I started out my career in baseball as an intern for the Seattle Mariners at the age of 16. The next season they had ball girl try outs and I made it! I was the new ball snatcher. I made headlines when I became the first ball girl to dive for a foul ball. I was highlighted on FOX's This Week in Baseball, Univision, CBS Day & Date, ESPN, CNN, KIRO's On Deck Show, and other networks and print publications for my plays on the field and for my baseball artwork, which I donate to various charities and got officially licensed for it by the MLBPA at the age of 19. I have my own sport art business and my art has been displayed at the Legends of the Game museum in TX and the Yogi Berra Museum in NY. I worked for the M's for seven seasons and had the opportunity to get to know all of the main departments of the front office from marketing to public relations. I went on to work for the Red Sox in their Dominican Republic baseball academy as their English teacher. Inspired by my work there, I developed and created a complete career development education program for international players called "Keep Your Eyes in the Ball". This program turned the Red Sox into pioneers in the area of international player development in the area of transition to their careers in the states. I teach the players everything including, American laws, life skills, customs, English, baseball terminology, etiquette, money management, basic nutrition, media and fan relations, literacy, and more. I went on to work for the Orioles and was even recruited by the New York Yankees. My title for the Red Sox was coordinator of player education and with the Orioles, international liaison and instructor of english and cultural literacy. I came back home to complete my college education and returned to the Mariners to work with their major league Latin American players, including their new Cuban star, Yuniesky Betancourt. Interestingly, I was Felix Hernandez's brother's teacher with the Orioles as well. Some players you might recognize that were students of mine include; Anibal Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Daniel Cabrera, Wilfredo Ledezma, Ed Rogers, Tony Blanco, Eddy Rodriguez, Franklin Francisco, and Jorge De La Rosa.

My Orioles Class Documentary - Part One

My Sports Art

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Week Three Dominican Republic

I’m sitting here eating dinner inside the restaurant while watching the San Pedro Estrellas ball game on TV. So far, they’re winning, and if they win, they will be in first place!!!!! I want them to go to Mexico so badly! That would be so awesome if they played there when I was there!!! Oh no! It’s tied 4-4 now!! Luis Garcia is the first student I met here in the Dominican Republic. He has such a mind for baseball. He his like a human baseball statistic machine. My ankles itch so much because of all of the mosquito bites I’m getting here. Ouch.
HI journal. Whoa. Yesterday I learned how to pitch and it was so much fun! I’m losing a lot of weight going working out here. I got a work out yesterday. I am playing tennis on Saturday and Sunday.
Hi journal. Sorry I haven’t written lately. Been very busy. I went to the Malecon and sat under my Almond tree just by coincidence. It was so fun and so beautiful. The stars were out, the bachata was playing in the backgound, the waves were crashing on the shore, it was awesome. I ate a strawberry and chocolate cone, and it was so good. Then a dog came and stole it away. It was so funny.
Hi. It is a day after thanksgiving. It was a good thanksgiving because I had a lot to be thankful for and a big family to share it with. In class every body said what they were thankful for in English. It was so cool. Some even said they’re thankful for their teacher!

Saturday, November 11, 2000

Week Two Red Sox Academy

Hi. I love my students. The class was a disaster today. The put us in the room with food in it, and the food was too much of a distraction for everybody. Everyone was talking and staring at the food. It was not the ideal teaching/learning environment. I am starting to develop a list of issues that we must begin to work on in order to get the English program where it should be. One of those is maintaining a sterile learning environment. Righ tnow, we have class in a hotel conference room. The issue is that the air conditioning is broken more often than it's not and the heat can get so bad that it breaks concentration. If the window is opened, all of the mosquitos from the pool area come in and attack the class. The power goes out so often that we have lost a lot of class time because of it. But we are working through these kinks. It is the first time the team has a formal education program so clearlyt there will be things to improve on and problems to solve. This goes for me as a teacher too. It is my first experience teaching the players so I am also learning as I go. The players are showing a lot of progress with the To Be verb in all tenses as well as the baseball terminology.
Hi. Things are going well. My ear hurts, my throat is killing me, but things are going well. All the players are going back to their homes for the weekend. I am eating lunch right now. It is perfect weather out today.
Well, I better get up. I need to go to the Iberia market. Hey, how did this computer know that Iberia is a word?? It normally highlights in red the words it does not recognize in its dictionary. Whoa. Weird. I have a majorly bad cough. It is killing me. I would take Nyquil but then I get sleepy. I wish my throat would stop bothering me. Grrr. Ttfn!
HI journal. I got bitten some more by the mosquitos. I think I am becoming immune to them by now. Hahaha. My grandma just called. It was so god to hear her voice. She is very happy for me.

