About Me


Vitals

Age: 21
Citizenship: United States
Current Residence: Berkeley, California, USA


Academic Experience

  • University of California at Berkeley - Berkeley, CA [2001-present]
  • Stockdale High School - Bakersfield, CA [1996-2000]

In December 2004 I am graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a self-designed Bachelor's degree in Education and Astrophysics. I am currently completing my Senior Honors Thesis on "Self-Directed Education".

In 2000 I graduated from Stockdale High School near the top of my class. Stockdale High is a public high school in Bakersfield, California. I attended public schools in primary and junior high school.


Work Experience

  • Sylvan Learning Center [2004-present]
  • Deer Crossing Wilderness Camp [2003-present]
  • Space Science Laboratory [2002]
  • Camp Quabbin [2000]

I currently work part-time at Sylvan Learning Center in El Cerrito, CA, where I work one-on-three with students age 7-18 to help them learn basic math, algebra, and geometry. At Sylvan I have gained experience tutoring math with dozens of different young people, each of whom demands a unique approach.

During the summer I instruct windsurfing and work as general camp counselor at Deer Crossing, a wilderness summer camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. At Deer Crossing I have learned how important it is to have a positive attitude, a proactive approach to life, and to give children both freedom and responsibility as they grow up. Most importantly, I have gained direct experience working, playing, and living with young people in an intense, 24-hour environment. In addition to windsurfing at Deer Crossing I instruct lessons in kayaking, improv theatre, first aid, and cooking. Summer 2003 was my first season at Deer Crossing and 2004 will be my second.

During my second year of college I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Laura Peticolas at the UC Berkeley Space Science Laboratory. I aided Laura in analyzing satellite data to study the physics of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights). My work involved computer programming and advanced physics.

In summer 2000 I worked at Camp Quabbin, MA, a summer camp for special needs and developmentally disabled youth. Working at Quabbin was an experience in tolerance, patience, and compassion.

Other paid positions I have held include:

  • Food Manager for my student cooperative. Responsible for ordering all foods for 127 students. $60,000 budget. [2002, 2004]
  • Store Manager for The Chocolate Cow ice cream & candy store [2000]
  • Web site designer, freelance
  • Babysitter, friends and family (two younger brother & two younger sisters)

Volunteer Experience

  • Diablo Valley School [2004-present]
  • Democratic Education at Cal [2003-present]
  • Science tutoring in Berkeley public schools [2002-2003]
  • Undergraduate astronomy tutoring [2002-2003]

I am a volunteer at Diablo Valley School (DVS), a Sudbury model school in Concord, CA. At DVS students spend time as they see fit - they are given the freedom and responsibility to direct their educations. The students and staff run the school democratically at weekly meetings. Volunteering here has given me first-hand experience in working with strong, self-directed kids and seeing how a freedom-based educational philosophy works in real life.

At UC Berkeley I am a board member of DeCal (Democratic Education at Cal), a prominent student group that promotes student-initiated courses and democratic classrooms. I have developed strong leadership and teamwork skills working with DeCal, and I have deepened my understanding of democratic education.

For two semesters I tutored science one-on-one and in large groups at two Berkeley public school classrooms, one 5th grade and one 8th grade.

For one semester I tutored UC Berkeley students for an undergraduate astronomy class. Our goal as astronomy tutors were to insist that students understood concepts before looking for answers.


Short Autobiography & Travel Experience

I was born in Tiburon, California in September 1982 and spent a large part of my young life in the San Francisco bay area. At age nine I moved to Bakersfield, CA, where I lived until 2000. Attending public school throughout my life, I graduated near the top of my class from Stockdale High School. I was admitted to the University of California at Berkeley and spent four years studying various subjects including physics, math, astrophysics, education, and environmental studies. I am graduating from UC Berkeley in December 2004 with a self-designed Bachelor's degree in Astrophysics and Education.

I first ventured outside of the United States in a solo 1-month trip to Chile inspired by my father. I lived with a family in a small town for 3 weeks and spent the final week snowboarding in the Andes. Aside from a few other short trips to England, France, and Canada, my other significant international experience was a 5-week tour of Europe I took with 4 friends during Summer 2002. We ventured from Paris to Prague and back, going deep into Italy and as north as Amsterdam. This trip inspired in me a love of the Mediterranian above all other places. I plan to return to Europe soon, hopefully through live-in tutoring.


Personality

I think of personality in terms of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) breakdown of Introvert/Extravert, iNtuitive/Sensor, Thinker/Feeler, and Perceiver/Judger. I am an Introverted iNtutitive Feeling Perceiver: an INFP. Click here for a good description of common INFP traits, habits, and goals.

As an introverted intuitive, I love to ponder big ideas & possibilities, and I work well with abstract systems. My detail orientation is improving as I focus on it more and more.

As an intuitive feeler, I have a strong sense of what a child is going through, and I am able to talk and work with young people on their level. I value harmony, peace and friendship in relationships. Safety is a number-one priority.

In addition to my natural inclination as a feeler, I have well-developed thinker skills - I am good at deconstructing logical problems (math and science) and considering the impersonal, objective sides of issues.

Finally, as a perceiver I naturally approach life in a spontaneous fashion, and I am driven by inspiration. I can work for hours or days straight on a single project if it inspires me. I avoid repetitive tasks as much as possible (which isn't always possible, of course).


Goals

My long term goal in life is to open an all-ages school founded on the principles of freedom and leadership. I imagine it bordered by rolling green hills and oak trees for shady reading.

Over the next ten years, my goals are to:

  • Hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • Spend time adventuring with each of my younger siblings.
  • Work as an international live-in homeschooling tutor.
  • Work at a democratic free school.
  • Apprentice myself to a European chocolatier.

In the short term, my numerous goals include:

  • Swim for 60 minutes non-stop, four times a week.
  • Avoid white flour and refined sugar products.
  • Produce a movie for the local student film festival.
  • Write my senior honors thesis on self-directed education.

Interests

My favorite fiction includes:

  • Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • On the Road and The Dharma Bums - Jack Kerouac
  • Siddhartha - Herman Hesse
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

I have always been very interested in computers. I built my own Windows-based computer in 2000 and it still runs like a charm today. I have designed many web pages using HTML and online databases using PHP and MySQL. My current project involves streamlining the website and database system for DeCal (a UC Berkeley student group).

In the outdoors I enjoy day hiking, overnight backpacking (especially lightweight backpacking), windsurfing and kayaking (when at Deer Crossing), and snowboarding (Canada is the greatest).

I enjoy filming & photography and I have made a few short movies that were shown at local student film festivals.

Cooking has been a passion of mine ever since I came to college and started living in the student cooperatives. For two years I was a head cook, preparing 6-course dinners for 40-100 people on a weekly basis. My specialty is vegetarian dishes, and my favorite food to cook is California-style Mexican cuisine.

Other activities I enjoy include playing frisbee, writing, swimming, and reading lots of books.

 

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Last updated: 5/13/2004