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Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez

Holy Mole-y, That Was Fun!

Stuffed Moles

What specific lessons do you remember from your school days?  I remember Mrs. Gallegos letting us watch Romeo and Juliet after reading the book in English class.  In Spanish, Sra. Huerta celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a Hispanic food pot luck.  The cat dissection in Anatomy and Physiology is a memory I won't soon forget.  I can still recall the first 20 digits of pi thanks to the competition held in math class on Pi Day.  However, while I remember the fundamentals Mrs.

Notable Student Success Stories: Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez

I grew up believing mediocrity was unacceptable.  In the Macias household, the only acceptable report card grade to bring home was an A.  B’s were considered failing grades and only God knew what would happen to you if you ever brought home a C.  Neither I nor my siblings cared to test out that scenario.  We worked hard to live up to and exceed the expectations our parents placed on our shoulders.  Life has taught me that not everyone had that same experience.  In fact, I think my tough-love upbringing is becoming quite the rarity in today’s world and average is unfortunately becoming the a

Travel to the Extremes (In the Name of Science)

I was a military brat.  My dad was in the Navy, so every 3 to 4 months we’d pack everything up and travel to a new military base for my dad’s new assignment.  By the time I was in middle school, I had lived half of my life overseas in places like Scotland and a tiny 3 mile by 8 mile island off the tip of the boot of Italy.  I loved immersing myself in a new culture and picking up bits of the language.  Even the transfer from South Texas to Southern California was exciting.  I lived right by Sea World and the San Diego Zoo!  I blame this exciting upbringing for my love of travel. 

March On?

Last week, more than 300,000 people descended on Manhattan for The People’s Climate March.  Bill DeBlasio, the New York mayor who does not take the subway to work; Leonardo DiCaprio, who often parties on yachts in the south of France; Al Gore, who left in a rather large SUV; and several Californians, who flew 3000 miles, marched with paper signs and coffee cups which they left littered along the route to proclaim their anger at the politicians and people of the world who they feel are not doing enough to help stop the increasing probl

What it Takes to Learn Your Way: Mentoring

This post is part of a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series co-executive produced by 50 Cent, Chuck D, and Jamie Oliver that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. The Beekman School partnered with the show to help customize the learning experience for the students.

Failure is Not an Option

I hail from the great state of Texas where everything is bigger and better, and the true spirit of competition is still alive on high school football fields every Friday night in the fall. I grew up in a house where a B was failing and not bringing home the pageant crown was unacceptable. My Mexican-American mom was a Tiger Mom before extreme parenting was cool.  I think my Texas roots and upbringing shaped the high expectations that I hold each of my students to today.

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