Ana María Rodríguez

Science, nature, history, and outstanding people

Selected Works

Science, Nature, Intermediate school readers
They live in the most extreme places on earth. How do they survive?
Memoirs and Biographies
An inspirational memoir of the highest ranking woman in the martial art of Kuk Sool Won. (teens and up)
Science, Intermediate school readers
Pinguins puke (their chicks love it!), chameleons have a super tongue, alligators have good "feelings," a master of disguise, and how to catch a rainbow! Five fascinating animal secrets and how scientists uncovered them.
What is the secret of the sleepless whales?Join the scientists and their animal partners in a amazing adventure that will reveal the secrets of these amazing aquatic mammals! Find out... (middle-school and up)
It doesn't look cool and it doesn't feel pleasant, but it rules everything you do. The brain is the most intriguing and still mysterious organ in the body. Follow fellow classmate Mark through a regular day and see how his brain makes it possible for him to learn, feel pain, get stressed, and have fun. (middle school and up)
The fascinating life of the 19th Century British doctor who discovered the first safe vaccine against smallpox, the most deadly disease of his time.

The Iron butterfly blog

True Experts

August 6, 2011

Tags: the iron butterfly, choon ok harmon, daniel radcliffe, ana maria rodriguez, dyspraxia, dyslexia, women memoirs, ACL, knee ligaments, sport's injuries, knee injuries, inspirational story, true experts, martial arts

The day I tore my ACL, an important ligament of the knee, my life took a turn for the worst. I have always been physically active. I played basketball in middle- and high-school and was a member of the swim team. I played tennis and racket ball for fun. My friends and I hiked and went to the beach on weekends. We roller-skated on the quite streets of my best friend's neighborhood wearing metal-wheeled skates strapped to our sneakers. Good old memories! During and after my college time I was a dedicated member of an aerobics club, wearing in-fashion leg warmers and thighs. (I still have some, but, no, I don’t wear them!)
So I was no stranger to injuries. Ankle sprains, pulled muscles, bruises, bumps, and a broken bone on my left foot are part of my repertoire of injuries. All these injuries, however, heal on their own. The body repairs the damage in time, swelling goes down, and pain eventually disappears. Even the bone rebuilds itself cell-by-cell to rejoin the broken parts together.
But a torn ACL belongs in different category. It won't heal on its own rejoining the parts split apart by brute force. And once the swelling went down and the pain disappeared, what remained was an unstable knee that did not fully support my active lifestyle. Ten years before the ACL injury I had added martial arts, Kuk Sool Won (KSW), to my list of activities. I could practice with a torn knee ligament, but had limitations. I would have to be more careful during jumps and knee bends. The injury took a great deal of joy out of my Kuk Sool practice. Would I have surgery to fix it or would I stay with a wobbling knee? (more…)

The Mermaid's Daughter

February 17, 2011

Tags: Choon-ok harmon, the iron butterfly, women martial arts memoirs

At the end of my previous post I promised to tell you why The Iron Butterfly’s subtitle is "The True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter." Obviously, her mother was a "mermaid," which in the South Korean island where Choon-Ok was born was another name for "sea woman." Choon-Ok's mother was called a "mermaid" (more…)