Thursday, May 21, 2020

Digital Graduation

It's always an honor to be one of the teachers selected by the senior class to read their names at graduation. We held today's digital graduation in our new gymnasium, a fantastic venue. The video will be posted to Sonora High School's website later next week.

Monday, May 11, 2020

At the Melville Winery in Santa Barbara County

I found this video in my file of old Flip Videos. The Flip Video was great, true point-and-shoot. Just a couple of buttons, easy to use, the ideal video camera to put in your pocket and carry around.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Student Portrait Project 2020

The Student Portrait Project is now completed. For those students who requested one, I drew their portraits in Adobe Illustrator. I'll be sending them each a copy.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Somatic Tinnitus


This video was private for several years, first posted in 2011.

My tinnitus (a ringing in my left ear) started on July 7th at the same time I got sick with flu-like symptoms. It's a kind of metallic screech and very stressful to hear constantly. I went to my doctor, who sent me to an ENT guy, who sent me to get a thorough audiological workup. My hearing checked out fine (audiologist said I have very good hearing). The tympanogram results were also excellent. The ENT guy examined my jaw and said he suspected TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder ). He referred me to a neurologist and told me to see my dentist too.

The neurologist ordered an MRI of my brain. She suspected a brain tumor pressing on the auditory nerve. The results were negative. I had better luck with my dentist, who started me on an Invisalign treatment to correct a misalignment of my jaw. The treatment eventually relived most of the symptoms. However, recent sources of stress have brought it all back: hernia surgery, the death of my twin brother, Covid-19 and my having to teach from home.

In technical terms, what happens with somatic tinnitus is that neural fibers in the trigeminal ganglion transmit temporomandibular information to the brain. These fibers project into the auditory system, thereby enabling movement and pressue on the jaw to modulate the pitch or loudness of the tinnitus.