28 December 2013

Challenge Accepted!!

Mr. Brett Clark has given me a Blogging Challenge.  I didn't want to get into the whole process because it is becoming very much an altered form of a chain letter.  However, I do not want to let my friend down (I mean, he did let me live in his basement).  Unfortunately, in my last post, I decided to do many of the things in the challenge so I am only left with the 11 questions that were asked of me:

11 Questions From Brett:
1) What is the most rewarding professional experience you've ever had?  I am very fortunate that I have had many of these over the years.  I have yearbooks with comments from students expressing their gratitude and colleagues that I have been friends with for my entire career despite having changed schools several times.  But, I think one that will always stick out in my mind will be the AP Chemistry student I had in my first year who earned a 9 for her marking period grade.  She barely passed her senior year of HS.  After working for a few years at a Barnes and Noble, she realized she was wasting her life.  She went to community college, then transferred to Rutgers.  She is currently finishing her Masters in Biochemistry.  When she started her MA, she messaged me on Facebook to tell me about everything that happened to her since HS.  She said that one of the reasons she chose biochemistry was because of how much my AP Chemistry class had helped her in college.  She is the perfect example of why not everyone is meant to go to college right after high school and how some people just need time to find themselves.  
2) If you were made the emperor of education, what would be the first 3 things you would change?  First, I would do away with the term "Emperor of Education."  It implies that one person's opinion is more important than everyone else's.  Second, standardized tests that involve scantrons and one right answer would be replaced with meaningful tasks to measure understanding and true learning.  Third, I think more schools need to adopt the academy model of education similar to what you find in Magnet and vocational programs.  Programs that are designed to train you with particular skills.  There would still be a "general studies" program, but gone would be 'home ec' and 'foods' to be replaced with culinary arts.  Those wanting to become engineers would take mechanics classes, electrical design, and team building.  Those not wanting to go to college would do apprenticeships and study to pass their licensing exams in whatever area they choose.  Schools need to find ways to tailor the academic offerings to the students instead of a 'one size fits most' mentality.
3) What was the last book you read for fun? for work?  I always reading several books at a time.  Currently, I am listening to (35 min commute) Ape House by Sara Gruen, reading In The Woods by Tana French, and Flipping 2.0 by, well, a bunch of awesome people.
4) Who is your favorite director? (If you say Brett Ratner or Michael Bay, I may unfollow you.) Steven Spielberg.  But, I was just having a discussion on Facebook about what an amazing director Michael Bay.  He may not produce Oscar worth films, but you cannot deny both his an Ratner's gift for turning our childhood fantasies into reality.
5) If you could be on any TV show, what show would you want to be on?  Big Bang Theory.  I would fit in so well there.
6) Paperback, hardback, or eBooks?  As much as I am in favor of digital textbooks, I cannot read for long periods of time on a digital device.  I love the feel of hardcover books; reminds me of my mom who always felt like reading hardcovers was a status symbol (even though hers almost always came from the library).  In the end I always wait until paperback for a good book.
7) Who's your favorite celebrity to follow on twitter?  I only follow 2 celebrities on Twitter:  Steve Martin and Alton Brown.  Alton Brown's tweets are hilarious because he writes his tweets on post-its. sticks it to the computer monitor under the tweet he is responding to, then takes a picture and tweets that.  
8) How close or far away are you right now from where you thought you would be at this point in your life when you were a kid?  I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 8 (got ya beat Clark!).  Mrs. Platt in 2nd grade is who inspired me.  So I am exactly where I wanted to be.  The adult version wants more, though.
9) What's the most embarrassing hair style you've ever had?  When I was in HS, I used to comb my hair across and it produced this wave effect.  When my hair got too long the wave was more tsunami size.  I definitely have pictures around, but I don't want my students who read this blog to see them.
10) I always loved how baseball players have a song they walk up to when they bat. What song would you pick?  Wait and Bleed by Slipknot.
11) What's your favorite browser and how many tabs do you have open? (I'm really looking for affirmation that I'm not the only one with an addiction to tabs.)  I am Mr. Google (currently on a Chromebook) so it is only Chrome for me.  I have 5 tabs open.  I have an unconscious thing about groups of 5.  My wife, on the other hand, is a tab junkie.  She doesn't close anything, not even programs she is no longer using.  Her phone will easily have 30-40 tabs open and her computer will have the same.

Now, if you want to participate, feel free.  You can answer the 11 questions Brett asked of me, the 11 questions that I stole in my previous post, or the 11 that I have below.  If you do decide to do the Blogger's HW, please leave a comment with a link to your post.  Thanks for reading and sharing!

11 Questions for You:
1.  If you were going to get a tattoo, what would it be and where on your body would you put it?
2.  You find a old, tarnished lamp on the beach.  You rub it and a Genie pops out.  What's the 2nd thing you ask for? Don't forget about the 3 rules of wish giving
3.  What is your favorite TED Talk?
4.  Puppies:  cute or ugly? (please include a picture as part of your defense)
5.  Deep Dish or NY Style?
6.  If you could be an educator anywhere in the world (besides where you currently live), where would it be and why?
7.  What is the best blog post you have ever read or written?
8.  What piece of technology do schools need to use or use better?
9.  What one politically correct term should be banned?
10.  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?
11.  What's the coolest thing about science you have ever learned?  (thank you to my wife for suggesting this one)