I started teaching in 1970, and for thirty-two years I worked full-time in public high schools. In addition, I accepted part-time assignments in community colleges and in the teacher-credentialing program at San Jose State University. In the early days of my career, most of my high school students were immigrants and there was little information about the Mexican school system available. I enrolled at the University of San Francisco, and the result was my doctoral dissertation-- a description of literacy instruction in Mexico. From 1978 to 1998, I continued to visit some of the twenty-six schools used in the study and at the ten-year mark, I replicated half of the research. In 1998, I redid the entire study. Over the years, I published many articles, some teaching materials, and a couple of books based on my conclusions. In addition, I gave several speeches. Now that I am retired, I can pursue my real passions which are cooking, drinking wine and writing fiction. Out of this love came Rick Podowski and the Hefty Trio. The five books are filled with descriptions of food and wine. Since by nature I am a researcher, I was forced to visit the twenty-eight wineries in the books and sample as appropriate (and sometimes I sampled more than what was appropriate!). In each case, I talked to the various people at the wineries and learned some wonderful stories about the lure of wine. This has been a great experience. I decided to take a break from the Rick Podowski series. My children are in their thirties and my cats have taken their place. My latest book is a tribute to my cats and the joy they bring to our lives.
Murder Before the Bellby Robert Miller
Rick Podowski and the Hefty Trio a group of four middle-aged overweight high school English teachers fight to save their friend accused of murdering the school principal. The story begins when Rick arrives at Central High School and sees the administration building engulfed in flames. Later, the police discover the charred body of the principal and as the police
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Rick Podowski and the Hefty Trio a group of four middle-aged overweight high school English teachers fight to save their friend accused of murdering the school principal. The story begins when Rick arrives at Central High School and sees the administration building engulfed in flames. Later, the police discover the charred body of the principal and as the police start to gather evidence to frame the acting principal, Rick and the Hefty Trio start their own inquiry. They discover that their friend and the principal are both involved in illegal activities with a former South Vietnamese Colonel who runs a language school on the campus every Sunday. The community loves the Colonel and is unaware that he owns a house of prostitution in the neighborhood and employs a local Mexican gang for security. A rival gang wants part of the action. The excitement continues as Rick and the Hefty Trio while working to solve the mystery indulge in gourmet Mexican, Irish, Italian and Polish dishes from their ethnic heritages, paired with unique wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.
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