it may look like there are two of the same books for a Brief History of Time, one of them is actually A Briefer History of Time. My favorite so far is Quantum – A Guide for the Perplexed by Jim Al-Khalili.

On a more interesting note, my students have been staying late after school since it’s crunch time before the regents! At the end of the day they are usually just completely drained so I let them just hang out and draw on the white board and smart board. Today’s artwork was a picture of me, in my classroom.

period 3 art

It’s funny to see how my students view me. My favorite part about the whole drawing is how I am saying “Use your reference tables” For those who are unfamiliar with the NYC regents, students get a 6 page reference table with all the equations they need for physics.   I guess I refer them back to it quite a lot. I would have made it an all caps rage though, since I am usually screaming it out at the top of my lungs!

There are only….
33 days left to the end of the school year
21 days until all my students take their regents exams
15 teaching days

First year as a teacher is almost complete. Then….SUMMER VACATION!!!!

Lies you will be told

27 Mar

Being on spring break I have had more time to read. This really spoke to me. Enjoy.

Emotional Creature

Here’s what you will be told:
Find a man
Seek protection
The world is scary
Don’t go out
You are weak
Don’t care so much
They’re only animals
Don’t be so intense
Don’t cry so much
You can’t trust anyone
Don’t talk to strangers
People will take advantage of you
Close your legs
Girls aren’t good with:
Making difficult decisions
Lifting things
Putting things together
International news
Flying planes
Being in charge.
If he rapes you, surrender,
You will get killed trying to defend yourself
Don’t travel alone
You are nothing without a man
Don’t make the first move,
Wait for him to notice you
Don’t be too loud
Follow the crowd
Obey the laws
Don’t know too much
Tone it down
Find someone rich
It’s how you look that matters,
Not what you think.

Here’s What I’m Telling You:
Everyone’s making everything up
There is no one in charge except for those
Who pretend to be
No one is coming
No one is going to
Rescue you
Mind-read your needs
Know your body better than you

Always fight back
Ask for it
Say you want it
Cherish your solitude
Take trains by yourself to places
You have never been
Sleep out under the stars
Learn how to drive a stick shift
Go so far away that you stop being afraid of
Not coming back
Say no when you don’t want to do something
Say yes if your instincts are strong
Even if everyone around you disagrees
Decide whether you want to be liked or admired
Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out
What you’re doing here
Believe in kissing
Fight for tenderness
Care as much as you do
Cry as much as you want
Insist the world be theater
And love the drama
Take your time
Move as fast as you do
As long as it’s your speed.

Ask yourself these questions:
Why am I whispering when I have something to say?
Why am I adding a question mark at the end
Of all my sentences?
Why am I apologizing every time I express my needs?
Why am I hunching over?
Starving myself when I love food?
Pretending it doesn’t mean that much to me?
Hurting myself when I mean to scream?
Why am I waiting
Fitting in?
You know the truth:
Sometimes it does hurt that much
Your mother wanted more than that
It’s easier to be mean than smart
But that isn’t who you are.”

Eve Ensler

Drop the (pet) bass

18 Mar

Because blogging about my students work is more fun than planning, here is a post dedicated to my students’ awesome work

I am currently taking a class about teaching culturally diverse and English language learning students. In the class our professor had us create tri-fold books to summarize a paper we read for HW. I decided to take this idea and have my students make a tri-fold in my physics class. The task was this…

Pick a topic about physics
Pick three equations in that topic
Make a table listing the names of the variables in the equation and their related units
Come up with your own problem which would be solved using the equation (1 problem for each equation)
Solve said problem showing all work, including substitution with units

Well, needless to say I had a blast reading the problems my students came up with. Granted some of them just used problems from the old HW assignments but some got incredibly creative. This is my favorite. I must have laughed for 10 minutes straight after reading this….

Skrillex drop the (pet) bass

Skrillex drop the (pet) bass

So many awesome things about this one. The empire state is just about 433 meters tall, the artwork is incredible and well the humor is just amazing. I need to assign more creative projects to these kids.

Here are a few more projects I enjoyed very much


Awesome artwork and incredibly thoughtful problems

And I happen to make a few appearances in some of the work….


Hmmm, losing glasses and getting hit by apples?!?!


Everyone knows I love my heels



My kids know me so well!! Of course we had a dance off haha

The fun never ends while being a teacher!

DIY Bookcase

27 Jan

Instead of planning my next week of lessons this weekend, I decided to build a book case for my bedroom.  I’ve been needing a place to organize all of my physics and earth science textbooks that I use for teaching, so this was the perfect opportunity!

