July 26, 2016
Paul Groves

Scary, but no evacuations

Looking at the hill behind our home.
Looking at the hill behind our home.
The flames of the Sand Fire light up the smoke coming over the hill behind our home. It looks really close, but is actually a large hill away. Bags are packed and we are waiting for an evacuation order. None so far.

July 24, 2016
Paul Groves

Threatened by Fire…again

The Sand Fire as viewed behind our home in the Oakridge mobile home park.
The Sand Fire as viewed behind our home in the Oakridge mobile home park.
When we woke up today, the sunlight was an eerie orange. At Oakridge Mobile Home Park, we had all seen this before when the park burned down in 2008. By the afternoon, the residents were getting pretty edgy. Many of us packed bags and prepared for an evacuation order. Luckily, by the evening, the sky did not look nearly so ominous and the Sun no longer looked like a red ball. Whew.

July 20, 2016
Paul Groves

Visiting Gravesites

astaire_gravestone
There is a rather large and beautiful cemetery tucked away in the San Fernando Valley, not too far from where we live. We have always heard that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are buried there along with several other stars. With the help of the Internet and the built in GPS on our phones, we were able to locate their gravestones. They are not fancy, but fun to find. They were both such wonderful entertainers. We still watch their movies. We also found Stephen Boyd from Ben-Hur (and Fantastic Voyage) and Montie Montana who we used to see every year in the Rose Parade. This is all at the Oakwood Memorial Park.

July 19, 2016
Paul Groves

The Mission Inn

mission_inn
Being home for a week between APSI’s, Ron and I went on a little adventure. We visited the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, CA. While it is a fun place to see, we really went to have dinner with old friends, Mary Ellen and Skip.

July 19, 2016
Paul Groves

AP TIP IN

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My third summer workshop was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Yet again, a wonderful group of teachers. Some were brand new teachers and some were “seasoned” veterans. I picked up some new ideas. These workshops are exhausting, but fun to teach.

July 19, 2016
Paul Groves

APSI at TCU

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I had a large, friendly group of teachers to work with at Texas Christian University. The weather was fairly hot and humid, but we stayed cool indoors.

June 25, 2016
Paul Groves

Jack & Giulio’s

Jack_Giulios
Ron was with me at the San Diego APSI, so we did get to do a little “vacation stuff”. We went out to a wonderful Italian Restaurant in Old Town San Diego. The restaurant is called Jack & Giulio’s. I had Valdostana di Vitello (Yum) and Ron had a fancy seafood platter, Cioppino! I highly recommend this restaurant.

June 25, 2016
Paul Groves

AP by the Sea

sea_group
I got to work with 20 terrific teachers in San Diego this past week. Teachers who are willing to give up a week of their summer to improve their teaching is always inspiring. I shared my ideas and picked up some great new ideas as well. The APSI (Advanced Placement Summer Institute) is called AP by the Sea. From the patio of this building, you can see the ocean.

June 10, 2016
Paul Groves

Teaching IMFs

covalent-bond
After finishing the 2016 AP Reading, I think I would like to add to the bottom of this t-shirt “I’M NOT A HYDROGEN BOND”.

Over and over, I read student responses that indicated a bond with hydrogen constituted a “hydrogen bond”. Students were confusing the COVALENT bond within a molecule to the attraction between molecules caused by the very polar bond formed between H and O (or H & F or H & N). I’m going to focus on this idea this year in Screencasts.

June 9, 2016
Paul Groves

Officially Retired

retirement
I am now officially retired from teaching. I don’t feel any different. I still have things to get done. I have four APSI’s this summer plus an online course through UCLA Extension. I think I am a little more relaxed about it all because underlying all of the preparations and planning, I know there will be no papers to grade and no grades to assign. I’ll just be helping other teachers begin or improve their AP chemistry classes.