Well, at first I didn’t plan, as many in this world, to be a Teacher/Professor when I was at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) getting my Science degree in Math many years ago. One of the primary things to accomplish was to figure out or find out what the purpose of my life was. However, in those undergraduate years I said to myself that if I had to teach, I would like to travel first around the world to collect experiences to give support to whatever I had to teach. Also, since there was no one in my family with a complete school degree, I have had to learn all of this process of becoming an academic professional by myself.


Universidad logo 

UCV logo





some spots of this amazing Alma Mater


One tiny light has accompanied me since I was 11 years old: English language. That was love at first sight (and ear too) when I came across with books and audio material, called “Salvat Inglés”, in this beautiful language. After that, I dreamt to visit the land of that language.


book cover open book

Some samples of the Salvat Inglés material


In this part, at the moment of writing this 1st article for IFZ, the person who brought English to my life, my special father Mister Angel passed away. He was, is and will be one of the top examples to look up to, due to the way he learned a second language and in general the way he remembered and told stories, anecdotes, and historic facts; since he wasn’t allowed to go to school by his father.


Mr. Angel

Mr. Angel with his grandson, my nephew.



Once I graduated, I worked as a TA in my School of Math for a short while. But then, there were still many things ahead to discover, and develop. So, I decided to pursue a Masters degree in Earth Sciences, in order to make sense of the countless abstract concepts studied in my career of Math



I met very interesting people in Engineering School and in Geosciences in general, who showed me amazing things in Nature that can be understood/interpreted by math, among them the arrangement of petals in flowers, or seeds in a sunflower, or the spiral shape of some animals through the Fibonacci series of numbers. That connection between abstract and touchable things made me happy. There were tougher topics, though, to study in that postgraduate period, that prevented me to see what I wanted to pursue.





After finishing my Masters degree, an incredible opportunity to study abroad came up right away. This was the dream of my childhood: to go to an English speaking country, USA!  The place: San Diego, California, and the university: San Diego State University (SDSU). The purpose of this opportunity: getting a PhD degree in Computational Sciences, applied to Earthquake modeling.




map SDSU


It was like combining or framing my previous studies, Math and Geosciences, with computer modeling; all of which was so great for me. There were several interesting subjects that impressed me, one of them Math modeling, which is the way we can combine math with computer software to study/understand natural phenomena (tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.)


tsunami  earthquake



Being in USA I could experiment in person a tremendous amount of good moments. But one aspect I needed the most was to start healing some cultural wounds, such as the fear and mistrust that are pervasive in my home country; and then developed inner strength to shape my dreams. In the latter aspect many people contributed to that process with their examples, especially from the art world: musicians, sculptors, playwrights as Curtis Long, among the main ones. From this art world, a life lesson became more evident to me: follow your heart to shape your dreams and pursue things that make you happy.



One event in my life changed the original plan of obtaining a new academic degree: I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and this made me decide what direction to take, my health over my studies, which I could resume afterwards, because the priority was getting medical treatment and recover from that. Under this circumstance I could complete that turn in my path towards something more meaningful. liver




This break represented a great deal for me: turning into a positive process from which the most valuable outcome was to depict a dream of my own from top to toe, to work in something that made me happy and not absorbed my energies. That had to be about English teaching and learning. And this is one the biggest lessons in my path towards becoming a teacher: doing what I loved in order to be true to myself and deliver with meaning.



When I returned to my home country, I applied for that English teaching job and found one in Alpha Learning Institute, located in Caracas. There, I spent four years, enjoying the experience in several dimensions, but mostly feeling the joy of helping others to learn more of this language. No judgments, no expectancy, just being one with the knowledge from the heart. On top of that, I lived the fact of being a prophet in my own land, which is hard to accomplish in Venezuela in other fields such as science.




In this job I learned the true guarantee of assimilating something for good is by teaching it.  And now I am back to Sciences, the Applied Science, in two roles: as a postgraduate student (to finish my pending degree) and as a professor of geosciences, specifically Geomathematics (to apply the life lessons learned so far in my path).  


balance rock  rock


flow Geomath




As a professor in Geosciences, I will use the enlightening experience of English language teaching as a sound reference and inspiration, and this is the different aspect that made my path to professorship different from the usual one.



  There are many challenges ahead, especially in this time when my country is going through a terrible situation, which needs people willing to rebuild it, and help to make of it a better place to live …




Rosa Jiménez

Rosa Jiménez

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