Saturday, January 4, 2014

I got tagged! I got tagged!

Yesterday I heard my favorite sound on my phone...the ping of my twitter account.  I have seen several people that I follow on twitter participating in the PLN blog challenge.  I kept thinking...I want to play. I hope someone will pick me!  Well, sure enough, I got picked!  I need to thank Kirsten Foti for adding me to the challenge.

And I have been meaning to start a new blog so this challenge helped motivate me.  I already write a weekly blog every Sunday night, or sometimes early Monday morning, that is for my staff and anyone else out there that chooses to read what I have to say.  But I want to start another blog, 1) because I have a habit of doing multiple things at once, 2) I want to write more, 3) I would like to get my thoughts out there on the topics of reading and leadership, and 4) I'm a habitual overachiever.

So here it is...
The PLN Blogging Challenge:
1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated.  (You can't nominate the blogger who nominated you.

So I recognized Kirsten in my first paragraph.  Now to share 11 random facts about me...

1. I feel fortunate that I grew up on a farm in small town Ohio and in a ranch house in Virginia Beach.  It was slight culture shock to move from one area to the next, but I am glad I had both experiences.  Fast forward to today, and I am a transplant to Massachusetts.  I am now a beach lover who lives in a state where winter tends to dominate.  Lucky for me, my parents still live in Virginia Beach so I can always plan summer visits.

2. My love of reading started early.  By the time I was in 1st grade, I was reading at a 6th grade level.  And trust me, there was no independent reading or guided reading groups back then.  My teacher did not know what to do with me so he sent me to the school library almost every day.  And I got to read any book I wanted!  At one point, probably because he felt guilty that he was not really teaching me much, my teacher assigned me a book report on Freckle Juice.  After 3 days, and major hand cramps, my mother intervened.  She wanted to know what I was doing.  I said, "I'm doing a book report.  I'm copying the book for my teacher."  Yes, I thought that a book report meant copying the book word for word.  Pretty sure I did not get assigned any more book reports in first grade.

3.  I am the oldest of 4.  I have 1 sister and 2 brothers.  I love that as we became adults we became even closer.  Geographically, we are not all close together, but we talk on the phone, text, Skype, Google chat and visit in person when we can.  They make me laugh out loud and always know how to put a smile on my face.

4. I recently married...for the second time.  Never thought I would be that person that has to get remarried.  That was not part of my plan.  Guess what...plans change.  Fortunately for me, by chance I met an amazing man who loves me even with all my emotional baggage.  The best thing about him is that every day I know how much he loves me.  And an added I have the perfect elementary principal name...Mrs. Garden or as some of the students like to call me...Mrs. "Kinder" Garden. :)

5. I love jellybeans!  Especially Jelly Belly jellybeans...but only certain flavors, cinnamon being the bestest!  Touring the Jelly Belly factory is on my bucket list.

6. I also love panda bears.

7. I joke that I have 550 kids since I'm a principal, but more than anything I want children of my own.  My husband and I are waist deep in the land of infertility.  And I've had about enough of it.  Bloodwork, ultrasounds, injections, oh my!  It's like another job.  Nobody ever talks about it, but I keep reminding myself that I am not the only one going through this.  I have been pregnant twice, once was a missed miscarriage and the second was an ectopic that resulted in emergency surgery and me with one less fallopian tube.  So now we have arrived at IVF.  I'm going to keep trying to think positive and hope that this year our family will grow.

8. When I was little I wore super thick glasses.  And then one day when I was in 5th grade, the doctor said my eyes were all better.  I don't know many people who used to wear glasses and now they don't need to...guess I got lucky.

9. I love to travel.  I've been to Tokyo, London, Paris, St. Lucia, Maui, Florence, and Amsterdam to name a few.  I also spent one summer after my divorce driving cross country with my mother.  While I love traveling overseas, I definitely recommend that you see the states...pretty amazing sites in our own country.

