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I’ve been  tagged in a Twitter-cum-teacher-blog game, and am happy to play by the rules:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3.  Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4.  List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

1. Thank you, dear  Eva Buyuksimkesyan (on Twitter: ‏@evab2001) and Janet Bianchini (Twitter ‏@janetbianchini for tagging me. Season’s greetings to you ladies! May your fondest wishes for 2014 come true. 2. My 11 random facts:

  1.  I grew up 5 blocks from the US Capitol.
  2.  My parents had to get married 4 times right after the war. They were on enemy sides.
  3. I’m about to move into a small house with a big garden.
  4. My husband and I sail together. It’s like flying.
  5. I don’t drive, after an accident.
  6.  At school I didn’t like science, but now scientists are my top clients.
  7. I coordinate events for my local teachers’ association.
  8. I’ve just finished a course book for Business English and am still feeling stiff from all the sitting down.
  9. I’ve never learned any kind of ballroom dancing. I’d love to be able to dance Swing.
  10. I say what I think, and I think what I say.
  11. I’d like to get back into working for museums, in visitors programs.

Thank you, Eva, for your questions:

  1. Do you remember the first class you entered as a teacher?
    Yes: It was an evening class teaching a lesson that featured a cat who wrote a postcard using the present continuous. A very, very useful lesson! All downhill from there ;)
  2. What is your favorite social media platform? Why?
    Twitter. Twitter is so unpretentious. We share ideas and knowledge, and don’t need to show off how fantastic we are.
  3. How do you think blogging helps your teaching?
    I use it to reflect, as I need to find words to think clearly and analyze where I stand. This is rarely the stuff of dialogue or dinner talk. Also rarely the stuff of PLNs and such. That has made me a bit of a social network dropout.
  4. Tea or Coffee?
    Ginger tea.
  5. Who is your favorite singer, band, musician?
    Where to begin? Currently Cassandra Wilson.
  6. Do you attend conferences? Why? / why not?
    It’s complicated. I miss my international teacher friends, the ones I only ever see at conferences, but find conferences quite loud and stressful and a bit blow-my-own-trumpet-ish. That said, I help coordinate such things at times and try to go to one or two a year. And when a conference is good, it’s very, very good.
  7. Who were the most helpful tweeters or bloggers for you when you started blogging or tweeting?
    Karenne Sylvester promoted bloggers in her Bloggers ELT Ning. Shelly Terrell was the friendliest tweeter ever. And Barbara Sakamoto not only helped me navigate Second Life, she also created Teaching Village, the globally inclusive professional blog. Three pioneering, empowering women. I also loved Scott Thornbury’s now defunct A-Z of ELT and Lindsay Clandfield’s Six Things blog, not to mention Jason Renshaw’s English Raven, three men who upped the ante and helped me realize how much I had to learn. Between the 6 of them, I decided to go back to school. There were many non-teacher blogs that I was an avid reader of. Now more and more online publications are blog-like, and it’s hard to see where one genre ends and the other begins.
  8. What will be the first goal in your New Year’s resolutions list this year?
    It’ll be to schedule work around renovating our house, negotiating a better work-life balance than in 2013.
  9. Where would you like to travel in 2014?
    To Athens, to see my niece.
  10. How long does it take to write a blog post for you and how often do you update your blog?
    Professional reflections take several hours, and I rewrite such blog posts several times. I admit to changing text after I’ve published it, if reflections get new ideas going, as they are apt to do.  I blog too irregularly to be a part of any PLN.
  11. What is your favorite food?
    Apples in season. Squeezed to juice right under the tree ;)

Thanks for your questions, Janet:

  1. What has been one of your priceless ‘aha’ moments as a teacher?
    I’m always learning about saving face with my Vietnamese students when I give feedback, and just this last week had an interesting encounter where my first response wasn’t quite right and I had to adjust. It’s wonderful when students respond so I know how to tell them what they need to hear to do as well as they can.
  2. Which educator has inspired you to be the best teacher you can be?
    Our history teacher was a very smart and funny man with a healthy skepticism towards received wisdom, which helped me love exploring new lines of enquiry.
  3. Are you an early bird or night owl?
    Early bird. But the older you get …
  4. Which do you prefer, Facebook or Twitter, and why?
    Twitter. Facebook is too invasive. Twitter offers random inspiration.
  5. Which adjectives would you use to describe yourself using the letters of your first name?
    Amiable, natural, nurturing, enthusiastic.
  6.  Do you collect anything in particular?  If so, what is it and how long have you been collecting it?
    Music. I started collecting records when I was 11. Stevie Wonder made the first record I bought, his music helped heal the racial strife we were going through after the riots, because he always believed in the good in people. Music has the power to create brotherhood.
  7. Which place in the world would you most like to visit, and why?
    Vietnam. None of my four brothers fought in the Vietnam war, but in my childhood my country was dropping napalm on helpless villagers. The images are seared into my memory.
  8. What is the most treasured possession you have received from one of your former students?
    I’ve never treasured material presents. Food, yes. Please feed your teacher.
  9. Do you like teaching exam classes?
    No – but it comes with the terrain. Unfortunately.
  10. What do you most enjoy about blogging?
    The creative and clarifying side of reflective writing. It’s like meditation. I’m afraid I’m not really much good at blog discourse these days. There’s a lot else going on.
  11. What’s your favourite song?
    Difficult question, but Van Morrison Into the Mystic is right up there in any case!

Thank you so much, Eva and Janet, for tagging me :)

So I’m tagging you, dear teacher-bloggers. I haven’t noticed this tag meme on your blog yet. Please feel invited, not forced, to join the game:

  1. Barbara Sakamoto ‏@barbsaka      http://www.teachingvillage.org/
  2. Carl Dowse ‏@carldowse http://www.biz-e-training.com/blog/
  3. Chia Suan Chong ‏@chiasuan         http://chiasuanchong.com/
  4. Helen Strong ‏@helenstrong http://www.helenstrong.de/ (Can you tell me where you are blogging at the moment?)
  5. Jeanette Mooney of NATIVES ‏@NATIVESdotDE http://www.natives.de/startseite.html
  6. Karenne Sylvester ‏@kalinagoenglish http://kalinago.blogspot.de/
  7. Mura Nava ‏@muranava     http://eflnotes.wordpress.com/
  8. Paul Walsh ‏@josipa74        http://decentralisedteachingandlearning.wordpress.com/
  9. Rebecca Jane ‏@bexxi http://bexxi.wordpress.com/
  10. Stephen Mayeux  ‏@ESLhiphop  http://eslhiphop.com/
  11. Steve Kirk ‏@stiiiv http://theteapingpoint.wordpress.com/

Let me repeat the rules:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3.  Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4.  List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

Will you kindly tell us:

  1. What makes you tick as a teacher or teacher trainer?
  2. You’ve found a beautiful empty notebook and pen. What will you do with it?
  3. Your theme song?
  4. Where would you like to go this year? What will you do there?
  5. Your first ten minutes in a typical new class of yours. What do you do?
  6. What’s in your survival kit?
  7. What was your favorite activity as a child?
  8. You’re relaxing in beautiful surroundings. What do you see?
  9. What artist or musician or thinker do you admire or enjoy most? Why?
  10. Your proudest moment?
  11. You’re old and grey and looking back on your life. What was the best part?