I saw this posted yesterday as the thing to do, so while I’m a day late (pretty typical for me) it looked like a fun way to get myself thinking! So without further ado:

  1. I’m a basketball junkie. No mystery here. I love coaching, watching, and will rarely turn away from basketball being played. People talk about their “happy place” and next to doing things with my family, coaching basketball is that place for me. The teaching on the floor, the relationships that are built by listening and caring, the trash talking that happens during practice or even games (I tend to challenge my girls on the floor, and they love it), all of it just makes me happy.
  2. I love house music. No, it’s not for everyone, and I’m not even sure how I got into the genre, but the flowing bass line, the excitement of a building melody that just explodes into a mess of beats, it’s just a joyous sound. It’s not for everyone, and I’m not a huge fan of big time techno beats, but a deep house with funk and vocals, I could listen to that stuff for hours! I love the “Deep House Cat” podcast, along with “Groovelectric” and “Clublife” as they all fit into certain spots of this music I love. I’m probably too old (and my wife hates this music), but heading to a music festival to just let the various sounds wash over me sounds divine!
  3. I’m also a Minecraft geek. Nothing major, but a couple years ago I was challenged by students to “try it out” because I was making fun of the building that was going on. So I got a license, and suddenly, my daughter is right beside me watching. “I heard the sound of my people,” she said with a grin as I was being chased around by zombies. She gave me a few pointers and away I went. I’m not an expert, but I love playing in survival mode, and have started to dabble in the creative part too. My students want a “Minecraft club” and I’m thinking, why not? If this can keep students engaged in school, why not try it at least? All that’s missing is, of course, is time.
  4. I love to garden. I’ve got a fairly large plot, and while it’s a lot of work, the amount of food we are able to put away fills a large chest freezer. Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, cucumbers, cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, squash, raspberries, apples, and other things I’m sure I cannot remember. This weekend, while it snows, I’m going to start getting seeds planted. Last year was the first year where all of our produce came from seeds saved from the previous year. That was an accomplishment for sure! I placed my last order with Bountiful Gardens as they are getting out of seed business, but there are many more companies out there, selling open pollinated seeds. Rare Seed and Seed Savers are two that come to mind. Our garden is a source of personal pride, and the money we save helps too, being the poor union thugs we are! 😀
  5. I taught in Alaska for a year. We were married in March of 1994, interviewed for jobs in this district in April, and moved in June. I got my first taste of tech stuff with an Apple grant the district was awarded, and got my first taste of relationship building, trying to convince native Eskimos that we weren’t the enemy, no small task. We were swore at, call racist, and learned that the “lower 48” style was not always the best. We learn empathy for students and the poverty they were in. We learned a lot about each other because we were 3,000 miles away from our support group. We learned that racy movies on HBO, while they may have been later on the East Coast, were NOT in Alaska! 🙂 We also learned that administrator’s lie to protect themselves, and our adventure was cut short. However, the experience was such that I’m connect via Facebook with a couple of students, and I’m happy to have that time in my life!
  6. My family is very small, my mom, dad, and brother. Growing up, my grandparents were hours away, so we didn’t see them much, and as we grew older, we didn’t have that relationship that so many people talk about. My own daughters don’t have the relationship that I’d want with my parents because they were standoffish as well. My wife, her family is huge, and it took me a while to warm to them. We’d be dating a month when she took me to a family reunion, and pow, people EVERYWHERE. She thought she could scare me off with that little move. I scoff at her! 🙂
  7. I miss my inside kitty and am ready to adopt another one. We had a Siamese for years, but he passed away a year and a half ago. We’ve not found a Siamese, so I’m expanding my search to tuxedo kitties too! 🙂
  8. I’m old. Seriously, I realized out our last social outing that I don’t really fit. I’ve written about that before, but it really struck me as I watch the crowd of people close to retirement and the people who weren’t. I’m right in the middle, without a crew because my team is that group that’s close to retirement. Based on our current legislature, I could see a number of my friends leave the profession, not because they want to, but because they don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Being 47, I’m too young to thinking about retirement and too old to think “what else could I do?” On our trip, I had a number of former students ask, why do you do this? My answer, “I love my job. I love the people I work with and I love coming to school each day.” I’ve told them this about coaching, when I feel like this is work is that day where I start looking for something else. But still, I feel old.
  9. Because of the uber conservative brand of politics that has invaded Iowa, I’ve become more involved in politics. More so than I ever imagined. I’ve attended forums, listened to candidate speak, written more letters in the last two months than I ever have before. I read somewhere that we as teachers and parents have to stop wringing our hands and start doing something. Well, I guess this is a start. I do apologize for the political nature of my Twitter account (self-promotion @aniowateacher) as I never wanted it to become that. However, I reach a lot of people with that account, and I believe I do have an impact with the things I tweet out whether they are political, inspirational, or just plain funny! 🙂
  10. I’m battling planters fasciitis and winning. I used to be able to run 10 miles a day, 5 days a week. Last year, I had to play basketball with my girls, and I’ve not been the same since. My feet hurt for long periods of time, then I’d have to play, and they hurt even worse. I’ve started icing, stretching, buying better shoes, better insoles, and these funky sandals called OOFOS (ugly as sin but of so comfortable!). I’m up to where I can run three or four minutes at a time now, so hopefully, this summer, I can get my weight down and rediscover myself.

If you’ve made it this long, why are you still reading this?? 🙂 This is a two day event to write, so thank you for finding a little bit more about me!