FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

About Me, by Students

Integrating U. S. History with Educational Technology
Deborah T. Aufdenspring
New Technology High School
Napa, California

Backpacking with stuffed friend, Merced River Canyon, Easter, 1996

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Phoenix Arizona. I spent my first couple of years of college in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Then I moved to California and have been here ever since, mostly in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Why did you take this job at New Technology High School?
Even though I liked my previous school, when the job at New Tech was offered, I couldn't pass it up. I've been trained in, written about, and done software for, the integration of technology into the teaching of history (and English). This job at New Tech lets me pursue that. And, I knew I would be with a great bunch of like-minded colleagues, not to mention great students like you. The possibilities that arise from every student and teacher having interconnected computers still boggles me.

Where did you teach before?
Before coming to New Tech and Napa, I lived in Angels Camp, CA and taught at Bret Harte High School (quad pictured below). Bret Harte is a grades 9 - 12 high school of about 800 students. I taught U.S. History and sophomore English. I loved it there, but New Tech gave me more opportunity to try to integrate technology into the teaching of history.

Before Bret Harte (minus time out for a Masters degree and computer credential), I lived in Tuolumne, CA and taught at Summerville High School there. Tuolumne is a very small town northwest of the northern boundary of Yosemite National Park. Summerville was a wonderful school, and the backpacking around that area was the best. Backpacking is my hobby and summer passion.

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In Angels Camp, the Bullfrogs (students) of Bret Harte High School get
two days off school each year for the Calaveras County Frog Jump Contest.

Did you really get knocked out in a mosh pit?
Yes. I was chaperoning a student dance at Bret Harte and waded into the mosh pit to break it up (moshing was against the rules). Some really big basketball players didn't see five foot two inch me, and I wound up out cold on the floor. I prefer slow-dancing with my husband.

Where did you go to school?
I got my Bachelors degree at San Diego State and my first teaching credential at Sacramento State. Much later, I got my computer credential and Masters degree at Sacramento State also. If you or your parents are interested, my full resume is posted at this web site as an example for the students in my internship class.

How old are you?
Old enough that television was a new consumer technology when I was young. We didn't have a TV and neither did anyone we knew.

What do you do when you're not teaching?
I love being with my husband. I love backpacking, particularly the solo trips I take each summer. I love my cats.

Don't you get scared backpacking by yourself?
A little bit, but I'm more scared of the people along the trail than I am of the bears, or anything else. Besides I take along my little stuffed bear (pictured sticking out of my pack at the top of this page). Mostly I just love backpacking. I even co-taught a backpacking class at Summerville High School when I was there - back in the days before schools had so many litigation and liability problems.

How many cats do you have?
We have four cats: U-Turn, Ayla, Erwaul, and Duncan. U-Turn is the one pictured below. U-turn got her name when she was six weeks old, and had been run over and left on the centerline of a busy rural highway. The students who picked her up, and brought her to my husband, had to make a u-turn with their car in order to retrieve her. U-Turn's brain never quite recovered from the trauma, and she sometimes needs to be gentled before she does major damage to herself or others. High school students sometimes need the same treatment. "There now. Hush now. Be still now." is a soothing phrase I say it to my students when they might be starting to spin out of control. It derives from what I whisper to U-Turn, when she gets out of control.

Don't ask about Erwauls' name. Just put "cat" in front of it. I want to name our next cat "CatNapa", but my husband won't let me.

U-Turn tiptoes through the tulips. ©

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