Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Getting to Know You, by 11s

Last week I was challenged, given homework, tagged, nominated...not sure what to call Kate Baker to take part in a 4-part blog post intended to help bloggers connect and share. Kate is an invaluable member of my PLN on Twitter. I've enjoyed reading the different blog posts from people who have been participating in this.
Here is how it works:
1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. List 11 bloggers after you write this.
5. 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.

Here we go:

Part 1: 11 Random Facts About Me
1. My only foray into working retail lasted two weeks. I got a job at Staples the semester after I finished student teaching. As much as I love Staples, I hated working retail and gave my week's notice after my first week!
2. I grew up spending my summers on a lake in north-central Maine.
3. I am the third generation of teachers in my family- on both sides!
4. I love the color orange.
5. When they first met me, some of my students thought I was going to turn out to be a hippy because I wore a tie-dye sweatshirt and had a water bottle covered with peace signs. They were relieved to discover that I was not a hippy.
6. I have always wanted to become a published writer.
7. It is a toss up for me between the mountains and the water. I love both and I'm happy when I'm hiking, skiing, kayaking, canoeing, or sitting and looking at the water (or the mountains).
8. My husband and I met in September, started dating in January, were engaged in April, and married in June (six years ago). When it's right, you know it!
9. Aaron Sorkin is one of my all time favorite screen writers. I still haven't seen Newsroom, and that is bugging me. West Wing remains my ultimate favorite TV show.
10. I hate to cook.
11. Even though I am an English teacher and an avid reader, I am a horrible speller. One word I can NEVER remember how to spell correctly is "guarantee". I'm always at a loss.

Part 2: 11 Questions from Kate
1. What is your favorite type of cookie?
My favorite store-bought is Oreo, but I love homemade cookies. My mom baked all the time when I was growing up. Chocolate chip can't be beat!

2. As a cook, what is your signature dish?
Even though I hate to cook and I am blessed by a husband who is willing to do most of the cooking, I try to do my share since he works 10hr days. I've learned to make a pretty good meatloaf which he loves. When I told him I was putting the meatloaf as my signature dish, he said, no, it was my coconut beef curry. So there you have it!

3. What was your best Christmas/Birthday/Holiday gift ever (either given to you or you gave to someone else)?  4. Why was that the best gift ever?
I'm combining these because it's easier to explain that way. What immediately comes to mind is my birthday in August 2011. We had just moved to Maine a few weeks before so that I could start a new job as Head of the High School and Humanities Teacher at Windham Christian Academy. Growing up, I had always spent my birthday at our family's cottage on Sebec Lake and I wanted to do that again now that we were back in Maine. We got up to the cottage and I called my folks to let them know we were there and to ask my Dad if they would come out to see us on the day of my birthday. His answer was, "We'll see." His health had gotten pretty bad with the COPD and they were living day by day, taking the good days when they could get them. Mid morning on my birthday my parents drove to the cottage. We had a delightful visit. Dad spent the afternoon on the screened porch, did some reminiscing, and visited with family friends who stopped by. That was the last trip Dad ever took to the Lake, the place where he spent his summers growing up and where he raised his own kids. That was the last time he ever drove. About a week later he went to the hospital. We discovered that his body was full of cancer. He died a month later, never leaving the hospital. The fact that Dad's last trip to the Lake was for my birthday will always be a special memory for me.

5. What is your favorite tech tool?
I think I have to say Google Drive. It has changed my paper management as an English teacher. It makes organization and collaboration so much easier!

6. Oxford comma, necessary or superfluous?
Necessary because it just makes sense!

7. What is your favorite book?
This is such a hard question because I have read so many amazing books and I keep discovering more. I don't have one favorite book, I have lots of books that I love, that stay with me, that are simply beautiful for different reasons. A book that struck me when I first read it was O Pioneers! by Willa Cather. I remember just being in awe of Cather's description of the plains and admiring the main character.

8. If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
1) Christian schools would have the funding they need to pay teachers appropriate salaries. 2) My husband could start his own woodworking business. 3) We could live on the coast (of Maine).

9. If you were to name one piece of clothing that describes you, what would you say?
A broken in, cotton, hoodie sweatshirt.

10. Would you rather visit the world 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future?
I think the past. The early 1900s was a fascinating time, and I love and appreciate the older way of life.

11. What's the kindest act you have ever seen done (either to/by you or another)?
This is a tough one. I do see acts of kindness big and small all the time and I try to do what I can. It's hard to rate these acts with superlatives. Thinking about it, what comes to mind is the most recent acts of kindness I've seen. There is a family in my school that is constantly experiencing the kindness of others. The dad was diagnosed with ALS 6 years ago, in fact, when they got the diagnosis, he was only given 4-5 years to live. His wife and son (my student) are his primary care-givers. They are full of joy in the face of their trial and are constantly sharing stories of people helping them, from clearing snow to bringing meals, to a patient sales clerk in a shoe store.

Part 3: Nominate other Bloggers.

1. Paul Hankins
2. Gigi McAllister
3. Kimberly Moran
4. Maria Selke
5. Justin Stygles
6. Jenn Felt
7. Cindy Minnich
8. Sarah Mulhern Gross
9. Cynthia Lord
10. Ken C
11. Melissa Guerrette

Part 4: 11 Questions for those I've nominated.
1. What was your first car?
2. What would be your ideal vacation?
3. What is an idea that you had that you were very proud of? Why? How did it work out?
4. What is a book that has stuck with you?
5. Are you a Mac or a PC person and why?
6. If you had 3 hours to do with as you pleased, how would you spend them?
7. What is the craziest idea you ever had?
8. Did you ever follow through with that idea?
9. What and how many pets do you have?
10. Which teacher had the biggest impact on your life?
11. Which student has had the biggest impact on your life thus far?

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