Monday, December 15, 2008


Todays post covers that most basic of students fears, writing the essay portion of the mid-term exam. Rest assured, if you stick to your training and keep a clear head about you, things will come out all right! I wish all of you the best of luck on the Mid-Term Exams (those of you who need luck!) and encourage you to swing for the fence!

Here is the Junior Photo writing assignment as well, have fun guys!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lunchbags are fun....

I found this link and thought that you might appreciate it!

This dad draws a new piece of "art work" on his kids lunch bag every day. It's pretty good work. I bet the food even tastes better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Romeo and Juliet Geometric Design Project

I thought that this project would be a nice way to wind down the semester. The directions are pretty straight forward, if you have questions let me know. P.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One Page Assignment-A Painted House

Hey folks! Here is the One Page Assignment that I want you to apply to The Painted House. You are to use Chapters 20-30 as the filter for this project. Use those events as the basis for the work.

If you have questions, let me know.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Magic 3 (a much belated post!)

O.K. When I orginally wrote this post, I was in between park time at Disneyland. I was unable to post because my laptop crapped out on me! Oh well. Here is where I have been, and the stuff after the elipise is how it all worked out for the week.

What a great day! We are all pretty tired. I have to carry a 5 or 7 year old to the car each night. They go until it is time to get on the tram but then, blamo, put a fork in 'em ladies and gentle...they are done! Seven year olds go "boneless" when they are asleep, and some how they seem to weigh a heck of alot more. Well, we spent today in the California Adventure section of Disneyland. We got on the new ride, "Toy Story Midway Mania". It is basically like a giant video game. Needless to say I really liked it and destroyed the scores of everyone else that came with us. I topped out at 174,000 points. Yeah video games and rollercoaster rides! Their combination is a fantastic pairing!...

All in all, our time in the Magic Kingdom was pretty fantastic. Are we tired? Absolutely. But a happy tired. Some of the highlights were seeing the nightly fireworks show on different nights from different places in the park...Riding the Haunted Mansion ride that gets redone for the holiday season as The Nightmare Before Christmas ride with Jack Skelingtons and all...Breakfast Churros...Finding "hidden Mickey's" on Pirates of the Carribean ride...getting to ride California Screaming, their boardwalk style rollercoaster, with my 7 year old Gabby. It was her first BIG coaster and she rode it several times, hands up, all the way...going into the park at night, in the rain when droves of people are leaving because of the rain...spending time with my wife and kids just playing and having fun...Seeing the castle all lit up with Christmas lights everywhere; all very cool things. The low lights on the other hand were all horribly annoying...Driving in the fog for 4 hours their...46 milies in 3 hours going over the grape vine...breaking our borrowed stroller before we ever got to the park...aches and pains of not being that young anymore...knowing that your children are getting further away from being children everyday. Yeah, with the good stuff comes a bit of seriousness too. So in retrospect, we had fun, Thanks Mickey & Walt!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

From the Magic Kingdom...

Hey, I thought that it would be fun to continue updating the blog site for those of you that just happen to venture online over the holiday a matter of fact, I am going to make a one time offer of xtra credit to those of you who leave a posted response attached to this blog entry! Not bad for minor amount of work. So let me know what class you are from and your name by the end of your post so that proper credit can be given to those who have happened upon it.
On to the blog...
This year my family and I decide to throw a bunch of money away on getting annual passes for the Disneyland Theme Park in Anaheim. Honestly, in spite of it being a significant amount to drop for going to a very touristy place, it has been a good time. The kids get all freaked out about the trip whenever we bring it up and that in and of itself is a fantastic thing. Our journey started today at 1:30 am...that's right, night driving. If I have learned one thing in taking several trips to Disneyand it is that you do not want to make that trip during the daytime hours with 5 children if you can help it. Every new town that you happen upon has it's own set of pitfalls and time sucking traps that keep you off of the road. Things like going potty, eating, buying snacks, coffee, gas, car sickness and the list goes on and on. The night drive is a dream! Everyone sleeps (with the exception of the driver) and usually wakes up near LA. It just feels like a shorter trip all the way around...Not this year. This year we hit fog right outside of Merced that lasted for 3-4 hours. It didn't let up until it became burned off by the morning sun. We were also battling some minor car problems that I think will hold off until we get home. So a little worse for wear, we pulled into the hotel parking lot at 9:30 this morning. Our day promises to be fun filled and highly eventfull!...
OK, when I started this post it was this morning, now I am ready to go to bed and just d.i.e. . I am soooo tired. We hit up the park pretty hardcore and rode lots of fun rides. A great first day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Post-Birthday moment....

