Inspiration

The Beauty of Letting Go

Change

Do you order the same exact dish from your favorite restaurant every single time? Do you listen to the same music or watch the same movies? Yep, that was me – same dish, same style of dress in multiple colors, and 20 bottles of nail polish in similar shades of pink.

Yes, I was in the dreaded comfort zone, and loving every minute of it. But as wonderful and safe as comfort zones are, they can also be dangerous.

If we stay in our comfort zones for too long, we fail to grow – both personally and professionally – which is never a good thing.

A totally unexpected thing happened this past October. Continue reading


Holiday Truths

This is the sixth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

Winter Break ReflectionsThe holiday season is upon us, which means two things. One, the holidays are almost here, but more importantly, winter break is closer than you think.

Let this winter break be one that will go down in history as one of your most productive times of the year. After your finals or year-end assignments, sit back and relax and hangout with those who mean something special to you.

The past year may have been rough, and at times like this, it is perfect to reflect on those who have stuck by your side through thick and thin. And for those who haven’t, maybe this is the perfect time to let go so you can start fresh in the new year. Weed out the negative people in your life, and appreciate the right ones.

Take time this holiday season to learn and reflect on the things you wish you could have changed, like relationships and other endeavors…or even if you procrastinated a little too much. But wait – if you are focused on becoming better next year (which is so close), you may wonder “What did I do wrong?” Well, we all do things wrong. No one is perfect and now is a great time to realize that. Continue reading


FLVS Attends GOES-R Satellite Launch

GOES R Satellite Blog PostOn Saturday, November 19, I had the privilege of watching the GOES-R weather satellite launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Now you may be wondering what GOES-R stands for. It’s the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, a satellite system that orbits the earth and sends data back to National Weather Service computers. The R indicates what number or version the GOES satellite is on, so there have already been versions A-R. GOES-S is slated to launch next year and is the twin to GOES-R.

Of course, weather satellites get launched all the time, so why would this one be any more special than the others?

Well, right now we receive images of satellite scans every 30 minutes or so. The GOES-R satellite will provide data at least every five minutes, and in some circumstances every 30 seconds! So not only will it be five times faster than current weather satellites, but it will also gather three times more data and it will have four times better resolution. Continue reading


To Bennu and Back!

osiris-rex-educational-science-posterHello FLVS peeps!

I had the distinct honor of representing FLVS at the OSIRIS REx rocket launch a few weeks ago.

Now if you’re wondering what exactly that means, OSIRIS REx stands for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. That’s a mouthful, right?

In a nutshell, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid named Bennu. Once it reaches Bennu (after a trip lasting two years), the spacecraft will orbit the asteroid for about a year, find the perfect place to collect about 80 grams of the rock, and head back home, arriving back to Earth in 2023.

It won’t actually land on the asteroid, but instead hover over it – and with the help of Canada and their amazing knowledge of spacecraft arms – will grab a small sample. (To put this in perspective, 80 grams is about the equivalent of 80 Skittle candies.)

So why are we going to Bennu? Continue reading


Military Family Appreciation

Military Family Appreciation MonthNovember is Military Family Appreciation Month.

While we should make sure to thank our military families each and every day, setting aside some time to truly reflect on their service and to honor them for their sacrifice is also super important.

My family, and especially my dad, has always made it a point to thank our men and women in service who give so much to protect our freedom. Before enjoying our meals, each and every night before bed, and every holiday as we gathered as a family, we would thank the military.

Thank them for giving us the gift of togetherness and safety.  Thank them for standing guard in a million different ways to ensure we get to live the greatest life imaginable.  Continue reading


Why Today is a Great Day

Blog_VeteransDay_151030Veterans Day? I am not much of a blogger – in fact, counting this blog, I have written one blog.

That being said, I could not pass up the opportunity to blog about Veterans Day. It’s a different sort of holiday for me, one that I never paid much attention to growing up. It seemed like almost everyone I knew had served in some capacity or another. Veterans Day was just another holiday in which everyone participated. To that end, I never thought twice when I graduated high school and headed off to serve. Of course while I was in the Army, almost everyone I knew either had served or was still serving.  Veterans Day was just another day.

But Veterans Day is not just another day – it is a great day!
Continue reading


“Clash Man” Becomes a Leader

leadership blogI sometimes wonder if my three years in middle school were harder than my three years in a refugee camp.

On the fashion front, I wore the same shirt to school three times a week and earned the name “Clash Man.”  In 8th grade, I got kicked off my basketball team and my family was forced to move into low-income housing. At my new school, I got my first D in math, and Cs in some of my other classes.

If you would have asked me if I was a leader, I would have laughed. I was trying to survive each day of school and hoping that life would get better.

Life did get better, but not because I got better housing or a new wardrobe. Continue reading


The Creativity Conundrum

scared to make mistakes cover
When Did Students Become So Scared to Make Mistakes?

Directions: Please read the following article. At the end of the article you will be asked to give your opinion regarding creativity in schools. You will be expected to provide a response that shows thinking outside the box and is worthy of a Nobel Prize. No pressure. Think Creatively. Continue reading


Got Grit?

grit coverBright eyed and bushy tailed I moved right from graduation to teaching geography, reading, and running a computer lab. Everyone said, your light will dim and your focus will change. Well, they were wrong.

Let the record show, that was some 10 years ago and my intentions have not changed, but have only grown stronger and more awesome.  Why? Because I “got” grit and I teach my students to have grit.

How else can I prepare my students to function in the interconnected online global world that is full of competition? By never stopping to achieve their goals – that’s how!  Do not be pushed down in the face of adversity. Remember, it is okay and even good to make mistakes; this is how we learn. Stand up for what you believe in. If you get knocked down, get up!  Life can be hard and hurtful. Learn from this and get back to work.

Continue reading