In a flashback to the early days of blogging, I got tagged by my buddy Diana Williams to participate in a good old fashioned meme last week.  Not sure how it got started, but this meme has an important purpose: To give readers a look behind the digital masks that writers show outwardly to the world.

I can dig that.  Digital spaces are fantastic for building connections, but unless we make a conscious effort to show the world that we are more than a collection of bits and bytes stored on a server somewhere, those “connections” become decidedly less human.

My FIRST job, according to Diana’s post, starts with sharing 11 random facts about me that Radical Nation may not have known:

I spent about seven years working as a security guard for Buffalo Bills home games back in their heyday.  After one remarkable game, I “lost” my security jacket and helped to rip the goalposts down.

I’ve never watched Airplane, Blazing Saddles or Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but I HAVE seen every Smokey and the Bandit movie ever made.

I watch a ridiculous amount of reality television.  You name it, I’ve seen it.  And probably liked it.

I once gave up Gilligan’s Island, the Brady Bunch AND Buffalo Sabres games for Lent.  (That was an incredibly LONG 46 days.)

I was a highly-regarded PA announcer for the local high school football team for years.

If I had the chance, I’d pack up and move to Canada tomorrow.  I’d apply for a job in #sd36learn nation OR in whatever school Chris WejrGeorge Couros or Cale Birk are leading.  They’re REMARKABLE people.

On the day that I got married, I weighed just over 250 pounds thanks in large part to the 12 red can Cokes and 12 Little Debbie Fudge Rounds I consumed every day.

I went to college with plans to be an aerospace engineer.  I graduated with a degree in elementary education.

I am an Eagle Scout.

My happiest moments in life are when my four-year old daughter says, “Daddy, can I give you a hug?!” #love

If I went to Hogwarts, I would have been a Slytherin.

My SECOND job is to answer eleven questions from Diana:

If you weren’t in education, what would you do instead?  I’d work for a social service agency of some kind — helping the homeless, fighting for the poor, working towards equal rights for social or cultural minorities.  #workthatmatters

Pencil or pen?  Fine-point, bleed-free Sharpies.  They are the best for working with my PAD.

Last book you read? I’m right in the middle of Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield.  It’s a historical fiction account of the Battle of Thermopylae designed to spotlight what life in Sparta was like.

Guilty pleasure? Gold Rush AlaskaBearing Sea GoldBar Rescue and Full Throttle Saloon.

Has tech made your life easier or harder?  Easier as a learner, but harder in a lot of other ways.  I find myself constantly buried under email, and never being away from a device means always being accessible to someone who needs me.  Even when I’m unplugged from my device, I’m constantly worried about how many messages I’m going to have to sift through when I’m connected again.

If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?  Sadly, the answer to that would be, “Don’t go into teaching” or at the VERY least, “Don’t move to North Carolina.”  Our public education system has become a political football.  Policymakers aren’t looking for solutions that work.  They’re looking to score points in the eyes of potential voters and donors that will line their pockets with campaign donations.  That’s DESTROYING our schools — and that’s hard for me to watch.

What is your favourite blog to read?  I read the thoughts of TONS of people who challenge my thinking — and I’m challenged by too many people to name here.  What’s interesting is if I haven’t read something from someone I’m inspired by in a while, I feel disconnected from them even if I haven’t met them in person before.

Share something funny.  The maddest I ever made my wife was when I taught my daughter to say, “Mommy, I dropped a deuce!” while she was potty training.  I thought it was hilarious.  Nana and Gramps were mortified.

Would you ever wear orange pants?  Nope.  But I do own these.

What is one thing you hope to do in the future?  Make enough money working ONE job to pay my bills.  I currently spend AT LEAST 20 hours a week doing part-time work simply because the $52,000 I make after 20+ years of teaching in North Carolina isn’t enough to support my family.  #sheesh

Favourite thing to do on a Friday night?  Go to bed early.  #wildchild

My THIRD job is to generate a list of 11 questions for OTHER people to answer:

  1. Grande Soy Green Tea Frappuccino with Extra Whip or House Blend Black?
  2. If you were going to write a book, what would its title be?
  3. Rate graphic novels on a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing “useless” and 10 representing “simply amazing.”
  4. What member of your digital network has had the greatest impact on your professional growth?
  5. How do you feel about the holidays?
  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).
  7. What is the best gift that you’ve ever gotten?
  8. If you had an extra $100 to give away to charity, who would you give it to?
  9. What are you the proudest of?
  10. What was the worst trouble that you ever got into as a child?
  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 job is to nominate 11 bloggers that I want to see join the More Homework Meme:

  1. Philip Cummings
  2. David Culberhouse
  3. John Wink
  4. Marsha Ratzel
  5. Mike Hutchinson
  6. Pete Caggia — Time to start blogging, Pete!
  7. Paul Cancellieri
  8. Lyn Hilt
  9. Ariel Sacks
  10. Chris Wejr
  11. Cale Birk
  12. INSERT YOUR NAME HERE.  (Everyone should show us their human side, y’all.  Jump in the Memestream and let us get to know you better.)

 Here’s 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.
  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.

Post back here with a link after you write this. Go on, you have homework to do.

You can thank me later.


Related Radical Reads:

This I Believe Meme

This I Believe Meme, Part Deux

Passion Quilt Meme

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