Real Genius

I’m back teaching summer school

and my TA is a T.N.

Total. Nerd.

I don’t mean the cute Joseph Gordon-Levitt type. I  mean the kid who wears a shirt that has a periodic table with the quote “I wear this shirt periodically,” a joseph-gordon-levitt-02mouth full of braces, is as pale as he is skinny, and doesn’t know how to answer a simple question such as “Do you like working with kids,” but can go off on a tangent about the chemical composition of carbon dioxide in an alka-seltzer tab we’re using to make lava.       I am not even sure I know what that last sentence means.

He drives me crazy.

For 3rd and 4th period I teach a Chemistry in the Kitchen class to 1st and 2nd grade children. We basically put together  stuff that comes from the kitchen in hopes of the following:

1) An explosion.

2) An overflow of ingredients.

3) That it is something we can eat.

It’s a SUPER basic class, and because my specialty is reading and language arts I pride myself on having kept it simple for the last 4 years I’ve taught it. Now this kid shows up and does one or more of the following every day:

1) Corrects the terms I use like “pyramid” to “tetrahedron.”

2) Half cleans up when I ask him to clean up stuff. He only seems to focus on the immediate area around him, and not the entire classroom.

3) Spends 1-2 hours coming up with formulas for simple experiments I ask him to set up like making soda with a bit of baking soda, fruit punch powder, and water.

Let me touch on the last one and finally get to my point. Again this kid drives me crazy. He can be hardly helpful at times because he will sit at the back of the classroom writing out formulas or doodling pictures of the experiments he is supposed to actually ya know, be setting up in real life.

However, the day we were supposed to make the fruit punch soda I taught him something, and he taught me. After spending the first two hours of school writing out formulas and doing taste tests to see if there was a perfect scientific calculation formula thingy between the baking soda, water, and fruit punch he told me it was impossible to make the fizz without the drink tasting super bitter.

So asked him,

“Hey…did you just put the two into the water to taste? Like did you NOT calculate anything and just add in what you thought might work?”

“Um…huh? I tested a few samples from my calculations and-“

That’s a nope.

We went into the classroom. I put a teeny bit of baking soda, half a cup of water, and most of the fruit punch packet in the water. Voilà! Fizz, and a horrifyingly too-sweet drink any kid would love. He tasted it, paused, and replied “Uh ya that tastes pretty good.”

What did he learn? Sometimes its NOT about the perfect calculation for the perfect formula for the perfect result.

The real genius in life is understanding that sometimes the perfect result comes from an imperfect process.

Kinda like my life…

What did I learn? Patience. Although he drives me crazy this is a 14 year-old kid still figuring things out. Rather than forcing any ideas into his head I allow him the space to explore his position in our class in his own nerdy way. I also make sure to praise him highly in the occasional occasion his expertise come in handy.

I’m sure one day this kid will turn out to be just as cool as I am.  He will blossom into one of those confident nerds and meet someone who finds his interest in YouTubing Chemistry crash courses fascinating (this is a current hobby of his).


and he’ll be just fine.

Maggie xo


My Papi

It’s the time of year again where I get to brag about my dad.

My Papi.

Best dad ever.

If you have a father, stepfather, uncle, or any male figure in your life you can say is the “best” this is the day to show how much you appreciate them.

Because unfortunately for many,

They don’t have this opportunity, or they can’t. FB_IMG_1428727035407

Along with being the best dad ever he has a very “unique” sense of humor that
only those who spend enough time around him understand.

That it’s straight up weird, and doesn’t have a real solid pattern of logic to it.

One fun expression of his humor is the dry “in your face” type stuff he does, and it totally messes with me.

So for this Father’s Day I’d like to mess with him, and share with you the side of him that messes with me.

And I have to say on paper it’s kinda funny….

*Papi once had me check the fire alarm in our house to see if it worked. I held my ear up close to listen for the beep when it did that LOUD INSANE BEEP right in my ear. When I yelled at him as to why he didn’t warn me about that he looked me dead in the eye and said,

Well now we know it works.

*When I cook for my dad or the whole family it is a nice experience for me. Coincidentally though, every time I cook Papi takes some convincing to eat because he never seems to be hungry at that time. I think he’s jealous because I am an awesome cook, but the ironic thing is

He taught me how to cook.

*I had a friend stay over one night and left in the morning before she woke up. She found a kitty poop on my bed and when she told my dad he told her to

Leave the poop for me to find

*Papi calls any man I date Miguel. Do we know a Miguel? No. Did I ever have boyfriend named Miguel? Nope. Now, when I actually had a date with a guy named Miguel…this;

Really messed with Papi’s mind.

Happy Easter Papi!


Maggie xo


I would like to say *Happy Mother’s Day* to all the mothers out there!

You come from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds. ALL of you are appreciated today. From the bottom of my heart I wish for you to feel the love vibrating around the world in 84528-Happy-Mothers-Dayappreciation of your existence.

I am incredibly fortunate to have a mother who has been actively involved in my life since the day I was born, and would like to dedicate this piece to her.

Her name is Maria, but because of the many lives she has touched over the years working with families she was given the nickname “Mamaria (Mama-riah).”

My sisters and I would like to share our thoughts on our wonderful mom as part of our gift to her.

Why will you enjoy this?

Because for those of you who are mothers, partners, stepmothers, and “second moms” you will read firsthand how your work matters. How what you do everyday, and every moment is so important it changes lives.

For everyone else my wish is for this touch you in some way. To reflect on a female role model or caregiver in your own life, or at the very least find appreciation for what a woman’s hard work and love can instill in her loved ones.

From the Middle Sis: The-Moment-He-Realized-He-Was-Now-The-Middle-Child-Funny-Kids-Siblings

“My Mom is the strongest woman I know. As a parent now, I have a better understanding of what a Mom truly does and goes through for her children. And because of this new understanding I have even MORE love and respect for her. A mother’s love cannot be described into words and is forever truly unconditional. I am lucky to have the best Mom in the world. Thank you for always being there for me, forgiving me, and loving me for me!  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!”

From the Baby:

cookies-of-life“God truly gave me sisters and the mom I need. She is a beautiful example of serving others with joy and loving each other in our own way. I can’t put in enough words what she means to me. I love her so very much, and it’s a bonus to be working with her at the same school!”


From the Oldest (Me):

My mother is the epitome of strength and heart. She is always able to move with the changes she sees in her daughters with a *love* that never changes. She has carried the weight of many struggles for this family, and over the years learned to move through her own to find happiness within herself. As I find myself starting over again we share a common bond to haul up our next mountains of change to become even better versions of ourselves; striving for that beautiful view along the way, and on the top.

And what I take away from her that now eternally swirls in core of who I am is

It is never to late to have a beautiful life, but it is up to ME to create it. 

Love you Mama

Magdelena xo