Dennis on the Road

Thursday, April 27, 2006

More pretty pictures

This morning I up-loaded the photos from the trip to Oregon and the Lost Coast. Click here to find them.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dr. J. iPodding her students

My sister-in-law, Dr. Janel Pettes-Guikema (Dr. J.), has received some recent press for her vanguard work using iPods as a tool to deliver foreign language instruction. Here is an interesting article about it. (They had better have Serge Gainsbourg loaded on to those iPods, or they will have lost all credibility with me!)

On the road with Pops

It has been a fun and eclectic week.

My dad came for a visit. It was only the second time he’s been out here to see me in CA, and it was great to hang out with him. Here he is looking for a lift before I decided that I would let him back in the car….

We visited my brother Josh, who is living in Arcata, and we traveled to a stage race in Eugene, Oregon. The Willamette Valley Classic went well. My teammate, Jesse/Andy, took 9th overall and I had two top-10 stage finishes. Not bad considering that the two of us were our only team support. The local Eugene paper featured an article and this picture (I'm in the front in red) on the front page. Here’s a link to the article.

On the trip back down to Oakland, my dad and I took some time to explore the beautiful and aptly named Lost Coast. It was my first time in this area and I was amazed. In addition to the scenery, a highlight was our stop to talk with a small group of local ranchers who had rounded up the most recent batch of calves for branding, shots, and (ouch!) castration. This scene seemed as though it came from another era, considering that most ranches are now factories. This, however, was the real deal.

More photos from the weekend will soon be posted here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


When I started teaching at 24 years old, I figured I would be in and out of the career in a couple of years. I never thought that twelve years later I would be reading emails from former students across the country who are several years older now than I was then. Some have families, some are in grad school, most are actively pursuing their dreams. I’m proud of every one of them and honored when they touch base.

I’ve been inspired by tremendously talented and creative students. In turn, I did what I could to create a space that would foster and constructively challenge that creativity while advancing the goals and standards of my high school English classes.

I am excited to see that so many of my students have continued to pursue creative endeavors. Although I haven’t become an active user of MySpace (yet?) it is becoming a great way to keep up with the always-evolving music, art, and personal philosophy of some of those whose influence shaped my teaching practice and impacted my life. Here’s a few (just click on the link to go to their websites)…

In high school, Kirby’s creative energy flowed like the rain did this winter! While teachers are prone to complain about grading, I always looked forward to reading his work. I’m very happy to see that Kirby continues to pursue his music, under the moniker Koshen.

Maya, AKA Ms. Balance, was also in the same class as Kirby. Her singing and dancing were inspiring, and like Kirby, she possessed a golden pen. It should be no surprise that these two would find each other, be married, and now have two children who are already actively studying music.

A musical partner of theirs in high school was Jermaine. Jermaine has also married his high school sweetheart, Lakisha, and he continues to pursue his music as Maine Attraction. Jermaine has followed a spiritual calling, which is the direction his music, through Turf Ministries, has taken.

There are many more… but I’ve got to turn back to today’s work and away from the stroll down memory lane.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Denny & Levi

If I hadn't flatted yesterday at Copperopolis, I certainly would have beat this little guy.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter!

In other news... I'm sorry I haven't up-dated this blog in ages... I'll get to it some day soon... I promise... Meanwhile, I've been using this blog as a place to promote a bicycle tour of Oakland we are doing on April 20 to support Oakland public school teachers who will be striking that day.