Sunshine Blog

I usually do my reflective blogs at the end of the school year, but @jstevens009 nominated me for this “Sunshine Blog” thing. Since I never back down from a challenge and I totally personify “Little Miss Sunshine” hahahaha…. Here goes.

First of all, the agenda. Sorry guys, I’m redesigning items as “acts” because there’s just A LOT of “11’s” so I need this for my wackadoo brain. πŸ˜‰

Act 1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger

Act 2. Share 11 random facts about myself.

Act 3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for me.

Act 4. List 11 bloggers that I believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love! (These people can’t include the blogger who nominated me.)

Act 5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate.

Soooooooo, here we go:

Act 1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger

If you don’t already follow @jstevens009, STAAAAHP reading right now, follow him on Twitter and add him to your blog feed now. John is one of my favorite new “finds” of 2013. I found John because I’d seen a few retweets of his tech/app suggestions that were straight up legit. Then I read his blog (cuz I’ve become quite the blog stalker in my new life) and he’s become my “go to” for helping teachers with tech. He also has this really awesome “Would you rather” site that I think is great for student discussions along the lines of Fawn’s Visual Patterns and Stadel’s Estimation180. Go check it out, cuz it’s great. John also has some great concept extensions (projects, labs, etc.) for the courses he teaches. On top of all that, he’s wicked smart, very funny, and understands my weird little brain. Looking forward to attending his sessions at TMC14. I was honored by his nomination.

Act 2. Share 11 random facts about myself.
I would’ve been finished with this post DAYS ago without this freakin’ section. Grrrrrrr. Here comes the boom! (I’m kidding – skip this part cuz it’s really boring)

1. I had two other majors before math: computer science followed by accounting. It’s a really weird story. And no, I wasn’t the reason my calculus professor died – it was an ACCIDENT, not any wicked voodoo.

2. 2013 was my first year to ever coach archery (so you might not wanna make me mad) and we were state champs.

3. I failed prob and stats the first time I took it. Another weird story, but (thankfully) no one died in it.

4. Although I’ve never played a game in my life, I am a ferocious HS/college basketball spectator. It’s the only time I don’t seriously need A.D.D. meds, but I have thrown my phone and gotten in trouble with admin and security at my school. (See what had happened was…)

5. Anything good/positive about me comes from my grandparents. Those two were by far the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life.

6. My kid is the best thing that ever happened to me, but he LITERALLY almost killed me at birth. If you’ve seen my tweets about the crazy stuff he says, you’ll see why I think he’s amazing. I don’t deserve someone as handsome and witty as that kid. I fail him MISERABLY, but I love him more than he’ll ever know.

7. Once I adopt you as a friend, I am fiercely loyal to you…almost to a fault. I will fight for you, defend you, listen nonjudgementally for hours if you need to cry or complain, give you anything I can if you need it, and do my best to protect you (even if it’s from yourself). But even I have my limits, and (like the mafia) if I cut you from my life YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.

8. When I was in jr high, I was a cheerleader and part-time mascot for our high school squad. And I may still be the same height…

9. I’ve broken my nose twice (cheerleading pyramid crash and bike ramp accident – landed on my face both times) and my wrist once (Olympic pole vaulter wanna be).

10. Because of an encounter with Ronald McDonald as a toddler, I am terrified of clowns. Don’t try to be funny around me with this – I will react out of fear and seriously hurt you.

11. As much as I joke about it, Gavin DeGraw has never actually filed a restraining order against me. He did tweet me once. But after this last album (from which I haven’t downloaded a single song), I think we are done for good. He is no longer the “boyfrand”.

Act 3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for me.

1. Why do you teach?

I went into teaching because of the calculus professor I mentioned earlier (he was really awful). No one deserves to be belittled for not knowing/being exposed to/understanding certain areas of mathematics. I went into teaching to give students the confidence and skills to deal with jackasses like that.

2. If you didn’t teach, what would you do for a living instead?

I’ll combine my two favorites: statistician who is secretly an undercover FBI agent.

3. Money being no obstacle, where would you like to visit? Why?

So easy – Greece. Myrtos Beach, Santorini, Lindos, the monasteries of Meterora, the Parthenon, Herodeon… Beauty and ancient architecture. Love.

4. Kids always ask who your favorite student is. Describe the characteristics of yours

This is TOUGH. It would be the most schizophrenic kid ever. I like different kids for different reasons. Quiet ones, loud ones, sweet ones, bad ones, tall ones, short ones… Crap, I miss teaching so much. This is kind of depressing. THANKS, JOHN. :p

5. What is your favorite board game and why?

Right now it’s Blokus. My kid loves it and it reminds me somewhat of Tetris. Not a really challenging game, but something about playing a game your kid loves changes your perspective about it.

