As if I don’t have enough trouble meeting writing deadlines or blogging consistently (which doesn’t stop me from setting up additional writing spaces, mind you) my favoritest middle school teacher in the world, Bill Ferriter, has tagged me in a very fun blogging challenge.
When I speak with teachers and administrators about the use of social media for professional learning, I always, as so many of you do, stress the importance of building relationships with those in your personal learning network. These relationships deepen the value of the connection and therefore strengthen the learning experience. These relationships can’t be built without a smidgen of personal transparency – who we are, what we feel, who we love, what we do outside of the classroom or school setting.
To begin, here are 11 random facts about me.
1. I am a paper crafter. I have been scrapbooking since 2003. Many people have a preconceived notion of what it means to “scrapbook” and they picture frumpy, middle-aged moms who sit around in their sweats and glue photos to paper. Paper crafting is actually the reason I first started using social media to connect with other people in communities of common interests. It was mind-blowing to me how I could have conversations, share my work, and develop friendships with other crafters who were located all over the country. My current fave for both product and community is Studio Calico. Check it out, it’s an inspiring place!
2. I cannot resist a milkshake. I seriously may have consumed 100 milkshakes while I was pregnant.
3. I am the oldest of five children. My youngest sister was born when I was 17 years old.
4. I did not fly in an airplane until my early twenties. My very first flight was flown by my now-husband, in a Cessna 152.
5. I didn’t see the ocean until I was in the fifth grade. We took a family vacation to LBI.
6. My family often converses entirely in memorized movie lines.
7. I have visited a handful of European countries and cities. London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, and Athens are among the highlights. We can’t wait to take our son to Europe!
8. I met President Bill Clinton in 1995, when I was a senior in high school. He was scheduled to speak at Kutztown University, which is located in my hometown. 98% of my classmates ditched school that day and waited outside the university auditorium and/or procured tickets to hear him speak. My mom said I had to go to school, which bummed me out. In government class that afternoon- there were maybe 5 or 6 of us in attendance – my teacher, Mr. Barry Adams (who is now retired and a tour guide of the Gettysburg battlefields), received a tip from a contact that President Clinton would be making a stop at a local craft/food store on the way out of town. We sprung into action. I made this huge sign on butcher paper which read President Clinton – Middle Class American – Talk to Me! And it had a cut out circle in the middle, and the plan was I’d stick my head through the opening while my classmates held the sign so that when they drove by, he’d be enticed o stop. What do you know? It worked! He came over to greet us. He said, “Who’s this middle class American?” and said hello and shook my hand. He also signed our banner, and the White House photographed us and sent us 5 official copies of the photo in the mail. The enclosure also said the photo was displayed in the White House! I’ve never been to the White House to confirm or deny this. Was a very special day. (And, it proves you should never ditch school.)
9. I played collegiate field hockey and was all-conference my senior year. I played defense and scored exactly one time, in a double-overtime game where we won 1-0. My teammates rushed the field after I scored and it’s one of the fondest memories of my life. I still have the ball.
10. I have to hold back tears every time I look at my son. He is perfect.
11. I know every line to The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Bill has provided us with eleven thought-provoking questions to ponder and answer. Here we go…
1. Grande Soy Green Tea Frappuccino with Extra Whip or House Blend Black?
This is silly. Coffee over tea any day.
2. If you were going to write a book, what would its title be?
One of the perks of my elementary principal’s gig was having freshly-baked (most of the time), cleverly decorated treats brought to my office to celebrate birthdays and holidays. This was one such treat:
Thus the title of book, should I ever write it, will be There’s a Worm in My Cupcake. Todd Whitaker approves.
3. Rate graphic novels on a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing “useless” and 10 representing “simply amazing.”
When I taught sixth grade, we read amazing stories together. Holes and Red Fern and The View from Saturday. But there were still some students (boys, mostly) who were difficult to engage – they “hated reading.” Enter Avi’s City of Light, City of Dark. While I’m not going to say that every boy was turned onto reading because of that book, I know it was an “a-ha” moment for a lot of kids, to help them learn more about the different types of literature available and to learn to love to read. I don’t particularly love graphic novels myself (although I read Johnny Bunko in one sitting), but I think they’re a solid 8.
4. What member of your digital network has had the greatest impact on your professional growth?
5. How do you feel about the holidays?
I love the holidays, but I hate how much money I spend trying to find the perfect gift for people, when a) I’m really terrible about finding good gifts and b) spending time with family is the best gift of all. I love decorating and cookie baking! And eating. And holiday cocktails. And wrapping gifts. And Christmas television shows. And Christmas music.
6. Rate the following movies in order from best to worst: Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version).
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story (I’ve never seen A Christmas Story in its entirety!)
7. What is the best gift that you’ve ever gotten?
Cole, my son.
8. If you had an extra $100 to give away to charity, who would you give it to?
Animal rescue, specifically a group that helps with greyhound rescues.
9. What are you the proudest of?
My efforts to be the best mother I can be.
10. What was the worst trouble that you ever got into as a child?
I’m not entirely sure. But I do remember falling asleep in my fifth grade class while my peers were each reciting The Gettysburg Address. While I didn’t get in “trouble,” my fifth grade teacher found a Peanuts comic strip about Charlie Brown falling asleep in class, and he taped it to my desk the next morning.
11. What was the last blog entry that you left a comment on? What motivated you to leave a comment on that entry?
Earlier this week, Todd Hoffman shared a blog post about his first experience as a Twitter chat moderator. I have only moderated chats a few times, but I was prompted to comment because I wanted to share that scheduling my moderator questions in advance made the whole experience a lot easier and allowed me to more actively engage in the chat.
Here are the 11 bloggers I am tagging for the next round. You’re welcome.
2. Tony Sinanis
4. Jeff Delp
6. Joe Mazza
8. Amanda Dykes
10. Katie Hellerman
11. Nick Provenzano
And here are my 11 questions for those bloggers:
1. Do you have a middle name? If so, what is it? Anything special about it?
2. What color are your eyes?
3. Where would you go in a time travel machine? Would you stay?
4. Who is the person you most trust in the world?
5. What high school activities did you participate in?
6. If Twitter ceased to exist tomorrow, what would you most miss about it?
7. Seriously, what do you think of the Miley Cyrus song, Wrecking Ball?
8. Do you cook or bake? What is your specialty?
9. What is the first concert you ever went to? (Excluding school concerts)
10. Have you ever been “starstruck?” Explain.
11. How far away from your birthplace do you live now?
Here’s how it works:
- Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
- Share 11 random facts about yourself.
- Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
- List 11 bloggers.
- Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.