10. I. hate. coffee.  I know, I live in the land of Dunkin Donuts and I can't stand the stuff.  But I do love tea.

11.  A few years ago, one of my paras brought in a kitten that her daughter had almost run over in the street.  The thing looked like a pathetic, wet, hissing mess.  So naturally I said "sure I'll take her home."  Mind you, I had never had a cat.  So after a Walmart trip, I brought the very angry little kitten to my house.  She hid under the cupboard for 3 weeks and then one day while I was reading on the couch, she jumped on my lap and pretty much has not left my side since.  The weird thing was a few weeks later, a teacher at a different school was telling me about her litter of kittens that had bolted from her porch.  A few came back, but most were gone.  She showed me a picture of one that came back and they kept.  His name was Flash.  I couldn't believe it.  I pulled up a picture on my phone (yes, I have cat pictures on my phone, but I am not the cat lady!) and the 2 cats looked identical.  I said, "Well, this is Dash!"  I had named her Dash because when she was rescued they told me she crawled onto the dashboard of the car.  She has since lived up to her name in other ways.  She only has 2 speeds...sleeping or dashing around the house.  And when I cook, she loves to sit and watch me, so I say she is reminding me to add a dash of this and that.

Wow, that took a long time!
Now I have to answer the questions left for me...
1. If your house caught on fire, what would you grab before running out of the house (aside from family/pets)?
Besides my family and socks and a coat!  It's negative something outside right now!

2. What is the best thing a student has ever said to you?
That's tough, there are so many great kid comments.  I used to collect their statements and write them down.  Maybe it's not the best thing, but I still laugh when I think back on this one...a 2nd grader who received pullout support in Monday, the special education teacher brought him back to me and told me she could no get him to do anything.  So he and I had a little chat.  His version started with..."first of all, you know I don't do Mondays..."  Try to maintain a straight face with that one!

3. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
The bulk candy section in Wegman's where I can select which Jelly Belly flavors I want AND eat them  out of the bag while I shop!

4. Barnes & Noble or Amazon?
um both?!  I have an addiction and it's a bad one.  I love Barnes & Noble because there is just something about walking through the aisles and selecting brand new books.  But I also love being able to order cheaper, used books on Amazon and then there is the excitement of opening up the box when it arrives!

5. Paper books or ebooks?
I have a Nook and an iPad, but I have to say I prefer a paper book in my hand.

6. On a scale of 1 (weak) to 10 (hard core), how intense is your twitter addiction?
I am probably an 8 on my way to a 10.  Definitely have the early signs of twitter addiction.

7. How many hours of sleep do you average a night?  Do you wake up thinking educational thoughts in the wee hours of the morn?
Sad to say I average 5 to 6 hours a night.  Need to try to get more sleep.  And yes I do wake up in the wee hours thinking educational thoughts.  Don't we all?!

8. Who is your favorite muppet?
I think it's a tie between Beaker and Animal.

9. If you could only read one more book for all time, what would it be?
My favorite book has always been The Great Gatsby and I have read it many times so I could see that being my only book.  Although recently, I could also see rereading Wonder many, many times.

10. How many books do you own that you have not yet read?
Do I count the ones I just bought yesterday?!  Too many to count.

Ok now time to list some bloggers to send this challenge to.  Hmmm...I think I will do a few people that I actually know and many that I have 'met' through twitter or reading their blogs.  Hopefully a few of you have not already done this challenge yet!

1. Andy Marcinek
2. Julie Spang
3. Shannon Clark
4. David Hochheiser
5. Crystal Brunelle
6. Ruth Ayres
7. Pernille Ripp
8. Matt Renwick
9. Ryan Scala
10. Theresa Stager
11. Niki Ohs Barnes

And now here are some questions for you all to answer...
1. What is the best book you read in 2013?

2. Do you have a favorite twitter chat?  If so, what is it?  If you don't have a favorite, what chat would you want to create and moderate?

3. How has your PLN impacted you?

4. If you weren't in education, what would you be doing instead?

5. What is your favorite children's book of all time?

6. What is one app or resource you have learned about on twitter that has been a game changer for you at work?

7. If someone made a movie about you, which star would be cast to play you?

8. Are you a Mac or a PC person?

9. Who is your education rockstar and why?

10.  If you could pack a suitcase and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

11. What's your favorite 80's movie?

Yeah, I'm finally done!