6. What is the most frustrating component of education right now?

I personally get frustrated when people will take something they “hear” and run with it without doing any research of their own. “Common Core math standards are weaker in our state than anything we’ve ever done!! We’re lowering the expectations of our kids.” Really? SHOW ME where CCSS is weaker than what we’ve been doing, cuz ‘honey child’ we live in the SOUTH. I want a standard vs. standard analysis. “Common Core is teaching our children that Obama is the next Messiah and you should pray to him every night!!!” WHAT??? Crazy stuff like this shows up on Facebook every day. I’ll say, “Show me where it says that in the CCSS ELA standards.” They can’t show it to me but swear it’s true because “they heard it” from Billy Bob Joe Mack’s uncle’s sister’s cousin’s wife when she had her big toe removed. Just please STOP IT.

7. Would you rather buy a Mac or a PC?

Mac. I’m still learning and I have yet to become a fan of Pages and Numbers, but overall I love my Mac.

8. What is your favorite book?

I’d love to give you the impression that it’s some extremely intellectual book, but it’s not. I like to get lost in flawed characters and plots that make me forget where I am. I like the “Divergent” series and I also liked “Digital Fortress” by Dan Brown (although I know a lot of people hated it, but that’s ok).

9. If you had to choose blogging with no way to share it (ex. via twitter) or tweeting with no way to elaborate (ex. via a blog), which would you choose?

Twitter, hands down. I couldn’t live without the people in my Twitterhood.

10. Who is your hero? Why?

My grandparents. Both were mechanics, so I’ve been a grease monkey since I could crawl (instead of Legos, I had spark plugs). We had people of every background, class, demographic, etc. you can think of come through that garage. While my grandparents worked on cars, the customers became family – they were fed, talked to about their lives, and ALL treated with respect. And every person was accepted as an individual and payments were dependent on each person’s situation. Some could pay all up front. Some would have to barter. Some would have to pay what they could every week, but they ALWAYS paid because they respected and appreciated my grandparents. They taught me how to treat people and that differences were NEVER a bad thing, but an opportunity to learn. I didn’t encounter any prejudices until I started school.

11. What is the most exiting part about your job? Why?

When I revisit a classroom now and bring teachers resources or ideas and they LIGHT UP like a Christmas tree, that is wicked cool. Because I get to know them (like I did my students), I can find things that match their teaching styles and personalities. I also like walking into classrooms and kids say, “Ms. H., are you gonna be here all block? SWEET!!” or “I want to show you what I worked on last week after you left!” I know I’m not in the classroom anymore, but I’m still developing relationships with students.

Act 4. List 11 bloggers that I believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
#2-11 are not in any particular order – just #1.

1) Shelli Temple – she’s the reason I’m in the Twitterverse and the reason I didn’t BOMB at teaching stats
2) Christopher Danielson – makes me really think about math and teaching in ways I haven’t before. And he invited/trusted me to meet his family – homeboy can COOK
3) Fawn Nguyen – because I love this wicked smart awesome woman who kicks butt in the classroom
4) Kate Nowak – her blogpost on teaching logarithms saved my students from my crappy explanation
5) Andrew Stadel – estimation180, 3 acts, and he’s one of the few tall people I like.
6) Sam Shah – his calculus ideas make me understand it (finally) and his virtual filing cabinet is amazing
7) Frank Noschese – he teaches physics but so many great applications to math and he gets SBG like a BOSS
8) Chris Robinson – also really makes me think about education and mathematics.
9) Zach Patterson – I adore this kid. Lots of good lessons at “Hungry Teacher” and he once did a race in these fox pajamas and a red wig.
10) Nik Doran – he’s British and there’s the whole “maths” thing, but other than that he has some pretty good ideas and I like his “hinge questions”.
11) David Cox – fascinated by his middle school blog

Act 5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate:

1) If you had to pick one area/concept of math that is your “jam”, what would it be?

2) To quote Rodney (Chris Rock) from Dr. Doolittle, “You can’t save them all, Hasselhoff.” True, but there’s at least one student that sticks out in my mind that I feel I failed. Do you have one?

3) Twenty years from now, what’s something kids will probably remember about you (phrase, moment, habit, characteristic, etc.)?

4) I nominated you because I think you’re great, but I know we are all our own worst critics. What’s something that you’d like to “fix” about yourself in your current job?

5) Name a movie title that describes you and why.

6) I love TMC because at night I can hang out with my favorite tweeps and learn so much from them. Which tweep would you love to have a conversation with over a beverage?

7) If you couldn’t teach your specific subject, what else would you teach?

8) Everybody has a song they car dance/jam out to. What’s yours?

9) TMC13 enlightened me on karaoke night. A few people completely blew my mind (I’m lookin’ at you, Pershan). Who would you love to see karaoke at TMC14 and why?

10) What’s one thing (item, app, software, etc.) that you love so much that you can’t imagine doing your job without it?

11) If you could job shadow one tweep for a week, who would it be and why?

Well, that’s about all the sunshine I can handle one post. πŸ™‚
This is probably the hardest blog challenge I’ve ever had, but it really made me think (so thanks, John!). But I HATED leaving people off for Act 4. UGH. Check out these amazing people to the right in my blog roll that are all WONDERFUL.


One thought on “Sunshine Blog

  1. Thanks for the love… right back at ya. I'm typing up my answers to your questions as I type this.


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