Monday, January 15, 2018

Alex Visiting His Grandmother's Music Room



Song:  Ave Maria / Astor Piazolla

Artists:  Mirella Pantano (Bass Flute / Concert Flute)

Nioletta Evangelista (Piano)




 I had recently made my mother's relaxation room
into a music room.

I had gotten a bass flute...
 and I will be practicing it in my mother's music room for many hours each day.

I had also had my mother order herself a piano last week...
and I will be taking her to weekly piano lessons.

She had taken piano before...
but it has been decades since she had last played.

After I set up her piano in her music room...
I took Alex to see it.

I wanted to get my mother involved in music once again.

We will be practicing many hours every day.

In the near future...
we will be performing duets together.



I wanted her to get a good piano...
as she will need the same resistance on the keys...
and the same sound as the Yamaha Grand Piano...
so she may retrain her musical ear correctly.





Although Alex doesn't know how to play...
I wanted him to get a feel for the music room by trying the instruments.


Alex had found the bass flute tiring to the hands and shoulders  :)

I had been saving for years for this Di Zhao Bass Flute.




Ron McCarley
805-452-6611 mobile
Ron’s Music Studio

I had talked to Ron personally...
and he had given me a great deal.

He was very friendly, and the service was very quick.

He will ship anywhere in the US...
perhaps elsewhere...

talk with Ron.

I had gotten a great deal from Ron.



I wanted to show Alex how the music room is set up when my mother and I practice.




Headphones may be used while both of us practice so we won't disturb each other 
when my mother and I practice different pieces at the same time.






I keep the Bass Flute case in the same room.


I had moved around the chairs in the room to make room for the piano.



My mother was glad to see Alex again.


I wanted to show Alex how I had set up the music room
so he may do the same for his family...
once he decides to marry.

I am hoping Alex will find time later in life to study music.

It is one of the great passions in life.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Alex's Last Day Of Math Camp - Methods Of Teaching




Song:  Stars

Artist:  Helen Jane Long


Today was the last day of the 40 hour 2018 NNV Winter Math Camp.

Alex taught every day at the camp.

First of all...
below are some photos my wife had taken of two separate sunrises.

She had gotten up extra early to make Alex's lunch for him to take to the math camp.

As she was making his lunch...
she had seen a great orange glow as the sun rose...
and she went outside to capture them.

The first set of pictures are from two mornings ago.

The last sunrise photo was taken this morning.

Many of Reno's sunrises and sunsets are simply spectacular.


These photos were taken from in front of our home a couple of mornings ago.






This photo was taken from our back yard.


This is a photo of this morning's sunrise from our front yard.


 I picked up Alex from his last day of the Math Camp.

Alex told me what he and the other instructors of the math camp 
had taught the students for the entire week.

This was a math camp specifically geared for the Mathcounts competition.

Everyday...
they had given a simulated complete Mathcounts competition...
and they then had gone over all missed problems...
and then had given some more similar type problems so the students 
could understand the concepts of the certain types of problems.

They had ensured each student could understand how to solve similar 
types of problems...and they then moved on to the next problem.

This should really make a difference to all of the student's scores in the 
upcoming Mathcounts competition, at all levels.

The instructors had also given individual feedback to all of the students...
as to what problem areas they had, and so, what they needed to concentrate more on.


Alex said all of the students really liked the math camp...
and that they had learned a lot.

He said he had seen quite a difference in all of the student's scores...
from the beginning of the math camp as opposed to the final scores on the last day.









Monday, January 8, 2018

Alex Teaching At The 2018 NNV Winter Math Camp


Album:  December

Artist:  George Winston




Today was the first day of the 8 hour a day...
5 day NNV Winter Math Camp for Elementary and Middle School students
for Competition Math.

Alex is one of the instructors for the Math Camp.

The camp is at a local Stem Academy.

As this is an advanced math camp specifically for competition math...
the elementary and middle school students learned together.

Alex made his lesson plan geared for the annual Mathcounts competition.



Alex said that the students learned very quickly and...
for the most part, had gotten the concepts in one or two tries.

Alex said that the students had done very well on their first day.

Below are Alex's lessons and problems for the week.

They will go over how to do similar problems...
and then their test will be the problem sheets below.

Alex finished writing these problem sheets for the week, last night.

Alex enjoys teaching students who love to learn...
and he said that these students loved learning competition math.

