Monday, December 16, 2013

The Culberhouse Meme

David Culberhouse nominated me as one of 11 bloggers he reads and wanted to complete this meme. David is someone I look up to. He models through his thoughts and actions what service learning is. His openness to better understand himself through his blogging drives me to be more open, transparent, and vulnerable with my thinking. It is a honor that he reads and responds to my work, much less that he wants to know more about me. So, with humility and pride, I will now share 11 random facts about myself that readers of my blog probably don't know about me...
1. I was in the Guinness Book of World Records for a little over a year: I was born four full months premature. In 1973, no baby born at my term lived. I was in an incubator for a year, as my newly formed skull couldn't handle the air pressure in the outside world. At one point my weight dropped to 870 grams. After five months in the incubator, the nurses told my mom I could go either way. I lived. And, the doctor who delivered me called me on my birthday until I turned 21. I guess he thought I was too old then. Too bad, I would've bought him a beer legally.
2. I didn't come out alone: I was born a twin. My twin's name was Ryan. When the nurse told my mom that I could go either way, she meant me and my brother. I made it. He didn't. I wonder sometimes what it would have been like to have been a twin. Then, I realize life was tough enough with one of me. We were all probably better off.
3. I have a learning disability: I think this makes me more sensitive to those who learn and think differently, have a lot of personality, or have a challenging background. I like quirkiness and I find that endearing. I like people who are puzzles. They're the most fun to solve. No one is easy to figure out.
4. I collected comic books and baseball cards up through my senior year of high school. I was drawn into the world of the X-Men, Daredevil, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. I liked Wolverine before Wolverine was on a t-shirt and a key chain.
5. I coached basketball for four years, despite having never played it, even recreationally: someone I played on a summer softball team with asked me if I would coach her co-ed basketball team. I told her I didn't really know basketball. Her rationale was that since I was a captain of the softball team and people listened to me when I spoke, that I would make a good basketball coach. Needless to say we were awful that first year. 
6. The fourth year I took a team in the same league to the finals. 
7. I went 15 years between hits in a baseball game: I loved the sport growing up. I went to camps, played on teams, and played for three years of high school. A friend of mine played in an adult baseball league an asked me if I would play. We went to the cages, I hit a few balls, and he said if I could hit at that speed, I would be fine. I got my first hit during the third game. 
8. I don't want to  be famous, I just want to be better tomorrow than the day before. I can go through my whole life anonymously. As long as I have my wife, two kids, and a career that makes me feel like I make a difference, I'm all good.
9. The best job I ever had growing up was working in a gas station: I made $5 an hour, under the table. I worked all summer for the local Exxon in town. Pumped gas, talked to people, and felt rich. I mean, $5 an hour cash in 1992 was good money for an 18-19 year-old.
10. I voluntarily did 4 years of high school in 5: I graduated public high school and realized I wasn't ready to go away. I needed a year to understand HOW to be away from home: learn to have a roommate, eat at designated times, make classes on my schedule, do my own laundry, sleep in a foreign bed, and study. My guidance counselor recommended I go to prep school for a year, and it was the best decision I could have made.
11. In my basement is a "man cave." I have a fully stocked bar, mounted flat screen TV, three custom made poker tables, framed movie posters and signed athletic memorabilia on the walls. I host a monthly game, welcome to all who like to play and socialize. Anyone is welcome. If you're not nice, you're no longer welcome.
My second task were to answer the 11 questions David asked me:
1. What is your all-time favorite book? 
My favorite book is Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bizzinger. I have bought it five times because I lent it out four times. Never again.
2. What is a favorite quote that best represents you? 
I have two: "Never let anyone take away your excellence," by Jimmy Casas. The second one is: "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody," by Bill Cosby. I try to live by those two every day, especially when things get uncomfortable.
3. What accomplishment is the most meaningful to you? 
Most meaningful is each year when I start the year with a group of students who are not ready for fifth grade, and when they leave they are more than ready for sixth. I take pride in being part of creating an atmosphere that allows students to enjoy the learning process and push the envelope when learning. 
4. When its all said and done, what is the one thing you want to make sure you have tried or accomplished? 
I want to do a tough mudder. I don't know why. I don't like to run, nor do I like live wires hanging over water. But, the idea of being a warrior for a day, running, getting muddy, completing all these obstacles like a contestant in American Gladiators, that just sounds cool.
5. What was the best part of your school experience as a child? 
Having a teacher that understood me, cared about the students she taught, had high expectations, and made sure that each day was a little bit different. It made me want to come back each day. I guess she was the first PIRATE.
6. What was the worst part of your school experience as a child? 
Being bullied. I know the teachers saw it. And, no one did anything. I will never allow that to happen to any students. No one deserves that.
7. If you could play in any band, which band would it be…and what instrument would you play? 
I would play in the original Guns N' Roses, before all the changes. I would be the drummer. Definitely. I have to play Rocket Queen on the drums.
8. What is your favorite thing to do outside of your work? 
Spend time with my two boys (3 and 15 months) and my wife. I used to love to sleep, but that's over.
9. Who has or does inspire you to go beyond what you thought you could do or be? 
All the people I meet on Twitter, the friends I have made at EdCamps, NJASCD and ASCD, and my children. I want to leave a legacy for them: that the educational system is better for them because their dad was in it and made it his mission to leave it in a better place than when he came in.
10. What is your favorite childhood memory? 
Playing kickball, baseball, whiffle ball, football, and any other sport we could play in the street until it got too dark out. I miss those days and can't wait to do them with my own kids.
11. If you could live anywhere, where would that be and why? 
Wherever the weather is nice year-round, near a beach, somewhere where the pace is slow, the barbecue is good, and the bar is open late.
My third task is to generate a list of 11 questions for 11 other bloggers to answer:
1. What keeps you positive?
2. What did you think when you heard Twinkies were gone forever?
3. What makes someone easy to be around?
4. Favorite movie line?
5. Best food to eat on the grill?
6. If you could master one of the martial arts, which would it be and why?
7. Favorite Star Wars movie quote?
8. Have you ever hit someone on purpose?
9. What scared you most?
10. Favorite non-mainstream cartoon you liked as a kid?
11. Do you ever wish you could still ride a big wheel and why?
My last task is to nominate 11 bloggers that I want to see join the More Homework Meme: (in no order)
1. Glenn Robbins
2. Kevin Kelly
3. Tom Murray
4. Phil Huggins
5. Rich Kiker
6. Jimmy Casas
7. Andre Meadows
8. Walter McKenzie
9. Kevin Scott
10. Rebecca McLelland - Crawley
11. Ross LeBrun
11. +1 Cory Radisch
Here's how it works:
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 after you write this.  
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.
Go on, you have homework to do.
All the best.