5 Random Facts about me:
1) My biological father and his family traveled to the U.S. from Cuba to escape Fidel Castro. My last name is no longer Villanueva, and my parents didn’t stay married for long, so it always surprises people that I am Hispanic. Plus, my stepdad is from Pittsburgh, and people always see a resemblance between the two of us.
2) I used to travel to Southwest Harbor, Maine in the summers to visit my aunt and uncle. The smell of evergreen and blueberry bushes bring back great memories for me.
3) I have lived in Greenville, South Carolina – Dothan, Alabama – and Houston, Texas. I am back home in Georgia now.
4) I learned to water ski when I was 40. Probably the biggest “fear” I have overcome.
5) My husband has completed 3 Ironman Triathlons: one in Panama City Beach, FL, another in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and the third in Madison, Wisconsin.
4 Bucket List Items. I would like to do the following:
1) hike part of the Appalachian trail
2) travel in Europe
3) take an Alaskan cruise
4) be a published author
3 Things I hope for this year:
1) to be more organized at school (which results in wasted time)
2) to balance my time more efficiently
3) to be kind to my students (even when I am frazzled)
2 Things that have made me laugh or cry as a teacher:
1) The last day that our seniors attend school in May is a bittersweet day for me and always leaves me in tears.
2) Last year an AP Chemistry student (who is dear to me) answered an FRQ (Free response question), and in her answer she made an analogy between chemical kinetics and teen pregnancy. She made the statement that the molecules in chemical reactions are like high schoolers with raging hormones. They just can’t wait, and just like the chemical reaction takes place, teen pregnancy results. I couldn’t figure out if she got the answer right or not, because the rubric failed me at that point. We all laughed really hard at this, and I am sure that I saved her paper.
1 thing I wish that more people knew about me….
I am working on writing a young adult novel about a group of teens who have unique challenges and secrets but work together to solve a series of crimes using their STEM skills. It is still awkward for me to discuss because it is such a new adventure. Kind of like when you get married and you find yourself talking about your “husband” when it is still such a new part of life. The best part of this work is that it’s so intertwined with everything I love to do: hang out with teenagers and talk about STEM. (Plus it’s on my bucket list!)