Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Huh? What? Where?

Yesterday morning, an e-mail found it's way to my inbox to alert me that crazedmummy left a comment on a previous entry of mine.

The comment read, "I nominated you, get back to work!" and was accompanied by a healthy list of questions about me.

At first I was like, "HUH? WHAT? WHERE?" because I had no idea what I was being "nominated" for. I thought maybe there had been a secret gathering of blogging ninjas that decided to select other bloggers among those who have been inactive for months and leave cryptic messages on their blogs, telling them to get back to work. And if a blogger didn't get back to work, then the secret blogging ninjas would break into their house/apartment/cardboard box in the middle of the night while they slept and do something horrible, like tattoo the University of Michigan logo on their forehead. I mean, that's just awful. Like, death would be preferable.

But then I did a bit of digging around, and found that I was really being nominated for a Liebster Award. It's a prestigious award that involves widespread fame and endless riches.

Or maybe not.

In reality, it's not really an "award," but rather a way for bloggers to recognize other bloggers that are either getting started or have less than 200 followers on their blog. (I'm just shy of this number at a hefty 6 followers total.)

I'm not sure where it originated from. As far as I can tell, in order to accept the nomination for the Liebster Award, I must complete these tasks:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated you
2. Nominate 5 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them

Sounds like a great opportunity for me to get off my butt and resume blogging, thus proving to the rest of the world that I am, in fact, not at all dead.

So, step one is to link back to the blog that nominated me. Did that at the top of this post, but hey, here's crazedmummy's blog once more.

Step two, nominate 5 blogs with fewer than 200 followers. I don't really know how to check for that, but I don't think the blogging ninjas are gonna come after me for this one, so here's five blogs:

The Problem Bank

The Pai Intersect

The Education of Future Math Ninjas

Prime Factors

Writing to Learn to Teach

Step three, answer the questions that were posed to me. Here goes!

1. Why did you start this blog?
Because all the cool kids were doing it! Actually, when I started this blog last summer, I was intending to use it as a place to share ideas for problem-based learning, to talk about ongoing issues in education, and to network with other educators who are active on the blogosphere. Things kinda ground to a halt as the school year got underway; I'm hoping to be more diligent in my blogging this coming school year.

2. What do you like most about your life?
I'm happily married to my best friend in the world; we have a wonderful dog, a place to live, and food to eat; and, I love my job. There's not much that isn't to like!

3. What one thing would you improve about yourself?
Well, I'm hoping to blog more and do a much better job of staying engaged with other teacher/bloggers this year than I did last year. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot!

4. What sort of vehicle do you drive to work?

A 2000 Nissan Altima. Previously, it was a 2003 Dodge Neon, but in February I hit a deer and totaled it. Ah well, life goes on. (Except for the deer.)

5. How often do you cook?
My wife and I split it pretty evenly. I actually rather enjoy cooking!

6. What one show do you watch on TV ( if any)?

I'm actually into a couple of shows right now: my wife and I have been working our way through Doctor Who (the 2005 and onward series), and this summer I've gotten into Breaking Bad.

7. What non-school talent do you have?
I sing with my wife in our church choir, and I write creatively from time to time. Those count, right?

8. What is your favorite exercise?
Running! I'm currently training for the Chicago Marathon and I'm pretty excited for it.

9. Where would you go for vacation if you had unlimited funds?
I can't pick just one place, but since I have unlimited funds I supposed I could spring for a grand tour of various destinations. Among these would definitely be Hawaii, Australia, Tahiti, England, Ireland, Italy, and France.

10. What one thing do other teachers do that you think is completely crazy (only one).
Keep coming back every fall. Come on, we're all crazy for liking this job, aren't we?

11. If you were not a teacher, what else would you do?
Oh, let's dream here. Maybe I'd go into radio or do public address announcing. Maybe I'd spend time learning how to use music software and compose soundtracks for video games. Maybe I'd write TV sitcoms. I dunno, those all sound fun. But I love teaching.

Phew, this is a lot of work, but good for getting the blogging juices flowing. Alrighty, step four:

Eleven Random Facts About Me!

1. I love many classic video game series, like Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, etc. But one series that I'm really into that you're far less likely to have heard of is Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Great storylines, awesome characters, and sweet soundtracks.

2. Speaking of video games, I'm totally into video game music (VGM) cover bands. Go onto Google and check out The One-Ups, The Megas, The Protomen, Descendants of Erdrick, The World is Square, and Bit Brigade for starters.

3. A life ambition of mine is to visit all 50 states and all 7 continents with my wife. So far, we're at like, 6 states and 1 continent, or something. But we have future travel plans!

4. My favorite pizza is Domino's, hands down. However, I do miss getting Pokey stix from Gumby's in East Lansing. I lived off of those during my year of student teaching (terrible idea, by the way).

5. I once broke a window with a computer processor. Long story.

6. There's a song about me on YouTube that I got for donating to a Kickstarter.

7. When I was attending Michigan State University for my undergrad, I worked for the freshman orientation program during the summer. This included giving campus tours daily; I became adept at walking backwards while spouting all kind of random facts and figures about the university.

8. I also worked a a summer camp for a few years after I finished college; my favorite thing was to threaten the kids with liver and onions for dinner if they didn't manage to successfully shoot their archery targets. It was an excellent motivator; liver and onions were never served once.

9. I took a job working as a night receptionist while at Michigan State purely because I was having major trouble with insomnia at the time. I figured if I was going to be awake all night, I might as well be getting paid for it. I worked a few semesters, including one summer. Working night reception during the summer was the best because there was pretty much nobody around, and the only people who came to the door had their own keys anyway. I'd take my TV and PS2 and just play video games all night long, and get paid for it. Sometimes I miss that.

10. I'm deathly afraid of roller coasters. I think it stems from a trip to Disneyland when I was 3 years old. My parents took me on Space Mountain and it scared the life out of me. I've never been a fan of roller coasters and I don't think I ever will be.

11. My favorite flavor of any kind just might be pumpkin. I haven't met anything pumpkin-flavored that I haven't liked. In fact, one of my favorite pumpkin-flavored things is O'Fallon Pumpkin Beer, which sadly was very limited last fall. I'm totally going to stock our fridge with it next fall.

Almost done! Now it's on to step five, create eleven questions for the five blogs I nominated:

1. What is the one thing you love most about teaching?
2. What is the best gift you have ever received or given?
3. Outside of teaching, what is one thing you do to try and make the world a better place?
4. Who is your favorite U.S. president, and why?
5. What is your favorite "me time" activity?
6. What is your survival strategy for the imminent zombie apocalypse?
7. What "energizes" you during the school year?
8. What is your favorite holiday?
9. What one thing do you miss about your childhood?
10. Where do your lesson ideas come from?
11. What one thing do you want your students to remember you for?

BAM! Pretty much done. All that's left now is to contact each of these bloggers and let them know of the torture that awaits them.

This was a fun exercise! I certainly hope that I'll have more to blog about soon, but this is a good start.

In the meantime, I am happy to say that I have accepted this nomination; and I can rest easy, knowing that I won't have to be looking over my shoulder for any blogging ninjas... for now.


  1. Well I hope you start blogging again. I definitely enjoyed your posts!

    1. Thanks! I'm busy working on stuff for the new school year, so I imagine I'll have things to share and write about soon!

    2. Woohoo! Me and the other 5 followers are excited.