Sunday, November 5, 2000

My first Weekend in the Domincan Republic

I have no idea what date it is, but hopefully I’m right. I haven’t taken my midterms yet because I can’t sign on!!!! I am so frustrated that I just can’t get online!!!! Hmmm. It was so cute yesterday, because the students all thought there was going to be class and they were all in the lobby with their books. I would teach them Saturdays, but I need my time off too. So do they. They can use the weekend to study for the coming week. When I woke up, I thought it was 1 o’clock, but it was actually only 10!!! I don’t know why I thought it was so late! Everybody was just waking up! I got down to the restaurant thinking I’d have to eat lunch, and they were still serving breakfast!!!!! They breakfast buffet was all still very stocked, and there were lots of people eating! I thought to myself, “do they serve breakfast for lunch on Sundays or something?” I became disoriented so I came to the front desk, and I noticed the clock for NY time said 10 am, and I thought to myself, is the clock wrong.” But then I asked Andres, and he said that it was right. I can’t believe that I woke up at like 9:30 and thought it was 1!!!!!! But I guess that is good because it got me in gear to get up. It is such a beautiful day outside today. I love the music here. It’s AWESOME. La Banda Chula!!! Good song. Also there’s a song by Marc Anthony; No Aye Nadie Como Ella. I think I’m going outside. I just hope I don’t get too over heated. I love this music. It plays all day in the malecon and you can hear the tunes on the breeze coming through the hotel. I could never get tired of it. It is awesome here. It was so funny when Yuri asked me about Trash Talking in class!! He thought it totally meant something else! It's funny how idioms can totally be mis understood when you don't know they are idioms. I can’t believe how blessed I was to be able to do this!! I hope this is what God had planned for me. I hope that I’m teaching the right way. I want these kids to learn so badly. I really care about each and every one of them to succeed in life. I see in them their deep desire to make it. And I hope that they will succeed in the path God puts them on. You know what they call the ballpark here in Spanish? EL PLEY!!! Not el JUEGO!!! A lady just came and said they’d give me 8,000 pesos per month and one month of vacation to work for them as a bilingual secretary. Where did that come from? No clue. What is 8,000 pesos per month anyway? Hmm. It goes to show you how much of a need for bilingual ability there is here I guess. wow. A beautiful butterfly.
I went to Hiroshima camp today, and had a wonderful time again. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy watching the players play. It is really cool to see. It even helps me see what to incorporate in the class lessons.

Saturday, November 4, 2000

First Day at the Baseball Academy Field

I haven’t been able to go online since I got here. I am going to devote my free time this weekend to finish my HUM 105 mid term, and study fro my ENV 150 mid term. Other than that, I am having the time of my life. I think I got rid of my cold. I went through the final stage yesterday, and today I didn’t feel that sick at all. Today in class was a good day. The first class, the English literacy level, went over the alphabet, and I had them write down their names, and then I divided them into two teams. I am having them spell their names out loud, and the team with the most people who can do it will win. I think everyone is pretty comfortable by now. I need to work on pronouncing UNDERSTAND, and TH. Those are the toughest for all of them. I think if I’m patient enough with them, that they will be patient with themselves too. Victor Urena was having a little hard time pronouncing Understand, because he was trying to say the word too fast without pronouncing it. When we were doing repetition drills, he wanted to get it right and was repeating it with total effort, and the class followed his lead.When he got it, he told the class if they're patient that they can do it too. The whole class broke out in smiles. Some are still shy, and scared to make mistakes, but they seem hungry to learn and cooperative in the in class activities., so that is a step in the right direction One student's name, in my English literacy group, is Franklin, like the name of my favorite batting glove brand. I am going to show him my Franklin glove tomorrow. The daily alphabet practice is coming along well. I also gave out note cards so they can use them to memorize terms. I also had them practice before going to bed every night. The students are all so great. I’m so proud of them all for making an effort. I will talk more on Breaking Barriers, an education program inspired by Jackie Robinson, on Monday. I hope to have phone access by tomorrow, however I won’t be able to know until the afternoon because I’ll be going to the game tomorrow. I am very excited to see my students play. The verb chart is going very well. I need to remember to concentrate some more about get/got. Affirmative/Negative, Contractions, spelling. Batista has excellent hand writing, and good attention to detail. He is also very conscious of neatness. He cares to learn all grammer, and seems to make a conscious effort in order to learn all aspects of English. He is real serious about learning fluent English. I need to start with culture notes, life skills. I also began the daily covereage on the commands for baseball, and baseball vocabulary. I need them to memorize the first set of baseball vocabulary by Thursday. Oh yeah! I almost forgot to tell you about my day! I woke up early, went to breakfast, had papaya, leche klim (yummy milk), fried eggs, bread, and jamon. Then I went upstairs and organized my room a little. That day we took a cab to the practice. The cab took us through the horses and shacks to a baseball complex that was beautiful. It was pristine, and the facility was great too. We got there just when the Red Sox were leaving so I didn’t get to see much. But I met Julio and Cesarino Geronimo. I also got to see some of the Japanese team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carps' office, and Cesarino said I could interview him for my book. I can’t believe how little exposure these teams get. It seems very fascinating! Then afterwards, we rode on the team officials' bus to the store and we finally bought the books and pencils and index cards. Then we took motor scooters back to the hotel, and I had lunch and then started class. It was a good day. After class, I went with Margarita to Richard’s house because he invited me too. Richard Paulino is the manager for the Atlanta Braves Dominican team. He is someone I have a lot of respect for. We had dinner with him and his beautiful family. It was so special. I got to say grace and I cried, as usual. They are the sweetest people on earth, just as Margarita said they were. He is going to help me with my art and my book. How nice. I love their kid. He is the cutest little boy, and he gave me a kiss good night. We had fried yuca, chicken, rice, and a fruit cocktail drink made out of pineapples and melons. The pineapple was so sweet and yummy. It was a great dinner and I had a wonderful time talking with them. They are great people, and I am blessed to have met them. Well Good night. Ttfn.
HI journal. It is almost 1:00 in the morning. I just came back from downtown San Pedro. I went with Margarita on her last night in teh Dominican Republic to the winter league game and a night on the town. The Estrellas won again! They’re doing great!!! I have no idea what the future holds for me. I just know that God has a great life in store for me. I already have been given such a blessed life. I need to go to the Libreria tomorrow morning to buy some dry erase markers. Well good night again.

Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Day Two - Dominican Republic Red Sox Academy

Hi! I just finished with the second day of class, and it went just as good , if not better than the first. My main concern for today’s class was getting the more advanced students and veterans to submit to my authority, since they acted as hard to please, but I think I met up to the challenge well after all. That was actually the funnest class today! And they absorb everything I teach them so well!! My strong lesson plans helped a lot too. Each class just flew by. I met a nice lady named Margarita, who lives in Florida, who comes every year to support all the kids on the team, and brings them all kinds of goodies that they need. She is a pecial lady. Margarita gave me a bag of gum balls to give to the kids, and pens. She also gave out bibles. I gave the students all of my notebook paper and have none for myself!! I have to go out and get class supplies for them. The hotel just offered to move me to a better nicer room with alarm clock and king bed and everything, but I don’t know because I like my view and my balcony. I hope that if that room doesn’t have a balcony, that I can just stay here. I really need that because it makes me feel at home, and I don’t feel so locked in, and since I do all my work in my room I like to have that. I’m not sure about that. The hotel manager told me that she is going to open a line for me, so that I can finally start being able to use my phone. That’s cool. I gotta find out if my talent agent issued my check for my day performing as Eliza Thornberry at Nickelodion’s Big Help festival. The lights went out in one of the classes today because of the thunder stuff. While the lights were out that is when I taught them about Halloween, since it is today. It was fun. I taught them about switch hitting, whatever, trick or treat, same here, me too, etc…. It was lots of fun. I hope that they like my teaching. For the first class I had them write things on the index cards I gave them for homework. The next class I had them practice the words in the work sheets. I will give them learning strategies tomorrow. I would like to write what I teach them right after class but I eat right afterwards, and usually end up eating with Walter or Margarita or both of them, which is fine, but then by the time I get back to the room, I have forgotten some of the things that happened in class. Walter is the pitching coach for the team, and kind of my guardian here. He is the authority figure at the hotel for the team. He’s my pal. He’s Colombian, and used to pitch, but injured his arm, so now he’s a coach. The first part of class, I have the students write their names, the date, phone number and stuff like that, or free writing, this helps them to form good study habits and they pick up on things through this repetitive action. I don’t know what happened to the notebooks that I was promised for the class but I haven’t gotten them, and I really feel that the class will work best if the students can write things down. I can’t for example have them free write in their journals, because many of the students don’t have them. They are missing out on something very crucial. I also am having the students in the advanced class do anecdotes.
I will be teaching them how to do a pitching chart soon as well, because many of them don’t know how to do that. I will also work on commands tomorrow. I am teaching English to Andres Galarraga’s nephew. He’s really funny. When I had them write what their dislikes were, he put down SUNDAY!! And he went on to explain why. So tomorrow, I am going to have them discuss what they wrote down at the beginning of class tomorrow. I am going to collect them from them tomorrow and grade them. I discussed weather with the advanced class too. I need to bring white out. Can you believe one of the students asked me for it? I will also have the players tell me their forms out loud. I forgot to do that with them. Today I missed breakfast again, because I felt so sick this morning. I went down for lunch and prepared my lesson plan while eating the three meat soup that I keep forgetting the name of. Oh yeah! It's called sancocho. mmmmm! I also had tea and water. The waiters and the rest of the Howard Johnson staff are so nice. I have to take photos of them before I leave. Ygnacio is my favorite employee. I am very concerned because since I still can’t access the internet, so I am falling very behind in school with my onlin courses. Walter is friends with Edgar Renterria and is going to try to set up an interview with him for me. Both Edgar and Walter are from Colombia. I can’t wait to tell my step sisters, who are Colombian as well. Walter was the 2nd player ever to be signed by the Florida Marlins. Margarita also gave out Spanish bibles to all the kids. They loved that. That was so cool of her. I hope I can get caught up on my classes. I’m sure I’ll be able to.

