Yesterday I was tasked by fellow principal and tweep Johnny Bevacqua to complete the following homework; share 11 random facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions provided and invite 11 others to answer 11 questions I ask them. This is a timely task for me, as I’ve spent the last week reading Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows; What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains. (If you haven’t read it, I’d encourage you to add it to your list.) It’s caused me to think deeply about the time I spend online, and how it’s changing my mind and the way I think. But more on that another day. Here’s my 11 random facts, and my answers to Johnny’s 11 questions:
1. My favorite class in High School was Chemistry 12. Mr. Bray was funny, entertaining, and demanded a lot of us. I had no business being in that class with the high fliers (I got a C and had to work hard to earn that) but I just liked the challenge and the stimulating coursework.
2. I once rode my bike 600km in 29 hours with my two friends Anna Bonga and Mike Hagen. It was the hardest thing I’d done in my life up to that point.
3. My first computer was an Apple IIe, with a floppy disk drive. I did my Masters thesis on it.
4. I have commuted over 45,000 km in the 2+ years I’ve worked at my current school. Lots of windshield time.
5. I’ve had my morning coffee in the same mug every day for 14 years.
6. I cannot swim the butterfly stroke. I’ve officially given up trying, and publicly announce that fact here. Done.
7. I love the seasons, and how they change. I spent a year in the tropics but I felt out of sorts.
8. I have the same birthday as Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson. Coincidence? I think not.
9. I planted trees for one season in 1986. Our first day planting was April 26. We woke up that morning to hear news of nuclear radiation being detected in northern Europe (later we’d learn more about Chernobyl).
10. I failed my driving exam the first time I tried, before I even got in the car. Something about doing a “walkaround” to make sure there are no hazards, flat tires, toys under the wheels, etc. Who knew?
11. I snowboard and skateboard goofy foot.
So there are my 11 random facts. I’ve tried to make them entertaining. Now for Johnny’s questions
1. What keeps you up at night? Lists. Many people attest to the fact I email them at 3 or 4 in the morning. I wake up with lists of jobs running through my head.
2. What would you consider comfort food? Shepherd’s Pie. Easy
3. What’s one thing you would change about your job? For me it’s the hours. I leave home and everyone’s still asleep. I get home and it’s dark. Too few hours in daylight with my own children.
4. What is one thing you would change about schools today? Their size. I think an ideal school size is about 150. Bigger than that and you just can’t get to know everyone and build a relationship with them.
5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone? Take care of yourself. Your body, mind, and emotional health are essential parts of a happy life.
6. The biggest inspiration in my life is….? People who have overcome adversity, particularly athletes who’ve come back from injury or disability to acheive big goals they’ve set for themselves.
7. What was the first music concert you attended? Mike Shelbourn borrowed his mom’s MG and we went to see Rush on their Moving Pictures tour in June of 1981 at the Pacific Coluseum in Vancouver.
8. What is the first movie you attended? I have no memory of that
9. Other than work, I have a passion for….? Participating in endurance sports, all kinds.
10. If you wrote a book, what would the title be? Running with Scissors. But it’s already been taken by Augustyn Burrows.
11. When I grow up I …… Want to ski with my boys
11 random questions for you
1. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
2. Which teacher had the biggest effect on you?
3. If you could talk to one famous person, living or dead, who would it be?
4. What would you ask them?
5. Which cartoon character is most like you?
6. What do you do on an ideal Saturday morning?
7. What would we find on your bedside table?
8. What’s your go-to book when you’re needing inspiration?
9. If money were no option, where would you live?
10. A personality who has impacted the way you think about life is…?
11. As an educator, what do you hope to leave as your legacy?
I challenge the following people to do their homework:
1. Jeff Yasinchuk
2. Dave Derosa
3. Craig Mah
4. Claudio Bortolussi
5. Rachael Sdoutz
6. Anne Smith
7. Victoria Olson
8. Gordon Li
9. Don Wielenga
10. Sandra Trach
11. Lucy Lenko