Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Introductory Letter

To begin at the beginning I was born near Gracie Mansion in NYC (that's where the mayor lives) but I lived way uptown (the Bronx) for 13 years...got a great accent there... Then the folks took me really way up town to Westchester County which was like going to Mars. So I of course went to college there since I wanted to be able to pass as a Martian anytime I needed to.
But after college I lived in NYC for 10 years because the air there was more natural to me.
Then I went to law school and practiced law for almost 15 years. But I got tired of having to be mean all the time so I decided to change and while I was trying to decide I taught some students and while I was doing that I realized I was happy again... so I morphed into a teacher.

Then I won a fellowship to become a NYC teacher and spent a year teaching in high school in a self-contained class in 9th and 10th grade and I was very happy, when my husband of 9 years said he couldn't breath anymore and some people on the west coast offered him some breathing apparatus. And so kicking and screaming I left for Cali where no one had ever heard of me and so pretty much ignored me for a while - a year (except a cute little stray dog who came to visit my husband and I and our 2 dogs and decided to stay) :) And so since reading Jackie and Rich's book changed the way I thought about Spec. Ed I came to Cal State where I feel included.

All of my experience with technology is self taught. I use a PC because it was what most lawyers used 10 years ago. I can usually figure out how to do anything if I am in a patient mood. I ran my business using a lot of technology for calendaring and putting together large documents, always being connected with a palm pilot etc. I have used google documents a lot. I have always used the Internet for research - lexis - Nexis (since 1990) etc... for legal stuff. My school in NYC (MLK HS) did not have computers in the classroom and since I taught a self -contained class with ED students sometimes going to the computer lab was trying (I taught 9th and 10th graders). So I am anxious to begin using the computer in whatever job I get. Did I mention I am looking for a teaching position? :)

Creating an Inclusive School profoundly changed my view of how to proceed as a special educator. I hope that the teaching position I obtain allows me to be collaborative but if not I know that I can collaborate with other teachers in an informal way as I did at Martin Luther King HS. I have been committed to social justice since I worked for McGovern. Being a part of an institution whose mission statement commits to diversity and equality and social justice is a very natural place for me.


sydneycamden said...

You Rock Lorraine...I just had to say. You sound like such a cool person. Although you came kickin' and screamin' how do you like CA? I have never been to NY but it is on my bucket list. :-) Wow a lawyer to a teacher, man I LOVE IT! But I do believe that combination will work great for the high schoolers who give you a hard time ;-). Also, I have worked with special ed students for a while and I am glad you with your kind of personality (a mixture of humor, passion and love) will be very beneficial!

Keep Rockin'!

Carissa Anderson said...

Wow! I agree with Sydney (which is usually the case), you do rock Lorraine! My mom was born in Brooklyn and lived in Queens until she married my father, so I imagine that your accents are similar (although hers is significantly less since she's been in California much longer than yourself). Your story is quite inspiring. The fact that you went from being a lawyer to teaching is great! I think that with your background you will have great success with high schoolers! Good luck with your future plans!

Jessica said...

Hi Lorraine!

I feel connected to you as for I am a fellow New Yorker...I feel like CSUSM is my home and I am glad that you feel included as well. Lawyer turned teacher, that is remarkable! Good luck with your goals and I look forward to learning more about you!

kelciejoiner said...

Your story is definitely amazing. I have been to NY once but it was only for two weeks. I definitely liked what I saw in that short time. I do think your experience as a lawyer is great to carry over to your teaching career. Keep up the good work :)