I was tagged by 3 friends in the blogging homework meme but decided to break the rules and post 11 questions about education that need answers rather than 11 random facts and responses to someone else's 11 questions. It has been brought to my attention (ahem.... Andrew) that, while ignoring rules is admirable, posting questions for others without responding to any myself is not quite fair. So, in the spirit of equity, below are 11 random facts about me for anyone who may be interested. Some of these are not-so-random for those of you who know me well.
1. I've always wanted to be an astronaut. Still do. I'm a huge nerd when it comes to all things space. As a classroom teacher, I was selected for a week-long NCCAT seminar at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. It was, without a doubt, one of the best weeks of my life. So much fun. At the time, my first graders were convinced that I actually went to the moon.
2. I'm a recent Mac convert. I've been PC my entire life, with the exception of iPad, iPod Touch, & iPhone. Last summer, a local school district partnered with me so that my STEM campers could use the district's iPads. I used iMovie on the MacBook Air that was with the iPad cart to create videos for campers' parents. That was the turning point for me. After using the MacBook Air during the summer, it was really, really, really tough to go back to using my PC. Since last summer, my husband has surprised me with both a MacBook Pro and an iMac. I'm completely spoiled now and love my Macs.
3. My husband and I have two beautiful children (6 and 2 years old) and are in the process of adopting siblings through a local adoption agency. We're still several months away from being licensed and are super excited about expanding our family!
4. Katie Wood Ray was my writing methods professor and student teaching supervisor. For most of you, that probably means nothing. But for some of you, you know that's a big deal. Katie is a Heinemann author and speaker on writing workshop, and I was most definitely in the right place at the right time in my undergraduate program. She is the reason I am a professor.
5. I didn't want to be a teacher. Like, ever. I always did well in school and was encouraged by family and others to be a doctor, so that (and astronaut) is what I always thought I would do. I can't remember ever wanting to do anything else. I was a pre-med biology major when I first went to undergrad, but decided my sophomore year that I didn't have the stomach for it. Since I'd never thought about another career, I was lost and had no idea what to do. I had a long conversation with my advisor, and she recommended that I take an introductory education course. After just a few class meetings, I found my calling. I honestly don't know how I'd missed it all along.
6. My first year teaching, I taught in Marietta, GA. The move from student teaching in the rural mountains of NC to teaching just outside of Atlanta was like culture shock for me. I faced a lot of challenges that year, as do all first-year teachers, and I learned so much from my students. After that year, I moved to Hickory, NC, where I live today.
7. I've owned 9 cars, and I've been driving for 18 years. Two reasons: I've had several accidents (only one of which was my fault) and my husband works at Carmax.
8. I play piano. I took lessons from 6 to 16 years old. I don't play nearly as much as I'd like, mostly because my free time is spent on doctoral work. I've played for a couple of weddings, and my favorite thing to do is play duets my mother.
9. I almost flunked keyboarding in high school. I was a really fast typer because for several summers I did clerical work at my mom's office. My keyboarding teacher didn't understand how I moved through assignments so quickly, and I think she didn't like my attitude about it all, which probably wasn't great. My mom came to the school to talk to the teacher, which was the second time she'd ever done that. (The first time was in 4th grade when I went from being the kid who loved school so much I cried when I had to stay home on sick days to being the kid who was literally sick to my stomach every morning because I hated school so much. My teacher was a very, very not-nice person.)
10. I'm allergic to furry creatures, which is sad because my daughter wants a dog in the worst way and I refuse to take a pill every day or get regular shots. I wasn't always allergic to furry things. We actually had dogs and cats while I was growing up, and it never bothered me. I developed allergies in my early twenties, which my doctor told me is completely normal. Apparently someone can not be allergic to something one day and develop an allergy the very next. I'm hoping one day the allergy will go away as quickly as it came.
11. I was on the TV show Club Dance on The Nashville Network when I was an undergrad at Western Carolina University (Go Cats!). For one of my PE credits, I took folk and line dancing. The culminating assignment for the class was an appearance and group line dance on Club Dance. I'm pretty sure I have it recorded on VHS if anyone is looking for a good laugh.