Step 1 - Gather Materials

Step 1 – Gather Materials


Step 2 - Attach shelf railings to side panels

Step 2 – Attach shelf railings to side panels


Step 3 - Attach top to sides correctly

Step 3 – Attach top to sides correctly


Step 4, 5, 6 - Attach bottom to side panels, screw in wheels, insert shelves

Step 4, 5, 6 – Attach bottom to side panels, screw in wheels, insert shelves,


Step 7 - Sand down edges to avoid splinters

Step 7 – Sand down edges to avoid splinters

More sanding with the help of Boosie

More sanding with the help of Boosie

The backing is still missing because the guy at home depot cut the piece of ply wood to big so I have to get it re-cut. Also planning on painting it the girliest colors possible, maybe even stencil some flowers on this bad boy. I think the floral design mixed physics textbooks will be a good balance.

I think my next project is going to be fixing up the awful filing cabinets that I have at school that are all rusted. Found an awesome idea online of how to fix up similar cabinets and making them extra girly. Check it out:



This would require a bit more work so we’ll see when I can actually get it done. First I have to finish my book case.

Teacher Sanity

8 Jan

As a first year teacher I often find myself spending 10 hours a day at my school only to come home and spend the rest of the evening planning. I filled out a survey from my school recently asking me how many hours a week I spend on school tasks between teaching and planning and I was shocked to answer 80+ hours a week. I never understood how someone could work more than their usual 40 hours at a job. Now I get it. The more time I spend perfecting my lessons, the more my students benefit and the more I spread the knowledge of physics around the world.

Let me tell you, there is no feeling similar to having a student come after school for help and seeing them leave having learned and accomplished so much. Most importantly though is seeing them leave with a huge smile on their face because they overcame a huge obstacle. It truly warms my heart and allows me to continue these crazy hours.

I have managed to work on a pretty good stress relieving system. I find myself every night spending time dancing alone in my room. I find pure joy and happiness as I just let my hair down while singing and dancing to some very rhythmic songs. Here is my top 4 list of songs I jam to post a night of heavy planning – in no particular order.

Ms. Chabebe’s Post-Planning Dance Mix
(if only my students knew, muahahaha!!)

1.) Shania Twain – Feel like a Woman

[audio:|titles= Man! I feel like a Woman|artists= Shania Twain]

2.) Robyn – Dancing on my Own

[audio:|titles= Dancing on my Own|artists= Robyn]

3.) Kumbia Queers – El Veraneao

[bandcamp album=3174756114  bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]


4.) Danza Kuduro by Don Omar Ft. Lucenzo – Danza Kuduro

[audio:|titles= Danza Kuduro|artists= Don Omar ft. Lucenzo]

These lyrics from the previous song just summarize so well my need to dance. Sorry to those non Spanish speakers

Quien puede domar la fuerza del mar que se mete por tus venas.
Lo caliente del sol que se te metió y no te deja quieta nena.
Quien puede parar eso que al bailar descontrola tus caderas,
Y ese fuego que quema por dentro
Y lento te convierte en fiera.
Con las manos arriba, cintura sola, da media vuelta

Student Work

30 Dec

I have been away from school now and though I am enjoying te time off a whole lot I do miss my students. Just before leaving for break one of my students drew up a fun cartoon on my smartboard.

He called it, Bob the bodybuilder

bob the bodybulder


Since it’s almost new years I decided to get festive!

2013 nails

Holiday Nails

18 Dec

Needed a break from all the teacher work I have been doing so I decided to do something artsy and holiday related.

christmas nails


They’re a bit sloppy bit it’s hard to paint tiny nails haha. That being said I was only able to paint my left hand because there is no way I could have tried this on my right using my non-dominant left hand

Mi Casa

11 Dec

So I am teaching vector addition in preparation for finding vector components when solving projectile motion problems to my physics students. I am especially nervous about this topic because I teach freshman, which for the most part are concurrently taking algebra at the moment. That means they have never taken trig or heard of sine, cosine or tangent of an angle. Actually – they have never heard the term theta. Hence why I woke up from a nightmare not too long ago where I was teaching finding vector components and had bombed the whole lesson.

Needless to say I have started out very basic to make sure my kids follow with all the vector math. For HW the first night I had them draw a scaled diagram that showed the displacement from my house (Ms. Chabebe’s house) to Hillcrest High School given a certain magnitude and direction.

I found some of my student’s work quite entertaining.

Trailer Park

Fishing for brownie points


Massive upgrade from the trailer – suburban home, front yard with giant driveway, two car garage with a sweet car, and even a dog frolicking in the yard!

Lesson Learned: I need to start assigning more HW that will be entertaining to grade


19 Nov

I don’ know what has gotten into me but after most of my life avoiding hair salons I decided it was time for a radical change. After all, I did just make a big change in my life considering the fact that I quit my job, switched careers, relocated and left all the old behind.

So I figured with a new life, must come a new do! And I have always joked around with he idea of going blonde. So finally, I said screw it and went for it. Well…not completely. I went for an ombre style which is a gradual fade of color into typically a lighter color. So I am not completely blonde. I think I would look horrifying if I did. Check it out and let me know what you think!



The one thing this hair change has proven is that high schoolers love to find distractions everywhere. My students could not stop talking about my hair until I finally had to start giving out warnings! Good thing I didn’t go for the pink/purple color. That probably would have been interesting to say the least….