Cotton Wood Campgrounds-Costolon, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Backyard of Juana Briones de Miranda Original Home on Old Adobe Road, Palo Alto, California---My Dad's Response from HEAVEN--March 12, 2011--My Tia Juana's 209th Birthday
Thanks to his third grade teacher, Juan Portillo, his family's Agriculture Icon of the early 60's, President John F. Kennedy, and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Paul was inspired by President Kennedy's Inauguration Address to become a teacher. "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!" These words rang thru Paul's brain and heart all the way to his graduation from college in the mid 70's. Paul saw how his Dad worked from sun up to sun down for agriculture giants in the early 60's in Reeves and Presidio Counties of West Texas, for a hard wage. With common sense and a strong intellect, he knew that becoming a teacher would lead to a better standard of living and would in turn serve his community, since he was hearing it from the caring adults around him, his parents, his brothers and sisters, his family friends, and his third grade teacher Juan Portillo. Paul would hear from his Mom and Dad and other caring adults, "Use every means possible to empower others and serve your community." During recess, at Earl Bell Elementary School in Pecos, Texas (www.pbtisd.esc18.net) he would ask his third grade teacher, "Why do clouds float up in the air and they don't come down here?" His Third Grade Teacher would reply, "You ask questions like a Science Teacher". Little did Paul knew then that this was affirmation to his calling. Paul would continue to ask, "What is a stroke?" He went on to say " Now you are asking questions like a doctor". The reason Paul was asking his teacher this, is the previous August, his Dad had a stroke which left him unable to speak properly and unable to work. This was his drive to do something better and to work to help his mother and sisters with putting food at the table.
When he had finished his fifth grade year, his family moved to Kermit, Texas, in Winkler County. It was against his wishes but at Kermit thou, is where his musical career took off! The first few months in Kermit, he was asked by Paul's cousin, Rey, "Edmundo" Briones and his maternal cousin Ruben Orona to play keyboards for a new group they had formed called "The Latin Loops", (picture shown above)! Ruben Orona was the drummer and leader of the band and Rey was the Bass Player of the band. That led to them winning the Junior High Talent Show during their 8th grade year for performing a cover of the song"Simple Simon Says"! That performance and winning the talent show, gave Paul much inspiration because Paul knew within himself that he was going to someday be a successful songwriter and performer! By the way all the songs you have heard on this website besides "Seekin The Divine" have been written, sequenced, and performed "LIVE" by Paul! "Seekin The Divine" was recorded and produced by God Brother Al Gomez Jr. At Pecos, Paul had a terrible experience when he was kicked out of beginners band just because he was gifted and improvising on day three of the school year.
It was at Kermit, that his cousin Robert and his aunt Nestora, his uncle Marcelino, and his cousin Rey helped him get accustomed to Kermit and Kermit Junior High School! His 6th grade teacher, one of his primary angels helped him to stay positive and belief in himself especially after being kicked out of band at the beginning of his sixth grade year. Her husband, who was the woodworking teacher, helped him develop a love for woodworking. At Kermit Junior High and Kermit High School, Paul received several Academic Achievement Awards in Woodworking!
It was at Kermit Junior High School (KJHS), where during the track seasons of his 7th & 8th Grade years, he learned the practice of discipline and the benefits of hard work from his KJHS Angel, his Junior High Track Coach. From his track coach, he learned to be on time to his classes and on time to appearances and rehearsals.
Also in Kermit, is where the inspiration to become a Biology Teacher was born. At Kermit High School (www.kisd.esc18.net), his Biology teacher, Mr. Bill Jolley, was the most caring, funny, and intelligent man in all of Kermit, Texas. Mr. Jolley is Paul's hero and was one of his father figure role models during high school. Paul looked forward every day to 5th Period, because this was his favorite class and he knew he was going to learn something interesting everyday. Mr. Jolley put into him motivation and inspiration to learn Biology! After finishing the unit on Cell Biology in his Biology class, Paul looked at the Biological World with an element of awe and curiosity!!! To this day, he is astounded by the episode when he learned to use a compound microscope!!! It was a life changing experience!!! At the end of his Sophomore year right before the K Awards Assembly, Mr. Jolley congratulated him. Paul turned right around and asked, "Do you think I can be a Biology Teacher someday?" He exclaimed, "Yes, you can! Maybe even a Biology Instructor in college!" This was his second affirmation to his calling! Paul was delighted and so were Paul's parents!!! Also, it was during his sophomore year at KHS, that he took Latin I under Ms. Fogle. This course laid out the foundation Paul needed to excel in his Biology Classes in college since Biology is a Latin Language based discipline. Paul consider's Ms. Fogle to be another of his Yellow Jacket Angels and also responsible for his success as a Biology Educator today.
When he was not allowed a few months later to take the PSAT Test, it reminded him of when he was kicked out of beginners band on the third day of school!!!
