Updated 21 January 2015



Orion, the Hunter


One winter night in early 1965, in response to my questions about what I saw in the sky, my mom pointed out the constellation Orion (pictured above).  So began my  intellectual journey into things scientific and mathematical. Thus, I am reminded that it is not really possible to do anything very well without the help and generosity of others.  In addition to my mom, I am the beneficiary of the great kindness of the following:
  1. My wife Sue and our daughters Colleen and Christina who have believed in me and who have endured many hours without me as I tried to figure out what in the heck I'm doing ...
  2. Mr. L. Edward Wasserman, former Chaffey mathematics teacher, who extended enormous kindness, encouragement, generosity and a lot of great food (including the world's best "German pizza"), and who modeled a balanced philosophy to emulate during my first three years' teaching.
  3. Ms. Julie Kaney, mathematics teacher at Los Osos High School, my mentor teacher when I did my student teaching at Alta Loma High School in 1991, for her wisdom and patience as she started me off the right way.
  4. Dr. Donald Ferguson, my friend and classmate at Cal, for extending the opportunity to share his research, first at Kitt Peak near Tucson, AZ and later with the Hubble Space Telescope, and for lots of enlightening conversations.
  5. Mr. Carl P. Spaulding and Mr. Monte L. Marks for giving me my first real job out of college and for mentoring me as I grew up in the real world.
  6. Dr. Gabriel Lugo, of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, who was my section leader (TA) in my first calculus classes at Cal.  With patience and skill, Dr. Lugo made sure we worked hard and that we "got it." His enthusiasm and attention to the needs of his students inspire me to this day.
  7. Mrs. Helen Hattar, my former mathematics department chairperson and professional mentor for vision and encouragement.
  8. Mr. Matt Laborde, my department chairperson at Chaffey who exudes great patience with me (and my tendencies to rage against what I don't like) and gives me tremendous latitude in what I do (and don't do) ...
  9. Mr. Steven Mercado, Mrs. Patty Gulino, Mr. Jeff Brown, and Mr. John Santia for continuing inspiration and modeling of what real teaching is really like ...
  10. Mrs. Anne Kunze, former assistant principal of instruction at Chaffey High School, and former principal of Preston Junior High School in Preston, Idaho, for expertise, encouragement and effective hand holding as I wrote the Astronomy courses, then got them accepted by our various curriculum committees and finally by the University of California.
  11. Rosalea Orozco and my first astronomy students for inspiration, trust, and patience.
  12. Gabriel Barbosa and his sister, Patty, who launched our first Astronomy web pages.
  13. God, to whom all good things are ultimately traceable.

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Copyright 1998-2016 Thomas James  All rights reserved.