Skip to main content

About Me

Just in case you want to contextualize my comments, here's some information about me. I'm a Software Engineer working in Silicon Valley. Married, 2 kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and a stick bug (though it's not clear how much longer the stick bug will be with us).

I'm from Argentina originally and I've been a US citizen for a while. I desperately tried to become one to vote in the 2004 presidential election. I made it, but my vote did not make any difference. An unfortunate consequence of being a liberal in California and the winner-take-all electoral system. I talk about politics all the time. My Facebook profile lists me as "extremely liberal".

I'm passionate about public education. My parents made it a point to send me to public schools in Argentina as I was growing up and I'm doing the same for my kids. The public schools here are much better than the schools I went to growing up, but unfortunately the funding reality in California is making them worse with every round of cuts. I'm involved in our local PTA and have been on the board of the Redwood City Education Foundation, and hence I'm very familiar with the funding issues.

I play the guitar and the piano, listen to a lot of music, read a lot of stuff and play video games on the Wii. I also watch lots of films, with a preference for foreign/independent/art films. It always bothers me that critics don't tell you their top 10 favorite movies before giving you any review at all.

I play soccer and tennis and enjoy watching both. I insist on watching Argentina games in the World Cup live and tell my employers at hiring time that I will be taking off at strange times of the day when that time comes around every four years. With DVRs I can now watch many games after hours, without disturbing my family life.

I do not write about myself in the third person.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

High Def, Low Def and Now Ultra Low Def TV

High Definition TV is great, amazing, a must have for sports. How did we ever manage to watch soccer games without it? Unfortunately, I'm forced to remember the horror every weekend, where I move from Barcelona's glorious HDTV courtesy of GolTV HD to Boca's horrific, ultra low def, courtesy of TyC Sports.

I claim that the video quality we get from TyC for these Argentinean soccer games is lower than Low Definition. Games look, really, really bad, much worse than low definition games you see on ESPN or even Univision. I don't know why, but here's the evidence.

What follows is snapshots of my LCD TV, with signal from DirecTV, comparing High Definition to whatever this other thing is. I used my digital camera, taking pictures at max resolution.

First, a snapshot of this weekend's Barcelona Vs. Osasuna game.



Very pretty. Now here's the capture of today's glorious Boca Juniors victory over Huracán.



To highlight the differences even further, I took a picture …

Should I move to Redwood City and send my kids to its Public Schools?

A coworker recently asked me the following question:
I have a 2 year old daughter and we're considering buying a house. Redwood City is more affordable than other communities, but I'm worried about the public schools. So, should I consider moving to Redwood City?
The short answer is a resounding "yes!". I have two daughters, ages 13 and 11 who have experienced the Redwood City Public School system first hand and all the way through. For elementary school, both went to Orion, a wonderful, very small school based on parent participation. The school is cozy and beautiful, the teachers are great, and the community is incredible. A fantastic experience.

Orion, ends in 5th grade and before High School you have to pick a Middle School. The default choice is Kennedy Middle School, the largest middle school in Redwood City. Both my daughters are now at Kennedy, one in 6th grade, the other one in 8th. Kennedy is a completely different experience. It's large and diverse, admit…

Thoughts on "Waiting for Superman"

I missed "Waiting for Superman" when it was in theaters and recently got a chance to see it during a long flight, yes, on one of those tiny LCD screens. The film was rather controversial in educational circles when it came out and I was expecting a large reaction to its point of view, or approach to the subject or its choice of culprits for the current state of things. Not so. I thought the movie was quite sensible, that it made a number of valid points and that it was pretty fair.

One thing I did not enjoy was the focus of the ending on the lotteries that would decide whether the kids we had been following would get into their respective Charter schools, schools that would be the difference between success and failure. Dramatically the scenes work and we're on the edge of our seats waiting to see if they make it in (most do not!), but the emotional kick from these scenes undoes a very important point the movie makes about Charter schools: just like normal schools, some …