The Gurp Files is a collection of my personal writings, specifically a blog, or journal. I cover whatever strikes my mind as interesting. Gardening of California Native Plants is a primary interest. I also have some other hobbies like astronomy, woodworking, weather, aquariums and keeping of tropical fish. I enjoy bicycling, as well, but after some neck surgery in 2014, I haven’t been riding much since then. Lately, the majority of my free time has been focused on home improvement and gardening.
I have a series of videos I call “The Expert Amateur” on YouTube. As I say there, I don’t know what I’m doing and I can prove it. About the only thing I consider myself an expert on these days is teaching Language Arts. I’ve been doing it for over 15 years now and I take great care with my profession. I try hard to provide a high-quality education to my students. I have an education in television and film production and criticism. So, I have some expertise in that area. But, other than that, I’m an amateur. Part of the reason I write these pieces is to help me learn about these things. I also hope that my writings might be helpful to others, and maybe even entertaining. But, please don’t get confused thinking I know what I’m talking about. If it’s not about teaching, literature, writing, or film/television, there’s a reasonable chance I’m mistaken. But, if I’m making mistakes, people can learn from that, too.
I am a high school teacher of Language Arts (but, that shouldn’t cause anyone to think my grammar is perfect!). None of my opinions here are those of my employer and are mine only. It should be noted, too, that what I write about here may have little or nothing to do with my teaching. I try hard to keep my “personal views” out of my teaching when they are not relevant.
I have lived all of my life in California, mostly in the Inland Empire region, currently in the Southwestern area of San Bernardino County. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema-Television Critical Studies (1996) and a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting of Cinema and Television (1998), both from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. I attended Damien High School (class of 1989) and Mount San Antonio Community College before transferring to U.S.C. I worked for several years in the entertainment industry, most notably as an intern at Pacific Western Productions for about a year arount 1997-98. Then, I worked for several years at Walt Disney Studios Television Animation. I started out in the Script Department, correcting scripts of the animated series Hercules for use in making dubs into foreign languages. Later, I got hired as a Production Secretary for Teacher’s Pet and worked both seasons and during the pre-production of the film of the same title. I was assistant to the creator, the executive producers, the directors, and the writers. By the second season, I shifted to primarily assisting the writers.
In 2001 I left the industry to become a teacher. This move seemed sudden, but, in hindsight, it was precipitated by the death of my mother. I wanted a job that was more personally rewarding. I wanted to help others. My mother had been a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). I lacked that educational background but I thought I could be helpful through education. Also, I had married and moved back to the Inland Region; commuting back and forth to Burbank every day was difficult and the entertainment industry is not steady work. It seemed to me that a husband and step-father should have ongoing employment that is financially remunerative. I was hired to teach high school Drama and direct drama productions for Fontana Unified at Kaiser High School. I also taught English Language Arts for 9th grade, and then 11th grade and 9th grade Honors. After six years, I accepted a change in assignment to be the Activities Director for KHS. I did that for four years, supervising the production of Homecoming, Prom, pep rallies, academic achievement rallies, and other student activities, including fundraising and marketing. After that, I went back to teaching Language Arts. I taught 11th grade, then exclusively 10th grade. In 2015, I was assigned to teach Advanced Placement Literature and Composition for 12th grade. That is what I am doing today.
I divorced and remarried. My wife and I have been together since 2008. I have two children from my previous marriage, a daughter and son, and two step-children, also a daughter and son
I hold the copyrights reserved on all of my writing. If you desire to use any of my writing, please contact me to discuss terms. None of my writing may be used without permission.