Michelle Mock

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Who Am I?

My name is Michelle (Fearey LaGue) Mock.  Like you, I am a unique individual but sometimes I take my uniqueness to the extreme!  I am a life long learner, I want to learn everything there is to know.  I know that learning EVERYTHING is not possible but it is a lofty goal!  I am a people person.  I enjoy being with people, so I do lots of things that let me interact with others.  I was not always outgoing, I used to be very shy.  I think that as I learned more about who I was, I was less worried about letting others get to know me.  I love to be busy and get the most out of every day.  I also try to notice the little things that make each day special and unique.

I teach computer and Spanish to children in Kindergarten through 8th grades.  I also bring NASA to my students and they consider me their NASA person.  Many have participated in fun activities related to NASA and the space program.  Many enjoyed chatting with NASA experts over the Internet.  Alexis (4th grade)  wrote: "I may forget a lot of what I learn in school, but I will always remember the NASA chats because we got to chat with amazing people."  Other students got to shine mirrors for the Starshine Project and still others sent messages into space aboard the Genesis spacecraft.  I met Imagiverse Co-Founder Stephanie Wong when I was hired to manage a Question and Answer Project for NASA.  She was a high school student at the time and had been volunteering for NASA on different NASA Education Outreach projects for a couple of years.  We had never met, but once we started communicating we realized how very much alike we were.  We have a passion for learning and our interests have no boundaries.  The idea for Imagiverse was formed when we realized there was quite a bit more, that we could do, to make learning as fun and interesting for you as it is for us.

In my "spare" time, I work at Disneyland!  When I was young, I always wanted to be an actress.  So, this job is really my hobby.  I get paid to have fun!!!  Even on days when I feel kind of tired, I enter a magical world as soon as I step "on stage".  I love making people smile and I have found that walking across the park on my way to "work", smiling at people gets me many smiles in return.  Even if I have had a really bad day, those smiles I get back make me feel great!

My Path to Today

I started teaching when my two children, Christopher and Stephanie, began pre-school.  Before they were born I was a computer programmer.  I actually became a computer programmer by accident, it was not something I had ever intended to do.  I must admit that as a student, math was not one of my favorite subjects.  Like some of you, I wondered what, beyond basic arithmetic, was of any use in the real world.  Well, programming, like many other careers, uses math.  I found that all that step-by-step, show your work, was a really useful skill.  In programming, step-by-step is the name of the game!

At the time, computer programming was a pretty new field and not many women were involved.  When I looked at what the programmers were doing (and how much more money THEY got paid), I thought, "I can do that too".  So, I changed my direction in college and learned computer programming by reading other people's code and helping out as much as I could to help them meet deadlines.  I started doing more and more of the programmers' work.  First by writing documentation, then by designing test procedures to make sure the programs worked.  I was really good at finding program "bugs".  Bugs (errors) are really annoying.  The programmers were grateful that I found the problems, but not necessarily happy about the bug reports!  I started helping them to fix the problems and then started writing bug-free programs myself!  Well, I tried to make them "bug free", but I am not sure that is ever possible.  I was a computer programmer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Xerox and Mattel Electronics.  At Mattel I got to design and test Intellivision video games!

I am also a part-time Vision Therapist for a developmental optometrist.  I work with children who have difficulties in school because their eyes do not function as a team.  I am on the Board of the Inland Empire Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and have learned a lot about learning disabilities and dyslexia.

Where I Came From

I am a native Southern Californian, born in Los Angeles.  When I was 13, a recently graduated 8th grader, I had the wonderful opportunity to go live in Spain.

My stepfather worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was transferred to Madrid, Spain to be the director of one of the Deep Space Tracking stations there.  I was able to attend Marymount International School and the American School of Madrid.  I completed High School and graduated from ASM in 1969.  I stayed in Madrid an additional two years after my parents returned to the United States, working as a trilingual (English/Spanish/French) interpreter and translator.

My Advice

Always be the best that you can be.  Never get discouraged if you don't do as well as others and never think you are better if you are more successful than others.  You only compete with yourself, so you are always a winner!  Never give up!  Push yourself to the next level of accomplishment.  Always believe in yourself and enjoy living and learning.

"A man is not what he is because of the teachers he has had, but because of what he has done."
~ Dr. Maria Montessori

Michelle's Interview (at present)
Her Interview from 1973


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Last Updated:
3 January 2004

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