Paul not allowed to take the PSAT Test, fired him up about going to college, just the way he was fired up to learn music on his own! He knew that to be able to go to college, he had to earn money! He had to go to work playing as a semi-pro musician! To do this he needed a good keyboard instrument. The first 17 months he played keyboard, he had a simple keyboard at home and had to borrow a Farfisa Organ (picture shown above) from an older high school friend to play public gigs. That opportunity to start playing as a semi-pro musician came in the form of a Voxx Jaquar Electronic Organ in July of 1967!!! The summer of his 7th grade year, he went on to work in the cotton fields in Morton, Texas! That summer, his Mother, and his uncle, Inez Dominguez and his aunt, Nestora took him to Lubbock to buy the Voxx Jaquar Electronic Organ! He was in La La Land because he had just seen Paul Revere and Raiders on TV using the same exact Electronic Organ!!! Quickly, he started to learn song after song from the radio. If he liked a song whether it was in Spanish Radio or Top Forty Radio, he was learning bits and pieces. When he learned to play the song "Light My Fire", he knew he had arrived! Everyone wanted him to play in their band! When Paul and his band the Latin Loops would play at the Sock Hops behind the Recreation Center at Winkler County Park on Sunday afternoons, people would come around to hear them play. They played covers from Little Joe and the Latineers to Pop Songs of the day and songs like "Cold Sweat" by James Brown. Paul was writing Horn Arrangements even thou he had no formal music training! Then in 1969, during Paul's Freshman year at Kermit High School, the Santana Band made its world debut with the "Evil Ways" album! When Paul heard the Hammond Organ solo of Greg Rollie on "Evil Ways", he knew he wanted to be a "Blues Rock Keyboardist." He fell in LOVE with the soloing of Lead Guitarist Carlos Santana and the Rhythm Section of the Santana Band especially the drumming of Michael Shrieve, the bass playing of Dave Brown, and the percussion section of Michael Carabello and Jose Chepito Areas and especially the singing and playing of Multiple Keyboardist, Greg Rollie! Paul made up his mind he was going to someday play music like this and he did when he eventially joined the MARO Band from Pecos, Texas in April of 1976 who also was ahead of its times using influences of Latin Music Giants like Willie Bobo in their music!
His Junior and Senior Years at Kermit High School were special! There he discovered his other three Yellow Jacket Angels, his English III Teacher, his Coach-Social Studies Teacher, and his Baseball Coach. He repeated to his Baseball Coach what his counselor had told him about going to work for El Paso instead of going to college. Coach replied, "I was told something similar. Look, get ready I am going to ask your parents if I can take you with my boy to Texas A & M." Paul did not like Texas A & M! When he came back, his Coach-Social Studies Teacher asked him, " Why did you not like A & M"? Paul replied, "It is too big and too many people in a class and biology teacher sounds like he is talking another language." He goes I am going to talk to your Baseball Coach about taking you to visit Odessa College. The following week, his Baseball Coach took him to Odessa College where he was given a complete Athletic-Academic Scholarship for being Student Athletic Trainer for all the OC Sports teams. ( www.wranglersports.com/index.htm ) He was now on his way to becoming a Professional Athletic Trainer/Biology Teacher.
Paul became interested in teaching Biology after being a Teaching Assistant as an undergraduate for Edwin B. Kurtz Jr. Ph. D. at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB). www.utpb.edu Besides his high school Biology Teacher, Mr. Bill Jolley, Edwin B. Kurtz Ph. D. taught Paul the majority of what he knows about Biology! Paul's strengths in plant morphology, cell physiology, and biochemistry came from Dr. Kurtz! As a Senior Teaching Assistant at UTPB, Paul on the spot could draw the structural formula of all amino acids because of the training he received from Dr. Kurtz! He could also give scientific names on the spot and identify native Chihuahuan Desert Plants because of the training he received! Paul came to UTPB with an ownership of native Chihuahuan Desert Plants since his Grandfather taught his Dad and Mother how to use Chihuahuan Desert Plants for different medical remedies and household uses!!!
Paul became a Biology Teacher/Athletic Trainer for Pecos High School in the middle 70's, this is where his dream and inspiration of becoming a Biology Teacher became a reality. His first year as an Athletic Trainer, his Pecos Eagles went to the state Football Playoffs and went all the way to the semi-Finals!!! It was also his first year of butting heads with an administrator who did everything to try to destroy his innovative way of teaching!
Paul has been a Science Teacher for over thirty five years! He has taught Biology for thirty five years. He taught all the Biological Sciences at Permian High School and Physical Science Courses at his two purple and gold schools, Pecos High School and Granbury High School. He has taught at high schools, middle schools, and junior college! The majority of his teaching tenure was at Permian High School ( www.ectorcountyisd.org/site/default.aspx ) in Odessa, Texas, known as "MOJO" world wide. There he taught some of the athletes featured in the book turned movie called "Friday Night Lights!"
