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Kiepp's Korner: Edition #2

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Art by Jillian Mae Machacon
What it was like entering a new millennium, back in 2000? What were your predictions, and did they come true?

In 2000, I was the mother of two, married for five years, and teaching in LAUSD for seven

years. Twenty years later, I am the mother of four, married for 25 years in November, and serving in LAUSD in my fifth year as a Principal! Where does the time go? My journal from 20 years ago contains memories and wishes of family through photos, writings, and mementos. In my letter to my future self, I hoped for health, happiness, and making a difference in our world.

As an avid sports fan, I wrote in calligraphy, “Rams won the Super Bowl. Lakers won the NBA

Championship…Tiger Woods won the majors…Venus Williams won the US Open and Wimbledon. Williams’ sisters won Wimbledon doubles and Olympic Gold.” I continue to fall asleep to Sportscenter and cheer on athletics- especially women’s tennis! Osaka and Gauff hustle like Mahomes and Leonard on their respective fields of play. What I love about sports is that there is generally a clear beginning, middle, and end; there is an outcome. And yes, ties are wonderful! Everybody wins!

My journal also has photos with winning smiles of family, co-workers, and friends. The first

photo is from New Year’s Eve on December 31, 1999. We listened to Prince’s “1999” (RIP Prince Rogers Nelson) and feasted on luxuries like lobster, crab, and steak. We have continued this yearly tradition of eating our favorite foods to start the new year. As I get older, I have no problem toasting the New Year at 12AM EST! Most of my Los Angeles High School colleagues in subsequent photos are either retired or administrators. Leslie, my dearest friend and eating companion, teaches Spanish at University High School. She is the godmother to my youngest daughter, Monica. Twenty years later, we continue to eat and laugh together (the more butter, the better)!

Suddenly, there was an abrupt end to my journal. In mid-2000, my husband was diagnosed

with kidney cancer. It took me weeks to focus and accept that this was a problem that I couldn’t fix. I reminded myself that we have insurance with proactive and amazing doctors who would help us overcome the disease. I could have wallowed in misery. Instead, we reached out to our network of family and friends to support my husband’s recovery. The cancer was removed and has not returned. In closing, my friend has a plaque in her office, “Happiness is a choice.” Self-efficacy refers to an individual's belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997). In this decade and beyond, remember to own

your choices. Not every choice is easy. Choices have ripple effects. In the work of Thinking

Collaborative (, effective groups have a collective sense of interdependence, craftsmanship, consciousness, efficacy, and flexibility. Let’s continue to collaborate for a healthy, happy, and productive future.

Thank you for choosing Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School!

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