Hey, yesterday was my Birthday. Yea Me! I guess that it is a little silly to cheer for having carved out another year on planet Earth. I have to say that I don't think much about birthdays anymore. When you are a kid, they are fantastic. Atleast mine were. My parents, even during the divorced years, always made my birthdays important. I didn't see it then (what kid ever does?!?) but they always made me feel special. Maybe it was the lighting of the candles on a cake. That soft glow of promises that parents make to children about what their lives are supposed to be like. The anticipation of knowing that their would be a present that maybe I didnt't deserve but that I would still recieve none the less. It was always a miraculous thing to wake up and know that it was "your day", maybe not in the litteral sense that it doesn't actually belong to you, but that you coming into existence has had some significant impact on the course of the universe. Yeah, it's a big idea, I know, but I just can't help it. Every little life in it's own particular orbit sheds its goodness on the spaces and people around it. I haven't really felt that way for a long time...until yesterday.

If I had to name an ambassador for my birthday,it would have to be my wife and 5 children. You see, I went to work and got a few "Happy Birthdays!" from staff and students. When I got home, I really just wanted to sit down, I was beat. My children, according to my wife, had be making birthday trinkets for me off and on during the day. They even went so far as to purchase a few gifts from the dollar store. The youngest, Lauren, at four years old made me a card with a cute little heart guy on it and wrote "I love you daddy." and "Happy Birthday". Though they were not entire correct in their spelling, I got the drift. Gabrielle, at 7, made me some animals out of clay. They were not yet finished, but she showed me her work thus far. Lots of detail and small pieces! The nine year old, Avalon, had mom take her to the store so that she could buy me just the right coffee mug. I am an incurable coffe-holic. All times of the day and never anything less that 2/3 to a full pot in one setting. She even found a good enough bargin to throw in some hot coco so that I could make "Coco-Mofo" a delicious blend of coffee and instant chocolate. Haven, my oldest girl at 11 didn't really get me anything, instead, she helped everyone else pick out their gifts and found lots of good options to help the little ones choose from. Let's face it, being the oldest girl in a family of kids is no picnic. She is her own gift as far as I am concerned! The last, my oldest progene, Crosby didn't really "do" anything for me either, but his birthday is a few days before mine. He tells me good kid jokes anyhow, and that is kind of "gifty" in itself. My wife made this fantastic dinner. It was grilled chicken with a lemon-pepper rub and tequilla-agavea baste, mashed potatoes and corn. She also baked a pumpkin pie for desert. It was fantastic! Just supper inventive and really really good.

I guess the point of all of this is really just to share how my day went. It wasn't bad, what I kind of anticipate it to be, but quite the opposite. When I was a kid, I wanted the parties with all of the friends over, the funny hats and favors. A few hours distraction with people that you really cared about. The best things remain the same no matter what your age is, time spent with people who you really care about. Thanks "36" it's be fun, see you in the setting sun. "38", I will see you next year!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NaNo WriMo...Week 3 a.k.a. "Bring the Pain"

If you haven't hit a sticking point yet, I envy you. If you have and you want to kill me for giving this assignment, you can't...your novel is not done yet and neither is mine. I think that I had a much harder time finding time to write this week. We have a vacation right around the corner and that means that everything at work/school is in a mad dash to be completed. Really, who wants to be on a Turkey trip and then have to sit down to a desk full of essays to grade? Not I said the little red hen, not I.... For those of you struggling to reach your daily word counts, check out Dr. Wickeds writing lab blog site. Nasty little writing engine that will erase your work if you stop writing for too long. Very fun stuff!

Dr. Wicked's Writing Lab

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In over my head....