At MOJO, he had astounding success! There with Supervisor the late Joseph Rutledge, another one of his angels, he was able to give birth to the development of the Permian High School Botanical Garden! Since 1988, when the garden was established, the school has earned state and national awards! At Permian with the Biology Coordinator and three other teachers, Paul was able to put into practice the Botanical gifts he received from his Grandfather Pablo Briones and Pablo's ancestors. He contributed heavily to the development of the Chihuahuan Desert area of the Permian High School Botanical Garden ( www.ectorcountyisd.org/domain/2502 ). It was also there under the leadership of the late Joseph Rutledge, that he started to write scientific songs for those who established the Musical-Rhythmic Intellect of the Multiple Intelligence Theory developed by Harvard University Professor, Howard Gardner Ph.D. His success continued at Mojoland! In December of 1994, ECISD hired him to develop the Health Occupations Cluster of the ECISD Career Center. In the summer of 2001, Paul was hired to teach Anatomy & Physiology at his junior college alma mater, Odessa College during the First Summer Session ( www.odessa.edu ).
Paul is a graduate of UTPB, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin ( www.utpb.edu ). He earned his undergraduate and Master's Degrees from UTPB. His Master's Thesis involved doing a "Survey of Heavy Metals, (Chomium and Lead) in Water, Mud, and Fish Deposits In The Rio Grande from El Paso to Brownsville". For more info on this study, visit the UTPB Library ( libcat.utpb.edu/search~S0 ).
Paul's Paternal side of the family has a rich historical origin! His paternal family roots in North America go back to the early 1700"s and the De Anza Expedition of the late 1700's. His Great Great Grandfather and Great Grandfather were very respected people in Northern, Alta California. His Paternal Great Great Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Great Great Great Aunt founded and developed many areas of the Bay Area such as modern day San Francisco, Palo Alto, Bolinas, and Half Moon Bay in the early 1820's. His Great Grandfather was his town's Physician even thou he did not have a medical degree. He received his training from Paul's 3 G Great Aunt Juana Briones de Miranda who is shown in the pictures above. Paul has recently learned thru his DNA analysis, that his Paternal Grandmother Chica is part of the famous Mexican Family of Lerdo de Tejeda since she was raised outside of the colonia of Nueva Rosita, Coahuila at the Tejeda Hacienda which is also part of the Tejeda Hacienda in Veracruz, Mexico. His Paternal Grandmother Chica Briones, his Aunt Juana, his Paternal Great Grandfather, his Paternal Great Great Grandfather, Grandfather Pablo, his Maternal Grandfather Antonio, his Maternal Grandmother Francisca, his Mother, and his Dad are his motivation and inspiration today! His Grandfather Pablo Briones played a big part in development of Big Bend National Park! Before Big Bend became a National Park, Paul's Grandfather Pablo worked at the Boquillas Mine mining Cinnabar (Mercury and Sulfur Ore)...Juan Casa's Book, 2008, Federico Villalba's Texas ( www.ironmtnpress.com/book_villalba.asp ) and also as a cook, cooking meals, brewing Healing Teas of Yerba Buena and Manzanilla, and doing other chores for the CC Corps ( www.nps.gov/bibe/historyculture/ccc.htm ). His Dad's 4th cousin Cipriano Hernandez at age 15 put up the Hermonia Store in 1901 which is now the General Store at Castolon ( https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/historyculture/laharmonia.htm ) For more info, visit history of Big Bend National Park ( www.nps.gov/bibe/historyculture/index.htm ).
Paul got interested in the Multiple Intelligence Theory in 1989 when he registered as a Graduate Student at UTPB ( www.utpb.edu ). It was in the Fall of 1988 during the Friday Night Light's year, he was introduced to the Multiple Intelligence Theory developed by Howard Gardner Ph.D. www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-howard-gardner-video One day in the Fall of 1988, after one of the Pep Rally's he had been asked to play his song "MOJO, Truth", he was asked to play the song again in class. After he sang the song, the class was so pumped up and they were not willing to listen to the lecture on the "Energy Relationship between Plants and Animals", so on the spot, he wrote a song from the outline on the board and called the song "Thirty Eight ATPS". The song had an R & B Dance Beat and the class was astounded with it! They told everyone about it! The song had all of the steps of the Krebs Cycle. That following Wednesday, the class took the Major Test, and to Paul's surprise the class scored higher on this test then any other test! His class confessed the song helped them learn the lesson. One of the Friday Night Light athletes who was showcased in the movie scored one of the highest grades!!! Right then, he knew that students that didn't learn with traditional methods, could learn with their lessons put into songs. This is when his "Lesson In the Lyric" was born and his Multiple Inputs Learning Concept, BRIONES MILC! He thought about his previous discussion with Doctor Hurn and asked those students who had done well with the song to rewrite their favorite artist's songs and instead put the vocabulary and definitions of the Biology Units. Those students' grades soared! He shared this with Doctor Hurn and he replied, "I support you in writing your own music to biological concepts! You are standing on solid ground and the new research supports and confirms the validity of what you are doing!" With this affirmation, Paul began writing music for the Biology Classroom with the support of his teaching supervisor the late Joseph Rutledge, Vice-Principal at Odessa Permian High School. Since then, he has been writing Scientific Songs for the Underprivileged and the Gifted and using the Multiple Inputs Learning Concept BRIONES (MILC)! Anyone got BRIONES MILC?