My Teacher Did What? January


Mariana Orozco-Berber, Editor

“What do you want me to say? I’m boring,” says Chemistry teacher, Ms. Moore. As a teenager in high school, her life seemed calm, but do not be fooled.
Moore was your average high school student, doing well, not really engaged in after school activities.
“I lived in an area where most everyone took the bus. And unless you were rich and had a car, you couldn’t stay after school and do anything,” she explains.
The lack of activities in her area, and the convenience of living up in the mountains, motivated Moore to enjoy hiking as a hobby, oftentimes with her best friend.
“We saw a momma bear once. That was really scary because we thought she might eat us. She didn’t,” says Moore,“we just stood still and [the bear] stood still and then we slowly backed away.”
After high school, Moore attended college for a few semesters but soon after decided to drop out.
“I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know how to push myself, I didn’t know how to struggle and it was so hard because it was so much more different than high school,” she says.
Eventually she went back to college, however joined the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and became a firefighter before deciding to return to college.
Moore explains, “I wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a little kid. I used to watch reruns of this show called Emergency 51. It was a show from the 60’s or 70’s and all the firefighters are white males with mustaches, but just as a kid I always said I wanted to be a firefighter when I grew up.”
The CCC based Moore at a camp in North Carolina where she learned firefighting skills and gained experience; this allowed her to get hired as a real firefighter after completing her time in the corps.
Moore claims it was not a job she was afraid to complete, despite the time she had fire blown over her as she took cover under an engine with a fire blanket over her head!
One of her most memorable experiences, however, was when she was called in for an “FMS type B.”
She says,“I asked ‘What’s an FMS’ and they say ‘Fireman stand by.’ Then I ask ‘Well what’s a type B’ and they say ‘It’s a bomb threat.’ I’m going to a bomb threat!
Of course, the bomb squad came in and defused the bomb, however her initial fear was due to the fact that she had not been on the job very long and it was unexpected.
In the midst of her days as a firefighter, Moore went back to college and reassures that she was more mature and ready, a much more studious scholar.
“I went from dropping out to having all A’s,” says Moore.
She studied Psychobiology, or neuroscience and volunteered, as an undergrad, to work at a lab that studied the changes in brain cells when someone learns anything new.
In graduate school, Moore conducted her own research project that dealt with learning as well,specifically, the auditory aspect of it.
“It was amazing. It was interesting it’s like doing labs that nobody knows anything about. You kinda question, and you do reading and figure out how could something be happening. Then test it to see if you’re right. You’re wrong because you’re always wrong (you never get it right right away),” says Moore, “It’s like exploring outer space or something. You are finding out something that nobody knows about it.”