Monday, December 30, 2013

do your homework

O.K. I'll bite. A digitally dynamic educator from Penticton, Naryn Searcy (@ncearcy17) dropped a "getting to know you" meme-thingy on me and a few others:
  • 11 Random facts about yourself
  • 11 questions asked by another
  • 11 questions that you ask to another 11 people in your PLN (professional learning network)
11 Random Facts about me:
  1. I can exhale through my right eye. Busted tear duct valve or something -- makes a sound like letting air out of a balloon.
  2. Although I consider myself outgoing, humorous, loud, and prominent in a crowd (big guy, after all), I consistently place in the Introvert camp when I do a Myers Briggs test.
  3. Huge Tolkien fan, have a big bookshelf just for JRR. Named my kids after Tolkien characters... Luthien (Lu) and Fëanor (Finn).
  4. Snapped my ACL while boxing with oversized gloves in a bouncy castle in the gym with hundreds of students watching... too much pain to be embarrassed.
  5. Met my wife while treeplanting in 1991... at the time she was the camp cook and I knew it was love when she served me a up a whole chicken. Still, took us 6 years before our first date.
  6. During my teacher training studies at SFU, I lived in a tent in the woods near where I parked my car. Both G-lot and those woods are now developed into something called UniverCity (how original is that?).
  7. For my final project in my Masters of Ed degree, I wrote about the Epic of Gilgamesh, explored ecosystem theory in education, and made a film about a Sasquatch where I got to strip down, get covered in mud, and run madly through the woods.
  8. My first real job, and one I almost carried through to a career, was that of forest ecosystem geographer. While I loved the wilderness, map-making, and the study of plants, I grew weary of isolation and being chased by bears.
  9. I've had three concussions, had stitches 7 times, and been struck by lightning once. The latter happened in the woods of northern Alberta -- didn't really hurt, but the crackling waves of blue made me wretch.
  10. My favorite go-to lesson involves a spatial history of the English language, one I borrowed from a beloved prof (now deceased) from UBC... Fred Bowers
  11. I sometimes embark on endless bizarre undertakings because someone dares me to in a round-about way... intensive study of anarchism, massive genealogy project, building a web empire, challenging local school district decisions, creating a "Middle Earth 12 course," etc.
Answering Naryn Searcy's questions:
  1. How do you balance time spent on face to face relationships in your own district vs online relationships? My online "PLN" is really just a list of tweeps that amuse and/or challenge me... I'm not sure I would call them "relationships" although I do learn from them. I send/receive a hecka lotta emails, but am making headway trying to squeeze my screen time into smaller and smaller daily windows. I reserve as much of my professional face time as I can for get-togethers with teacher friends -- fellow Social Studies teachers aka @pacificslope.
  2. Where do you want to go in the world that you haven't been yet? Pretty much anywhere in Great Britain... I've started a list of things to do and see, and it already looks like more than can happen in one trip.
  3. Are you a morning or night person? Usually morning, although if there is some stress or pressure I often put in late nights, too. I'm usually awake by 5:30, and have slept in past 9:30 only a handful of times in my life.
  4. What was the last book you read/movie you watched or song you listened to? Reading: Fall of Arthur by Tolkien (posthumous publication), listening to Graceland today (introduced the album to my daughter), saw The Hobbit DOS a couple of weeks ago.
  5. In what school/position do you think you "grew up" as an educator? My current school.  In keeping with William Blake, my Innocence as an educator was College Heights (1996-2003) and my Experience is D.P. Todd (2004-present)
  6. What is one thing you would miss if you had to leave the community you currently live in? Friends, family, my street, the Knowing that comes from living in a place for 40ish years.
  7. What is the source you rely on most for news about what's going on in the world? CBC web/radio, twitter articles, some alternate media.
  8. What is your favourite movie and why? Groundhog Day, for reasons I don't fully understand.
  9. Who will win the SuperBowl and Stanley Cup this year? I don't watch sports so I have no idea about NFL or NHL... it would be nice for the Canucks to win once, but only if they don't get drunk, tip cars, loot and burn.
  10. If your son/daughter wanted to enter the field of education right now, would you encourage them? BC K-12??? Probably not, unless wages, respect for teachers, and relationship with management improved drastically. There are parts of the job that are unrivalled, absoutely fulfilling, but there are also parts that are mind-numbing and unduly stressful.  If my kid is going to be poor and misunderstood, I'd rather they be an artist or musician!
  11. What is a good moment from 2013? Watching my kids at a recent swim club meet -- progress and confidence. Taking a moment recently to be in awe over my wife as she holds 2 part-time jobs (including elected school trustee) plus amazing mom and potter. For me, having the local university recognize a "Tolkien-themed" course I developed as an academic credit for admissions.
My questions for 11 others in my PLN:
  1. If you morphed into an all-round Olympic athlete, what would be your Winter Sport and your Summer Sport?
  2. What was the most interesting book or written work you read in 2013 (and was it paper or digital)?
  3. What is a major change you would make to the BC Education system?
  4. What is a work of art (any genre or form) that inspires or challenges you?
  5. Considering the wealth of oil in northern Alberta that we seem anxious to liquidate in a single generation, are you in favour of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline?
  6. What is a food experience that you wish on your children (or nieces/nephews)?
  7. If your house was burning, but insurance would cover the obvious expensive items and your family & pets were safe, what meaningful artifact would you rescue from your home?
  8. If you had to pick a different career than the one you're in, what would it be?
  9. If you were to ever publish a book, what would you like it to be about?
  10. What was a great event or experience in your work life from 2013 (e.g. teacher experience for many of you)?
  11. What was a great family moment from 2013?
Here are the 11 people I'm inviting to do their homework, in alphabetical order... there are others in my "PLN" but they seem to have done this thing already, or they don't blog so they will find this activity frustrating. Some of these folks I just want to hear more from, others I have included because it will annoy them (Rob, Kate) and if they do this they can totally skip the last step of passing this on... but all of them excellent folks to follow on twitter for a variety of reasons:
Added challenge... optional: if you post your response on a blog or such, include a random childhood pic of yourself. The one I placed at the top shows my first bike in 1973 -- 4th birthday.

