Horray! I’ve been tagged in a blog Meme by Bill Ferriter (Tempered Radical), designed to spread a little writing fun and to allow us to get to know each other outside of our usual teacher-writer selves. (Before I could get my post up, I was also tagged by the fabulous Marsha Ratzel -Reflections of a Techie- and Briana Crowley-Red Pen Confessions.) So now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and relax after a killer week leading up to the holiday recess, here I go with my blogging “homework.”  And then I get to tag some others..hehe.

Now that I have ackolwedged the person who tagged me, I must share 11 random facts about me:

(Full disclosure: I shared some of these on Facebook in a “25 Random Things About Me” note in 2009)

1. In 4th grade I took a dance class. I wasn’t very good at following choreographed dance moves. BUT there was this older girl there. whom I looked up to a lot. She came one day with a blue spot, face-painted on her nose. When people asked her what it was, she said matter-of-factly, “It’s a little blue spot. What’s wrong with a little blue spot?” I thought that was so ingenious that I went to school the next day with a blue spot on my nose, and said the same thing when people asked about it.

2. Some of my classmates said, understandably, “That’s weird.” I said, “Okay, then call me weird.” I was serious. I started asking people to call me Weird instead of Ariel. I started writing “Weird” on my worksheets for class.

3. I had a really cool teacher in fourth grade. She responded with mild amusement. The next thing you know, my friend Kristal wanted an unusual nickname. She was good at drawing. We started calling her “Art.” Others joined in. A lot of kids in the class took on bizarre nicknames. It lasted ’til we got sick of it.

4. In fifth grade, my teacher’s hand written comment at the bottom of my end of year report card (which came on a yellow carbon copy paper) was, “Ariel truly marches to the beat of her own drummer!”  

5. Decades later, I am married to a drummer. 🙂

6. One of the best things about growing up in a suburb was being able to climb trees and sneak through people’s backyards, and wander around at night without much danger, and–although I would NEVER do this now, even if I moved to a suburb–leave the back door open.

7. I buy my music–at a store or from Itunes. I never download it for free, though I do check out songs on Youtube, etc. 

8. I have played violin since I was 5. I learned to read music a little before I could read words.  

9. I love teaching, but will never love the schedule. Why can’t school start at 10am?!

10. Two things I absolutely love, but don’t do very often: ride horses and swim in the ocean.

11. I love the Spanish language. While living in Mexico and afterward for a time, I was thinking and dreaming in Spanish. There are some words and ideas that are much better in Spanish than in English that I still reach for–when you call someone “tremenda,” for example, or when you say someone is “presumiendo.” 


Now I get to answer Bill’s questions for me:

1. Grande Soy Green Tea Frappuccino with Extra Whip or House Blend Black?  Neither– Good old capuccino, made with whole milk, and a little sugar.  Otherwise, large coffee with half and half and brown sugar, every morning. Can’t really start without it. 

2. If you were going to write a book, what would its title be?  Well, I just wrote this one, but since this is more about my personal side… if I were going to write a non-educational book of non-fiction, it might be called something like, So You Married an Artist… Stories and Advice from Someone Who Understands.  If I were to write a work of fiction it would be a YA novel called something like, Stepping Out of Line

3. Rate graphic novels on a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing “useless” and 10 representing “simply amazing.”  I’ll say 9.  

4. What member of your digital network has had the greatest impact on your professional growth? This is difficult to say.  I will narrow it down to the three bloggers I had the great privilege of joining six years ago on TLN, who have been role models and thought leaders for me ever since–Bill Ferriter, Renee Moore, and Nancy Flanagan.

5. How do you feel about the holidays?  I enjoy them. I’m Jewish, so it tends to be less festivus, and more of a relaxing time to visit with family and take stock of the year.


6. Rate the following movies in order from best to worst: Christmas Vacation (2), Miracle on 34th Street (don’t know it!),  A Christmas Story (1), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version) (sadly, don’t know it!).

7. What is the best gift that you’ve ever gotten?  I remember receiving my first stereo in 9th grade. It had big speakers, dual cassete and a 3 CD changer. It rocked my world.   

8. If you had an extra $100 to give away to charity, who would you give it to? I’d go to the NYC subways and give it to the best musician I heard.

9. What are you the proudest of?  Publishing my book, and teaching in NYC public schools for 10 years. 

10. What was the worst trouble that you ever got into as a child?  I truly didn’t get into much trouble as a child and don;t remember a single incident until late into adolescence. My parents were very fair and I understood the limits. I remember that my parents had little tolerance for whining of any kind. So if I started whining, that was a problem. All they had to do was give me a bit of a harsh tone and I’d cut it out. Debate was different, though. They were open to it. Maybe that’s why I didn’t get into much trouble. 

11. What was the last blog entry that you left a comment on?  What motivated you to leave a comment on that entry?  My last comment was on this entry, by Bill Ferriter, called Do You Share Spielberg’sAttitudes Towards Bad Ideas?  Bill shared some of his thoughts on the book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.  I was moved to comment because I feel like policy makers seem bent on using business concepts in education, but are frankly pulling from many of the lousiest, most outdated models of education instead of the most successful, most cutting edge ideas.  (That’s not actually what I said in my comment, though.)

Now I have to nominate 11 bloggers to participate in the fun!  (Doing my best to nominate people who haven’t been nominated)

1. Nancy Flanagan, Teacher in a Strange Land

2. John Holland, The Learning Studio

3. Sandy Merz, Digressive Discourse

4. Steve Lazar, Outside the Cave

5. Sarah Goodis-Orenstein, Making Room For Excuses

6. Jessica Cuthbertson, In a Teacher’s Shoes

7. Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Tween Teacher

8. Elena Aguilar, The Art of Coaching Teachers

9. Ileana Jimenez, Feminist Teacher

10. Joel Pardalis, Falling Forward

11. Brielle Erazo, Perspectives From the Middle 

Anyone else is welcome to jump on board!

Now, my 11 Questions for the bloggers I’ve tagged:

1. What is a great education book you hold dear?

2. What is a great non-education book you hold dear?

3. E-reader or old fashioned paper?

4. What’s your morning preference: coffee, tea, water, or other?

5. What drives you to write, given how busy you are with everything else? Answer in one sentence only.

6. How do you get to work in the morning?

7. What TV show–past or present–is funniest?

8. What dish do you cook for company?

9. If you had to live in another country, which one would it be?

10. Where are your grandparents from? 

11. If you had to wear either sweatpants & a t-shirt or formal attire (formal–not business casual, folks) to work every day for a month, which one would you choose?

After you write your post, share the link below.  Enjoy!

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