O.K., I know that it is never cool to admit when you are being slammed around, but I just have to get this out because, lets face it, sometimes you just have to take your lumps in order to get stuff done. In spite of the chaos, I am really excited by what is going on in all of my classes. Keep up the good work. If you feel in over your head, your not alone; we will fight to the surface and swim for the proverbial shore, together! HUZZAH!

Find your people to get the lowdown and the info you need,

Creative Writing

I just want to start with how incredibly proud I am of you for undertaking this insane task of writing a novel in 30 days. You can do it! You can do it! I really just fell into this particular assignment with little abandon, several of you leading the charge (you know who you are!). We are 5 days into the drafting process, so stick with it. Set those reminders up to write each day in order to hit your word count amounts, and don't let up! I look forward to reading you excerpts and discussing how you are crafting the work into what you want it to be. Believe me, you can do it! If you haven't signed up at Nanowrimo, you are going to need to do that soon. Now quite wastign time and get to crackin.

Freshmen English:

It is hard to believe that we are almost done with the first semester. You guys are really progressing along well. We are in the throes of Romeo and Juliet, and I beleieve that most of you are enjoying the play so far. I thought that it would be to your benifit to post 2 items here; the questions to the play for each Act, and the notes for the play in their entireity. If for some reason you are sick and need either of them, they will be here for the month. Be sure to purchase your dover copy of the play for $1.00 so that you can write in your own copy, take notes, highlight, etc! Besides, soda rots your teeth and guts, and who doesn't like Shakespeare ;)

Here is a link to the No Fear Shakespeare site. To the best of my knowledge, they have online access to the text FOR FREE! Thought that it could be of some use to you.
No Fear Shakespeare

Junior English:

With end of the first semester in sight, it is really hard to believe the you are only a few short months away till the Xmas break. Hang in there! John Grisham's A Painted House has been filling our days of late. I figured that this would be a great read to take into the break. It's all story and not quite as pensive as the Romantacists and early American Lit that we had been reading. Please be sure to turn in your Outlines for the 3 Ring Venn Diagram essays on Friday 11/7with the final draft due on 11/14. If you are having trouble turning the corner in your paper and making sense out of the whole thing come by and see me. I am always happy to spend some time helping folks workout ideas. It thought that it would be a good idea to post a few items here incase you wanted to make your own copies or need to make your own written copies at your lesiure. At your disposal are the Q's for Painted House (I will have to continually update this over the course of the novel, so check back for more chapter Q's soon!), the slide guide that I gave out in class.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Venn Diagrams for Romantic Lit

hey, this is the outline form for the 3 ring Venn Diagram. If you have questions, email me at the school adress. Please come and see me if you need help!

Junior Research Paper
Introduction paragraph


Thesis Statement:

Body 1: First Circle (Story to Story):
Topic Sentence (Convert Question into Topic Sentence):

Elaboration on Topic Sentence:

Intro to the Quote:








Body 2: Second Circle (Story to Real World):
Topic Sentence (Convert Question into Topic Sentence):

Elaboration on Topic Sentence:

Intro to the Quote:








Body 3: Third Circle (Story to Real World)
Topic Sentence (Convert Question into Topic Sentence):

Elaboration on Topic Sentence:

Intro to the Quote:









Thursday, October 23, 2008

Red Ribbon Week

Tomorrow is the last day of Red Ribbon Week at OHS. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of students that have participated in dress up days. Special props to Destiny Robles who only knows one level of commitment, complete! I secretly hoped for an army of Perez clones on the "dress like your favorite teacher day". It fed the dictator in me that very quickly had to be supressed when I envisioned an army of me, marching in formation. But then the vision gets weird and we (all of the me's, them's...I guess)start dancing around like the zombie dancers in the Micheal Jackson "Thriller" Video. If you haven't seen it, treat yourself and have a good laugh on the 80's; I won't be the last. Ha Ha. I guess I will have to keep my day job! Sorry, back on topic now...So I was impressed with number of students who participated in the Red Ribbon Week activities. I know that there are a good number of kids who struggle secretly with addictions or have a close friend who might, and not all of them drug related. If I could just encourage you to get help from family and friends. Don't believe that lie about "what you do only affects yourself". No person is alone, ever, no matter how alone they might feel.

