October 6, 2011

A Blogger Award? You shouldn't have!

My good friend, Jesse Greene, over at Little Bonobo's Book Cafe was kind enough to give me a blog award - for being an awesome English Teacher. As I understand it, it's customary to now share 7 random facts about myself. So, here goes...

1. When I was a student in middle school and high school I was an incredibly slow reader and could barely comprehend the books I read. It is truly AMAZING that I've gotten past this over time.  I still read slowly, but I get it now. I'm able to imagine the worlds within the books vividly and I'm able to understand the concepts of study in the non-fiction books that I read. I've always found it rewarding to let my students know of my struggles so they can understand that I don't expect them to be perfect either.

2. I don't think of myself as a good writer. I've never thought of my writing as good. It is adequate, but has always either felt too pedestrian, or too determined to be polysyllabic (See? There I go again!). I LOVE helping others understand how they can take their work to the next level, but I don't know how to do it for my own.

3. On a more positive note - I know how to swing dance, East Coast Swing (Jitterbug) to be precise. I got my wife to take lessons with me after I graduated from high school and while she was a senior. We're fantastic at weddings and also know another dance named Night Club 2 Step. Both are lots of fun!

4. I'm a runner. If you want me to exercise with you, I'm going to want to go running. I can't do it on a treadmill because then I'm not outside and the scenery never changes. I've been running since my sophomore year of high school and am looking forward to doing it well into my 80's - though I have a long way to go.

5. I'm not just an English teacher, I'm also a drama teacher. I've been fully vested in theatre since I was 14 years old (I'm now 28) and LOVE IT! There has been no limit to my involvement including: Lighting Designer, Costumer, Sound, Actor, Director, Stage Manager, and so many other things! Theatre gives me a different kind of challenge in my work than English does. The puzzles and problems that require solutions are my major creative outlet. If you really want to see my writing, read the endless blocking notes that I write in my scripts for student productions.

6. My dog is a nut, but I love her. That's it. She's part lab, part terrier, and nuts. But, she can be so cute!

7. The only thing that really keeps me moving forward in life is my wife. She's my rock and my sounding board. It's hard for me to go to work as a teacher knowing that she is not right now - she's a teacher who's forced by the economy to not act as a teacher. It is my hope that things will turn around and she will find her place.

My favorite blogs:

John T. Spencer at:

Joe Bower at:

Two bloggers that deserve far more praise than I!


Suzanne said...

Very interesting blog. It reminds me a lot of what we have been through together. I also hope I can teach again in the future, but for now I have your classroom to share ideas and creativity for the future.

You are definitely a great role model for your students and you prove everyday that you don't have to be perfect in order to succeed. Being successful in life means being able to accept failures and continuing to grow and learn from your mistakes. That is what makes you an excellent teacher, mentor, role model, and husband.

Jessie said...

1) You *are* a good writer. I've always found your blog interesting and readable. In fact it surprised me to learn that you used to struggle with reading and writing...I never would have guessed that.

2) Shari is super cute!

3) I love that photo of Suzy—so pretty :)