Again...
this math camp is for elementary and middle school students.

Alex said that even the 4th graders had gotten today's lesson.








As you can see...
these problems are very advanced for elementary school students...
yet, they had done well in their understanding of them on their first day.

While, undeniably, some students have more an affinity for math...
it is their desire to learn which really sets them apart
from the average student.

When children have a hunger to learn...
their curiosity drives them to learn all they can...
and so, they learn at an accelerated rate.











Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dinner And A Talk With Alex


Song:  Creep (Cover Of Radiohead)

Artist:  Brian Justin Crum


Alex just finished the last of his university applications the day before.

He had written approximately 50 essays for all of the universities to which he had applied.

Many of the universities had 3 - 5 essays per application.

Last night...
I took Alex to his favorite restaurant in celebration of his completion 
of the application process.


We started out with appetizers.

Alex only liked the Naan.

I had the Naan with cilantro - jalapeno hummus...
and I had a salad.

Naan and Kabab is one of our favorite restaurants in Reno.

It has excellent Mediterranean food.


Alex ordered his favorite...
Salmon Kabab.


I ordered the Kabab Koobideh platter...
my favorite.


I can't tell you enough how tasty these dishes are.

The spices are perfect...
and all of the meats and vegetables are fire roasted.



Alex then finished off with dessert.

It was a pistachio ice cream which was topped off with baklava.


We had extra Naan...
and I had Alex take back a slice of chocolate cake for his mother.

On the drive up to eat...
I had asked Alex which essay was his favorite.

He said that he has a favorite mathematical author who is a professor
at one of the universities which had accepted him.

He had written about how he would like to learn under this particular professor.


I also asked him which essay was the most difficult for him to have written.


He said that a total of four universities had asked him to write
an essay about a particularly tough challenge he had conquered in life.

Alex had written about his early life while he was undergoing
ABA therapy for Autism...
of how he had conquered his many compulsions and tics...
and especially his greatly heightened sensitivity to stimuli...
and of how he continued to grow and to learn how to organize his thoughts...
as well as to focus on his passions in life.

This essay was difficult for Alex as he was only three years old when he had started 
his 40 hour a week in home ABA therapy...
and of which continued until he was five years old.

He said that although he remembers much about that time...
he had to really dig to remember the details so he could write about it in his essays.



As Alex is getting nearer to becoming a full time university student...
I am growing more and more nostalgic...
but even more...
I have a growing apprehension about my not having taught Alex enough 
about the world he will soon be facing.

And so...
during dinner...
and for the drive back home...
I had told him about the many pitfalls in life.

I had told him that he has built a very strong foundation
for the rest of his life...
but that he must be aware of two basic pitfalls in life...
that which comes from within...carelessness and temptation...
and that which comes from without...accidents and evil.


I had stressed that many traditions are not mindless constructs of man...
but are general rules of conduct to prevent mishaps in life...
as had been seen and experienced by people over a great amount of time...
and had been passed down from generation to generation.

I reminded him that over the next decade or so...
what he does will determine the rest of his life.

If he loses focus...
if he becomes careless...
he could lose it all.


I had stressed that the key to surviving accidents...
is to use enough forethought to prevent them from happening in the first place.

I then talked to Alex about the tradition of chastity until marriage...
of how it has an important purpose.

I had stressed that to forego this tradition is to place
a short term pleasure over the long term gain.

It is to unnecessarily risk losing his dream
for something he has plenty of time for
after he completes his university...
and becomes a professor.


I know that Alex will be faced with attempted manipulation
by his peers should he not desire to participate in risky behavior
they deem as manly or otherwise as part of the group.

He may be labeled by those who wish to manipulate him...
 as a coward...
or otherwise as someone who is considered undesirable.

He knows that there are social bullies...
and of how they will attempt to have him sabotage his own life
through manipulation.

I have also stressed to him...
many times...
that he should never ride in a vehicle of another adolescent...
as the biggest killer of adolescents in America...
are motor vehicles...
driven by them, or by another.

I especially stressed how he should never allow himself to become a designated driver
for the idiots who think that drinking is a manly thing to do

( I had gone into how the Alcohol and Tobacco industries
had actually hired Psychologists to design a way to increase
their markets many decades ago.  
Their heavily manipulative solution was to use the concept of modeling...
by having all of the heroes drink and smoke in movies
(the Tobacco and Alcohol industries sponsored the movies and TV shows...
and demanded each character smoke and drink)...
especially in heavily dramatic scenes involving closeups
of them smoking and drinking just before climactic moments...
and so, tying it in to their success over man...
and with women.  
This was the great evil of the industries...
and of the Psychologists...
as they had succeeded in hooking generation after generation...
 with many starting out as teenagers ).