Monday, October 6, 2008

1st Qrter blues....

The first Quarter is a real killer for most people. It is that sucker-punch that you only caught out of the corner of your eye. School starts up and every teacher is off and running to get as much as they can out of the time they have. I guess that I am only different in that I really don't want to be that way. My apologies to any that I have offended with my blanket statement, but truly it is a sprint to the end of the year. Every time the year threatens to drown me I have to muster up some courage to fight back. Don't even pretend that you don't know what I am talking about! I think on some level I really enjoy the challenge of what I do and how I do it, but; it does wear on the soul a bit, narrowing us down and thinning us out so that you can see through us to the other side.
With the close of the 1st Quarter and countless, "Mr. Perez...what is my grade?" comes a small amount of relief. Regardless of what grade you may have received, let me encourage you to keep your head in what you are doing. Work hard at working hard and don't let up until Christmas. For parents, don't be so busy with life that you kids are unable to keep up with their schooling. Crazy schedules makes for difficult time studying and completing projects. When you feeling giving up, don't. That feeling just means that you are on the verge of a great accomplishment.

PS, here is a link to the old lease runs out in November so I am sure to lose all of the stuff there.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Guess what?!? I'm sick! Yay Interwebs!

If you are reading this then it means that they cold/flu in my body is winning and I will regretable have to call in sick...that doesn't mean that you slackers get off easy though. The directions are on the slide...See you Tuesday. Watch the Slide show and find your class (Creative Writing, Freshmen, Juniors). The directions are on each slide.

Monday, September 22, 2008

7 weeks and counting...

I thought that it would be an appropriate time to adress my classes individually in the hopes that they would have something to say. We are atleast past the progress report mark so that is good in spite of what your grade might have been.

To help shed some light on how it works I will explain...Since I work from a straight scale (100% being an "A" and 59% being an "F") the fewer points that you have in the grade book, the more that they count. An average class of mine in the 5th week of school will have anywhere from 60-85 points. That translates out into 6-8 point deficit per letter grade level. Hopefully you can see that any loss of points at this level really destroys grades. This is also why it is critical that students turn in ALL of their work. The only compensation that I can offer you is that everyday we are adding more assignments to the total so the gap between letter grades becomes wider. If you have any questions regarding grades, scores, or just want to check in on how folks are doing, please e-mail me at .

On to the post!!! Look for your class...respond accordingly.

Creative Writing:
I hope that everyone has been getting on well with the class. Lots of what we are focusing in on now is designed to put tools in your hands when it comes to creating characters/short stories/flash fiction etc.... Probably the single most important piece of advice that I can give you at the present moment is to develop stories that you care about. The reader needs to care the way that you do about what is happening on the page...

Man oh man, we are knee deep in Of Mice and Men and are looking at trying to finish the project that we started with this novel. Remember, 3 Quotes per Chapter and 5 new vocab words per chapter. Quiz is on Tuesday with us Wrapping up all of this business by Friday (Chap 5-6). After OM&M we will look to a unit on Edgar Allan Poe interspersed with work by Stephen King. Fun October reading and excellent examples of writing!

We have just finished The Crucible and in all sincerity, I had forgotten how much I liked this play. A love triangle set to the backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials. Sounds a lot like what you might pick up on the current best sellers list (Stephanie Meyer, Anita Blake,...). Arthur Miller, the plays author, wrote TC as a response to the Communist Witch Hunt that took place in the 40's. Pretty amazing piece of work. This week should wrap up the remainder of the work for The Crucible. If you have been working hard at producing a good Found Poem, Thank you! The really good ones we will put on display. Once we finish this week we will be back in our Interactive Readers for American Revolution Lit. Excellent Essays from days of Yore.

Well there is more, but I will save it for later...besides nobody likes a know-it-all!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ello poppet....

