soul strikers

powerful moments in education

Spread Some January Sunshine

Thank you, Tomasen Carey, mentor, friend, and fellow blogger, for nominating my blog for the Sunshine Award (even though my baby has made it tricky to write consistently over the last 9 months)! Vicki Vinton and Renee Dinnerstein made an awesome choice in you as your blog, Conversation Education, is informative, inspirational, and full of personal connections that make me smile. I have written about 50 blog posts in my head over the last 6 months and none have made it to the screen, but this gave me a goal and some structure. Thanks!

Soul Strikers is a blog about those learning moments that simply strike the soul. As my blog became more and more education-focused, I considered changing the name. However, moments that I write about DO strike my soul and therefore, the name sticks.

copied from Conversation Education: The Sunshine Award was started by Matt Renwick, an elementary principal in Wisconsin (@readbyexample). Here are the rules Matt lists in his post:  Acknowledge the nominating blogger. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
 Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love! Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

The 11 Random Facts…

1. I am somewhat of a collector. From childhood to adulthood, I have collected a range of “things” such as glass bottles, shells, soda can tabs (“pop tops”), red pens, items of colorful clothing, music tapes, friends, art supplies, and tech tools.

2. I have traveled to Quito, Ecuador 3 times. Sometimes random smells take me back there. I know Quito better than I know Boston, just 45 minutes away.

3. I play the flute and piano, as a result of the 5-year rule at my house for learning 2 instruments. I still play the flute, but my piano playing mostly consists of the 5 key Fisher Price piano my 9-month old daughter plays.

4. I moved to Portsmouth, NH from Western PA simply because it felt like it was where I should live.

5. While giving birth to my daughter, I somehow still found a way to be a perfectionist by announcing that I “just wanted to do a good job”.

6. As techie as I am these days, just 5 years ago I never consistently used email and I only obtained a smart phone less than a year ago.

7. I was bullied as a middle schooler, especially on the bus. I am often reminded of this time when I observe interactions amongst middle schoolers where I teach. Somehow, in the aftermath, I ended up being Prom Queen.

8. I never had pets until I was an adult. (Sorry mom, the fish really don’t count. :)) My first pet was my best friend’s cat Nina and when she passed, we got another cat, Obi, who I still have and adore.

9. I have 2 sisters and am a middle child. In every sense of the word. Tomasen says the world needs more middle children and I agree…though I will not be producing any.

10. I can sing every word to multiple musicals. I often have dreams that I get to perform these on stage professionally.

11. I do yoga not for relaxation but for intensity. I simply cannot be still or quiet enough for slow, relaxing, meditative yoga. I require long, hot, difficult yoga.

The 11 Questions Answered…

1. What is your passion and how does it show up in your life?

My passion is no doubt being passionate. Ha! I live by the words (more or less), “If you are going to do it, do it.” When I need or want to do something, I immerse myself in it until I squeeze it dry.

2. What are your 3 favorite movies?

Almost Famous (a life that is fascinating), Office Space, (a life I will never live and is comical to me) and The Wizard of Oz

3. What are your 3 favorite books?

Well…teaching books? Or pleasure books? I will do pleasure since this is much harder for me! I have an addiction to teaching books and struggle with reading fiction.

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott- I have read it, re-read it, written in it and passed it on. 

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan- makes a great read aloud

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling- I loved all the books, but this one took me through every emotion and I cried for the last 50 pages like I was losing a best friend.

4. What are your 3 favorite songs or artists?

I cannot answer this. I spent a week trying to narrow it down in my head. I even thought about narrowing it down to a genre…couldn’t do it. I adore music.

5. Describe your most interesting date.

One I have had or would like? I actually have no answer to this as I was never a “dater” and a date these days is having a conversation on the back porch with my husband after the baby goes to bed and we are waiting for the grill to heat up.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be and why?

My first thought is Australia or New Zealand, but truly I just want to visit there and experience those places. I would live on a tropical island if my friends and family were all there, but I am pretty happy in New England with 4 seasons.

7.  What is your favorite food and why?

It’s a toss-up between vine-fresh tomatoes and coconut. I love eating tomatoes out of the garden, but I love eating ANYTHING with coconut. This was accentuated in pregnancy and my love for coconut remains strong!

8. What is your perfect day?

Waking up when I want, strolling around in my yard in barefeet, enjoying a day at the beach, coming home to a cookout or boil on my back porch, falling asleep in freshly washed pajamas and sheets. If Norah were with me, and if she never cried or needed her diaper changed that would add to the fabulous-ness of the day.

9. What book or books are you reading right now?

At this juncture in my life, I read JamberryMr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?, Goodnight Moon and A Kiss for You daily.

10. If you could have dinner (or coffee or drinks) with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you want to ask him or her?

Sacajawea! I have such a fascination with the Lewis and Clark journey and every time I teach it I get more and more involved in the story. Now being a mother, when I carry Norah in the backpack I think of the strength of Sacajawea and Jean Baptiste (“Pompy”) and their forced journey across the country. 

11. What is your ideal vacation?

I love a good tropical paradise with forests to explore, aqua water to enjoy, warm sand to feel in my toes, and tropical drinks available. Cliche, yes- but I love it all.

My 11 Nominees…

Ok- I know I didn’t do 11…I haven’t had too much time to blog/read blogs lately…apologize for rule bending! I read the first 2 listed below often and the others were ones I found interesting when I searched for new ones to add to my blogroll.

3 Teachers Talk (I thinks it’s 5 now- Amy Rasmussen, Heather Cato, Erica Bogdany, Shana Karnes, Emily Kim..and yes I am counting this as 5 nominees-bending the rules, I know….)

Shannon A. Thompson

Dear Teacher/Love Teacher

First Year of Headship

The Sunny Side of Education

…And 11 questions for them!

1. When/where do you accomplish much of your thinking?

2. What is your favorite season?

3. Are there any foods you simply cannot stand?

4. What is your strongest memory from childhood?

5. ….from high school?

6. What is the one change you would make in public education if you could?

7. What are you currently reading?

8. Where will your next vacation be?

9. If you could have dinner (or coffee or drinks) with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you want to ask him or her? (took this one from Tomasen!)

10. What is something you do absolutely every single day, no matter what?

11. What time do you get out of bed each morning?



2 comments on “Spread Some January Sunshine

  1. haubach
    January 26, 2014

    Love the life review found here. Glad I was around for a lot of it.
    Favorite exchange with Jac:

    Dad – “Soccer practice starts next week.”
    Jac – ” I know, I can’t wait to put my shoulder into someone and knock them off the ball.”

    Still love soccer? One Love?


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This entry was posted on January 25, 2014 by in education, Mental Crockpot and tagged , .

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