I told Alex that any "friend" who asks him to be a designated driver...
is no friend...
and that he should never allow himself to be around anyone who is impaired...
as they excel at doing stupid things.

Anyone who "parties"...
is someone whom he should walk away from...
as they are on the wrong path in life...
and they will want him to walk that same path with them.


I also stressed that...
just as not all men are honorable or good...
not all women are honorable or good.

As Alex goes higher in life 
through his dedication to his education...
there will be some women who wish to "hook" him.

There will be some who will look at him as a catch.

This, of course...
implies that he is a fish...
a commodity to be used for their own selfish desires...
to satisfy their hunger for a life of ease.

Various forms of manipulation will be attempted by these temptresses.

Any form of manipulation is a sign to walk away.

Alex must learn to look for a pure hearted woman...
one whose chief trait is kindness...
one whom has a high maternal instinct.

As I have told Alex many a time...
he should have it in his mind to never get married.

When he meets the woman who...
through her selfless pure heart and high maternal instinct...
makes him think differently about marriage...
he will have found the right one.

When he finds the right one...
there will be no doubt...
and it is she who will constantly be on his mind.

Then...
and only then...
should he think about marriage...
and then...
only after he finishes all of his schooling...
and starts his profession.

If both wish to be married...
both will be willing to wait...
if their hearts are true.

-------

To circumvent the pitfalls of life...
merely think things through.

If it is a distraction...
if it causes a diversion from your path...
if it unnecessarily puts your future at risk...
it is the wrong thing to do.

Always beware of the false immediacy argument
favored by the manipulators of life.

Very few things in life must be decided immediately.

There is almost always a few minutes to think things through
before deciding on an activity.

Should any person attempt to use a false immediacy argument...
you will know that the person had withheld the information
until the last moment to create a sense of urgency...
so as to attempt to force you to make a judgement without thought...
as they knew that you would not agree with it, with thought, in the first place.

If things are so dire that it must be decided on immediately...
you automatically know to pass on it.

--------

So...
as a general guideline for living life without falling victim to its pitfalls...
simply do everything in accordance with the achievement of your dreams.

This will automatically keep you on the right path.

-------

Alex is now busy with his preparation as an instructor at this year's
winter math camp.

He will be teaching competition math...
and he is having fun preparing his lesson plan.















Sunday, December 24, 2017

Alex's Fall Semester Grades / Christmas Lights



Song:  O Holy Night

Artist:  Josh Grobin


It was a couple of days ago that Alex received his final grades for high school...
his college classes, and his university classes.

These grades are also important for Alex as we will have to send in these transcripts
to all of the applied to universities as supplemental information.

Alex has yet to receive word from the majority of the universities...
and, even the ones which have already accepted him...
should his grades fall this year...
they could refuse to take him...
so, as Alex had received all A's in all of his classes again this past semester...
he feels especially good.

Of course...
he still has one more semester to go...
but, this was a particularly important semester for him to do so well in.


On the next morning...
I had to drive over the Sierra Nevada mountain range for an appointment
in California.

As I was going over the summit...
the sun began rising...
so, I took some photos.







My appointment was over quickly...
so, I drove back over the mountains to go home.

When I got home...
I was tired...
so, I slept until late in the evening.

On the evening of the next day...
we went out to a local Chinese restaurant to celebrate Alex's good news.




Alex had ordered the above two dishes:

Chicken Chow Mein

Crispy Duck




I had ordered the above two dishes:

Beef Chow Mein

Roasted Duck




My wife had just ordered one dish:

Vietnamese Beef Pho



Alex and I had finished our Chow Mein...
and most of our duck.

We had ordered extra so we could take some home afterwards.


---------------


This Winter has been disappointing in its lack of snow.
Usually we would have plenty of snow on the ground by now.

Still, we wanted to see some of our neighborhood's Christmas lights.

We had just come back from driving around our neighborhood
to see the Christmas decorations.

It is now Christmas Eve.


























The lights would have looked so much better with a foot or two of snow covering the ground...
but, it was still nice.















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