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About Mr. Fishwild

M.S.Curriculum & InstructionUniversity of Wisconsin - Whitewater2005
 Modeling Workshop IIUniversity of Wisconsin - River FallsSummer 1998
 Modeling Workshop IUniversity of Wisconsin - River FallsSummer 1997
 Project PhysLabCatlin Gabel School; Portland, ORSummer 1995
Iowa State University; Ames, IA1988
  Clinton High School;
Clinton, IA

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Teaching Experience:

Oregon High School Oregon, WI1991 - Present
Regina Dominican High SchoolWilmette, IL1988 - 1991


I grew up in Clinton, IA. My father was in transportation logistics for a local corn processing plant and my mother was a night-shift nurse. My mother is still living in Clinton. I have one older brother who is an electrician with Alcoa and one younger brother who is a geologist.

In high school, I was a member of the marching and symphonic bands. We had one of the largest marching bands in the state with approximately 260 members, and I played second trumpet. Marching band, unlike here in Oregon, was a school-year activity. We competed on weekends in the fall months and performed a pre-game and halftime show at every home football game.

I was good in math and science, but didn't decide on my physics career path until taking physics my senior year in high school. My physics teacher was a great inspiration to me. I enrolled at Iowa State University (GO CYCLONES!!), initially intending to degree in physics and enter the research field. After two years of study I decided that teaching would be a better fit for me, receiving my degree in physics with an emphasis in education after 5 years of college.

Upon graduation, I declared that I would not teach in a large city and would only teach in a public school, so it was ironic that I ended up teaching at an all-girls private school, Regina Dominican High School, in Wilmette, IL, a well-to-do northern suburb of Chicago. (At the time, the adjacent suburb had the highest per-capita income in the nation). I spent three years teaching physics and math, managing the computer lab, and coaching freshman soccer before coming to Oregon.

I met my wife through a mutual friend in 1996 and we married in 1998 (after an obligatory minimum 1-year of dating). We lived in Stoughton and began the road to adopting two children. Our son, Jaison, came home in December 2002 and our daughter, Arathi, came home in January 2005. We have since moved to Oregon.  We traveled to India in both cases to bring our children home, and each trip was truly a memorable and unique experience. We traveled to India again as a family in December 2014 to allow our children to experience their birth-country. We focused our journey on the southwestern state of Kerala and then visited the Taj Mahal in northern India before returning home.

I have been interested in astronomy ever since early childhood. I bought books to learn the names of different stars and the names and locations of the constellations visible from midwestern latitudes. Much of my astronomical experience was with the naked eye and through reading, but did some work with my father's 7x35 binoculars. My first peek through a telescope occurred during my high school physics class-- an Edmund Scientific Astroscan and a 4" Newtonian reflector. I took an astronomy lab at Iowa State University and used 14" Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes at their Fick Observatory. Upon moving to the Madison area, I purchased my first telescope--a 6" Meade Dobsonian. Upon increasing the size of our family, I've spent less time behind the eyepiece, but go through fits where I rediscover my zeal for observing.

I enjoy reading, but I do most of it over the summer and over long breaks. My favorite non-fiction authors are Brian Greene, Daniel Pink, and Malcolm Gladwell. As far as fiction, I think I've read every book published by Isaac Asimov and Michael Crichton. Other authors that I seek out are: Stephen King, Dan Brown, Jack Campbell (John Hemry), Robin Cook, and Orson Scott Card. In the not too distant past I claimed to have a great dislike for fantasy, but after reading J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, and C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, I've determined I may have misjudged fantasy.  
Since buying a Kindle I have also read a number of books from the public domain, including the works of Mark Twain, Alexandre Dumas, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Borroughs, and Jules Verne.  Many of the classics that I have read that are available in the public domain can be found on a variety of college reading lists. This past spring and summer I read:
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner,
The Long Walk by Stephen King,
The Shining by Stephen King,
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King,
Endymion and Rise of Endymion, the final two books of the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons (this science fiction series was genius!)
My other outside interests include brewing beer and camping the state parks of Wisconsin with my family. I also enjoy backpacking the Beartooth Mountains near Red Lodge, MT and hope to someday backpack Isle Royale National Park. In a former life, my wife and I also enjoyed ballroom dancing (Foxtrot, Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, East Coast Swing, Night Club Two Step, and Mambo).

Three summers ago our family traveled to Portland, OR to experience the total solar eclipse. Experiencing such an event has been on my bucket list since I was probably 10 years old. This was the first opportunity for me to experience one. It was the most awesome experience I've encountered. So much to witness over a 2-3 minute period. Any eclipse experience less than totality doesn't even come close to the kind of experience you have while in the full shadow of the moon. Definitely make a plan to see the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. I will be there!