Well, school is underway and I am already swamped with papers. I am literally taking "time to write" out of my "time to grade" schedule. That in and of itself is not so amazing really. Grading is really pretty tough to do, especially when it is essay work. I am not one of those, slap a grade on it fellows and keep on truckin' into the next assignment. I like to leave commentaries, even though I know that a good portion of students don't/won't read them. If you are reading this and think, "Wait! That's not me. I kinda like the commentaries..." Thanks for the vote of confidence! Everyone else, you need to get on board with the program.
Anyhoo...the begining of school signifies my favorite times of the year, Fall! The leaves and the weather, and ohhhhhh the pretty colorssss... Yeah Fall is pretty great. As a kid it meant a great layout of awesome holidays back to back to back to back: Halloween to My Birthday to Thanksgiving to Christmas. My father-in-law takes the month to celebrate his birthday with the same furvor! He calls it "Johnny-Gra" and I like the idea though "Chris-Gra" sounds lame... Free sticker to anyone of my students who guess my Birthday!
My family and I recently went on an overnight excursion to the Montery Bay Aquarium I was able to get some neat footage of the shark exhibit that they have. I could have sat in front of that tank all day. It is two stories tall and full of the freakiest and most dangerous fish in the ocean. The Montery Aquarium has the only Great White Shark in captivity. It is still a baby at 4 1/2 feet long. Yikes and Zoinks Shagg! Click the film to check it out! Check back soon to see what stuff we are up to in class!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wow! The end of Summer, which probably doesn't mean a heck of alot for most people, but for me, it means that it is time to go back to work.

The family and I decided to take one last hurrah with some friends of ours to the California foothills, up to my mother-in-laws house. We were to take the kids berry picking (black berry, the kind with thorns fricken everywhere!). My buddy Riley found this instead...

That aint no black berry but one really pissed off rattlesnake. Riley is good with snakes, he used own several various species of reptiles in another life, so he pretty much knew what he was doing. After the berry picking was done, we drove further up into the foothills to go to an amazing place. My wife is from the California foothills area and she had never even been there, so we were both excited. The place is this unique little swimming hole called "Natural Bridges". Basically it is a hollowed out cave that you can swim through. The water comes from run off and, I assume, a natural water table in the near by mountains. Check out the video to get a feel for it.

It was an awesome time and I plan on going back in the spring when everything is green.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Still got the magic, baby...

So my family has just recently returned from Disneyland in So. Cal. In case you are wondering, Yes, there is still magic in the kingdom! I was a bit surprised by my own reaction to the several days of walking and standing in line. Really at the patience of people around me. I never really felt that I was just "sitting around" and the the lines were really unreasonably long. We decided earlier in the year that we would splurge a bit when we got the family tax returns and buy season passes to Disneyland. Believe me, it wasn't cheap but then nothing ever is with a family of 7 (5 kids, myself, and my wife). We planned all of the trips around the our anniversary of 14 years and the kids combine birthdays. Three trips with a possible 4th during the 2009 season. If you enjoy theme parks and like going, the season pass is well worth the cost. Equate it out to maximum fun with zero pressure. You do have some block out dates to deal with but no big whup. This was our second trip this year and we set out to do a few thing that we missed or have always missed (The Tiki Room) for whatever reason. It was a blast! My five year old has been newly indoctrinated into the land of the big coaster this year. She is just big enough to ride. Last trip the first and last big ride she did was Star Tours. I thought, "Well, this should be easy, it doesn't even really move." As soon as the ride started, she began to cry....and didn't stop until she was off of the ride. I thought that I had spoiled the idea of riding coasters for her for some time. I couldn't convince her to go on another big ride. This time, my six year old convinced the five year old to go on The Matterhorn. She told her that she would, "see the Snow Beast from Scooby-Doo on the ride". Leave it to a kid to help another kid come to grips with stuff. She rode and loved it! She even rode on Space Mountain...and didn't like it, but pretty much had a blast and on several occasions wanted to ride with her older siblings. One of the highlights of the trip for me was going on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with all of my kids and my wife. My wife and my five year old sat in the back of the train/coaster and the rest of the crew sat just in front of us. The five year old sat between my wife and I. As we started to climb up the first hill, I saw all of the hands of my children go up, anticipating the coming drop. My five year old stuck both of her hands up, feeling same between mom and dad, and left them up the entire ride. Very fun and very cool. Here's a pic of our day. Cheers.