Sunday, September 21, 2008

Summer Travels Part 5: San Diego

Before I left on trek number 4, I was able to spend 2 days at home. This was just enough time to unpack one bag, do a little laundry and pack my bags for San Diego. This trip was not a vacation - but a summer AVID convention. AVID is a program for students who are traditionally under served in school and with a little guidance and assistance could be in honors and AP classes. Ultimately the program is designed to get kids in 4 year colleges. It is an amazing program with a stellar track record. I went to the conference last summer and I was excited that I was invited to attend again. This year I am teaching AVID and so I was able to learn more specifically what I needed to teach my students. Our district pays for our enrollment, lodging and transportation costs and so this year to save a little money two of my colleagues and myself decided we would drive. I was the chauffer and the drive down was quick. My coworker Harold and I enjoyed a diverse conversation which made the time fly by.

San Diego is always beautiful and it was no exception this year. Perfect weather every day. Durango high school sent 7 of us to the conference. During the day each of us were in different classes and then we would meet back up to discuss our school plan in the afternoon. Every evening we went out to dinner and played card games. Here are a few pictures of us goofing around.

Someone commented that Harold looked liked Joey McIntryre from the New Kids on the Block, so Kristin, Julie and Nikki are prentending to be in love with him.

Eduardo, Kristin and Harold on the trolly

Julie & Nikki

On the last evening, there were only 5 of us left (the other 2 went home early) and so we drove to Little Italy for dinner and decided to walk along by the ocean. As we were enjoying our evening stroll a police officer drove by on his loud speakers announcing that they were looking for a missing child. He gave the description (4 years old, black male, spiderman bike, spiderman shirt). All of us talked about how horrible it would be to be the child's parents and wonder what we would do in a similar situation. About 15 minutes later as we decided to head back towards my car we passed a woman and young boy. Almost immediately we all turned to each other and questioned if that was the child described by the cop. It only took a few seconds before we had agreed that we saw everything we heard in the description. I told Harold (our only man) to call 911. We casually moved 25 yards away from the woman and child and waited until the police arrived on the scene. Harold was amazing and directed the officer to the woman. It turns out that it was the child in question and the woman was his mother, but she did not have custody and the father had called the police. When we finally left the scene, the officer was waiting for backup and child protective services to take the little boy. Of course the mother was freaking out, which wasn't pleasant, but we had done what was necessary.

The AVID superheros just minutes before our discovery.

I think I can speak for all of us involved that we felt proud of being observant and solving the crime. We joked around and called each other AVID superheros for the rest of the night. The week was very informative and a lot of fun. My roommate for the week Julie, helped me find my new enjoyment: yoga. As a certified yoga instructor we got up a few days and she led me through some stretching which felt terrific.

The other highlight of the trip was our (Julie and I) visit to Laguna Beach for the Pagaent of the Masters. The show is 90 minutes long and they use people to faithfully recreate classic and contemporary works of art. The show is amazing and I still can't get over how authentic the pictures and statues look. To learn more about it check out their site:

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