About ... Your Teacher

Jeff Kent Don't worry. The picture is not from "America's Most Wanted" -- at least not yet. Then again, maybe you should worry -- the picture is of your teacher. Now you see another benefit of taking classes via distance education!

The story that your teacher really is an alien is just a vicious rumor. But, be warned ... Don't hold your mouse over the picture!

Now for my life's story (yawn). If you are having trouble falling to sleep, you've come to the right place!

I was born in the Winter of '52 (1952, not 1852) in a small log cabin on a cold, windswept prairie. OK, OK, it was a small postwar house in Sepulveda diagonally across the street from James Monroe High School. Let's not get technical.

 Anyway, I grew up and, with minor exceptions, have lived my entire life in the San Fernando Valley. I graduated from Granada Hills High School, U.C.L.A. and Loyola ( Los Angeles) School of Law.

Devvie and Jeff at Graduation

Devvie and Jeff at Lake TahoeI am married. My wife Devvie teaches (as I do) Computer Science at L.A. Valley College. The left is a picture taken by a fellow faculty member before we attended a graduation at the college. The right is a picture on a catamaran at Lake Tahoe in August 2004.

Emily, Micaela and Guiseppe
Devvie and I had two high maintenance but very fast Italian Greyhounds, Micaela and Dante. The picture is of my younger daughter, Emily, Micaela and a then injured Italian greyhound friend down the block, Giuseppe. Micaela and Dante have passed, but they are immortalized by their own page. We now have two minature dachsunds, but they don't have their own page yet.

Chess was my first love. In 1971 I was 3rd place in the United States under 21 National Championship. I have an international title with F.I.D.E. (the International Chess Federation) and Senior Master and Life Master titles with the United States Chess Federation. However, I have not played professionally for a long time. These days I no longer play (no time) but follow international tournaments on the Internet, sometimes watching some of my old friends who still play. Sometimes I play speed chess (3-5 minutes per side) on the Internet Chess Club; my screen name is ElJeffe.

While my income as a professional chess player was OK during school, once I graduated I had to get a "real job." I started practicing law in the area of business litigation. I have tried about 50 cases.  In some ways trial work is like chess. None of the trials were as exciting as the O.J. case, but I have been heard to tell students "If you don't go to class, then you will not pass." OK, so I'm no Johnny Cochran. 

These days I teach full-time at Los Angeles Valley College in the Computer Science - Information Technology Program. From 2000 to 2010 I also was the Chair of the college's Technology Committee. My teaching and other college duties keep me very busy. I also manage a network for a Los Angeles law firm and give advice to young attorneys whether they want it or not. Additionally, I write books and articles. The following have been published:

  1. Visual Basic 2005 Demystified (McGraw/Hill), published Thanksgiving 2005. 
  2. Visual C# 2005 Demystified (McGraw/Hill), also published Thanksgiving 2005. 
  3. Women Demystified (just kidding, the title is C++ Demystified),  (Osborne McGraw/Hill), published April 2004. 
  4. Visual Basic. NET: A Beginner's Guide (Osborne McGraw/Hill), published February 2002. 
  5. Debugging Visual Basic (Osborne McGraw/Hill), published July 2000. 
  6. Outlook 2000 Programming Bible (IDG Books Worldwide), published September 2000. 
  7. Visual Basic Annotated Archives (Osborne McGraw/Hill), published 1999.
  8. Get Control of Your Forms, published in Getting Started with Visual Basic, Summer 1999 edition

Hobbies? Going to college committee meetings ... not! (Friends don't let friends attend college committee meetings). Seriously, I'm very fortunate that I enjoy my life's work. I truly love teaching. The subjects I teach are very interesting to me, and the students are great. I also enjoy computer programming and, even though I am artistically challenged, working on this website. Apart from my work, I enjoy running. I ran track and cross-country at Granada Hills High School and have run 21 marathons, including the Boston Marathon. I stopped running a few years ago, but have started again, on an elliptical, since without exercise, I was concerned I would be asked to join the college's sumo wrestling team, and that would not be a pretty sight.