6 comments:

Tobey said...

Hi Glen,

Some of these warrant more substantive responses ... but here goes:

11 random facts:

1) I've lived on three different continents (so far): North America, Europe, and Asia.

2) I <3 skydiving.

3) I once worked on an oil rig, as a pipe-fitter.

4) I often 'forget' to eat breakfast, as I get too engrossed in X, Y, or Z.

5) I worry some times. There's so much work to do, and so little time.

6) I do my best thinking in the shower, so sometimes they can stretch 30 minutes or longer ...

7) I am thankful for my wife, who insists I eat healthier than food out of a box.

8) I used to drive a motor cycle. It went zoom-zoom.

9) I bought a rabbit for a gift once. That was a terrible idea.

10) I'd pick Superman over Batman 9 times out of 10.

11) I think it's a tragedy that we've lost our yearning for the stars.


Now for your questions:

1) If you morphed into an all-round Olympic athlete, what would be your Winter Sport and your Summer Sport?

Honestly, I'd have no part of that exploitative agenda, and I'd rather protest the Olympics - Summer and Winter.

2) What was the most interesting book or written work you read in 2013 (and was it paper or digital)?

Jodi Dean (2009) Democracy and other neoliberal fantasies: Communicative capitalism and left politics => http://www.dukeupress.edu/Democracy-and-Other-Neoliberal-Fantasies/

3) What is a major change you would make to the BC Education system?
Class composition caps.

4) What is a work of art (any genre or form) that inspires or challenges you?
Picasso's Guernica

5) Considering the wealth of oil in northern Alberta that we seem anxious to liquidate in a single generation, are you in favour of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline?
No.

6) What is a food experience that you wish on your children (or nieces/nephews)?
Gumbo!

7) If your house was burning, but insurance would cover the obvious expensive items and your family & pets were safe, what meaningful artifact would you rescue from your home?
Hard drives.

8) If you had to pick a different career than the one you're in, what would it be?
Librarian.

9) If you were to ever publish a book, what would you like it to be about?
At this point? Education policy.

10) What was a great event or experience in your work life from 2013 (e.g. teacher experience for many of you)?
Facilitating a workshop for other teachers.

11) What was a great family moment from 2013?
Baby en route!


My questions:

1) A casting call has gone out for a biopic on your life. Who will play you?

2) What songs speak to your experience as an educator?

3) Assess or test, or test and assess?

4) If you could have lunch with any educationist (living or dead), who would you dine with?

5) If you could study under/with any living educationist, who would you pick?

'The more things change, the more they stay the same.'
6) In the world of public education, what's changed since you were in school?

7) In the world of public education, what's stayed the same since you were in school?

8) What event(s) from 2013 will live in your memory?

9) What event(s) from 2013 would you like to forget?

10) If you could take a class on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

11) What are you most looking forward to in 2014?


No sense in me tagging additional folks, though ... Even so, cheers for the provocation. :)

rheawoolgar said...

You can read my reply at http://rheawoolgar.com/2013/12/31/11-things/

Happy New Year Glen!

Rob Lewis said...

You know me too well. Can't believe you are going to make me do this. If we have to pair up by favorite animal at an upcoming pro-d I am never talking to you again.

Rob Lewis said...

Alright here is my response http://fatherof2.blogspot.ca/2014/01/sucked-in.html

Happy New Year!

Thielmann said...

Thanks Tobey. I like your questions... enough that I'll answer them.
1. Lewis Abernathy
2. Fool's Overture by Supertramp
3. Assess and test
4. Noam Chomsky or Stephen Lewis
5. see #4
6. Leadership structures, student skill sets, role of teacher, tech yo-yo
7. Basic student needs, nature of inquiry
8. Mandela's passing, weird double Pope thing, my knee surgery
9. Rob Ford of course
10. Ottawa (museums), pretty much any place with old crap in Europe, camping on West Coast
11. Looking back on it... I often dread the future but celebrate it when it becomes the past.

Thielmann said...

Very nice... exceeded expectations.