Monday, October 30, 2000

My Very First Class in a Domincan baseball Academy

Hi. Sorry I didn’t write sooner, but I’ve been so busy since I got here preparing for my classes. I am nervous about teaching today, as it will be my first time. Today is going to be my first class. Wonder if it might be hard for them to respect me as a teacher being a young woman and all, but we’ll see. As long as I respect them and do my job well, I’m sure it will be the beginning of a great student-teacher relationship. I came down with a cold or something. My throat hurts so badly, and I wish I could just sleep all day, of all days. I don’t have my Echinicea here and that usually gets rid of my colds pretty quickly. There so much the players have to learn and it was a real challenged to figure out where to start. I can’t wait until I get my printer. My family is going to send it to me. I have met a lot of the students, and so far most of them seem pretty nice. The view from my room is beautiful. I just wish I wasn’t sick. I hope I get better soon. I had to eat breakfast in my room because I was too ill to go down to the restaurant. Well, I will write in you again soon. Ttfn
HI again. It is after my first experience with class. It went very well for being the first time. Today I just did an introduction of the class curriculum and myself. The most challenging class to teach surprisingly was the advanced class. They are hard to please, but I hope to get them where they need to be quickly and smoothly so we can work together efficiently. I really need to get creative with them and keep on my toes and a step and a half ahead at all times. I met Felix Maldonado who has worked with the Red Sox for 40 years! He is very nice and is observing my classes. He even offered to help me out with the baseball book I am doing! I think this job will definitely open a lot of doors for me in baseball operations. I can’t wait to be able to use the Internet. I still can’t make calls out from my phone, and it’s been that way since Saturday night pretty much. Since I got here. My students are actually for the most part, very perceptive, understanding, and enthusiastic.

Saturday, October 28, 2000

My First Flight to the Dominican Republic

Hi journal. It’s me again. Gosh it has been an extremely busy and crazy month. October just flew by for me. I signed a contract with the Red Sox after having a wonderful and educational seven years experience with the major league and the Seattle Mariners. I am now going to expose myself to the whole system from the academies in Latin America through the minor leagues and spring training all the way to the majors. I know this will be great for me so I can be more well-rounded as a baseball executive someday. I can better understand the workings of this system if I work at all of the levels, not just at one. I have already been exposed to every aspect of major league baseball you can imagine first hand through my work with the Mariners on the field and in the front office. I’m on the plane, Continental flight, on my way to the Dominican Republic. I can’t believe I am going. It is unbelievable. Who would have thought. I miss Seattle so much right now, but once I get settled there, I probably won’t miss it as much. I am getting a cold of course, just in the nick of time. I just haven’t let my body rest since I found out I received the position to work in the D.R. with the Red Sox. There was so much to do. I just had my first midterm exam of the year this week. It was for my Philosophy: Introduction to Logic class. It went off without a hitch thankfully. I’m so sleepy, but I can’t get to sleep. Yesterday I spent a day at Seattle University observing their English as a Second Language classes. It was very educational, and fun. I got a lot of great tips from the teachers there. I also got my travel shots yesterday, and my arms are so sore!! My right arm I can barely lift, and forget about carrying or lifting anything with it. It really smarts. It is very red and hot right now. My left arm is not so bad. I only got one shot in that arm since I’m a lefty. It is such a horrible feeling to get an injection. I hate it. But it is definitely worth it. ttfn