Well, there has been a very interesting homework assignment circulating on twitter over the holidays, a chance to share some some personal information, answer some interesting questions, and get to know your PLN a little better. I was ‘tagged’ for some homework by fellow Teacher-Librarian Al Smith (@literateowl) during my vacation to Loreto Mexico, and said I would get it done before we return to school on Monday, so here is my Assignment!
11 Random Facts about me:
1) I grew up on Bowen Island, a little community off Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver, and had to take the ferry everyday to get to school! I hold a special place in my heart for Bowen and feel it shaped the person I am in so many powerful ways.
2) I recently started a new job as Teacher-Librarian at Parkland Secondary, in Saanich BC! I did my undergrad at UVIC and wanted to move back to Vancouver Island after working for the Vancouver School Board for the last 10 years. My wife and I moved over this last summer and have been loving our new jobs and home on the island.
3) I first started working in Libraries with a UVIC Coop job at the BC Ministry of Health, in Victoria. This was back in 1999, and where I learned a lot of my information technology and website development skills in supporting the specialized Medical Library in the Ministry.
4) I’ve had this domain and website since 2002, and have been publishing my own websites since 1996! I have had many different versions of this website, but currently run my own WordPress installation after many years creating Dreamweaver templates, PHP discussion boards, and slightly interactive communities for my classes, colleagues and peers.
5) Some of my major life accomplishments over the last 12 years have been mentioned in the BC Legislature and are recorded on the official Hansard record. (Becoming a Teacher, Advocating for School Libraries, and getting Married!)
6) I truly believe in the power of your Personal Learning Network, utilizing social networks like twitter, google plus, blogging and even facebook. I have gained so much wisdom, understanding and assistance from my different networks in the last 6 years.
7) I am an amateur Astronomer. I love looking through my telescope at the Moon, Planets and Stars. I have always loved looking up and staring at the universe around us. Looking forward to investing in some new lenses and photography equipment in the next year.
8) I am a part-time Scout Leader, having been involved with the Scouting movement for almost 13 years. (2 Beavers, 3 – Cubs, 3 – Scouts, 2 – Venturers, 3 – Scout Leader). Through scouting, I really do see the value in experience based learning, the importance of demonstrating competencies, failure as a learning opportunity, and badge based assessment.
9) My favourite sport is Disc Golf, a free activity that is a combination of Golf and throwing discs around in the forest. Usually, you take a few specialized discs (drivers, mid-range, and putters) and throw them at a metal basket. You follow the usual rules of golf and its a lot of fun!
10) One of the most ambitious and challenging hiking trips I’ve ever done was into Cape Scott Park, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. This trip was wet and challenging, but also amazing and beautiful. I wrote a trip report all about it here.
11 questions for me from Al Smith:
1. How do you balance time spent on professional and personal life?
In the almost 20 years I’ve been online, I’ve learned when to turn my devices/email/IM/tweets off and when to disconnect and focus on the present. I have certain times that I dedicate to my professional role, and I have times I dedicate to my personal life. I am usually working on a few projects, consulting work, or teaching in different roles and have to be very organized to keep it all within balance. I use my calendars religiously, I keep my email meticulously organized, and I know when to turn my notifications off.
2. Where do you want to go in the world that you haven’t been yet?
South America and Asia
3. If you were Mr. Harper, what would your priority legislation be next week?
Information, Privacy, Copyright. Not because I think these are the most important issues facing Canada right now, they are far from it. I picked these, because these are the issues I have been researching, studying and staying abreast of and feel I can offer insight for.
4. What was the last book you read? Did it have a movie adaptation?
Over the holidays I dived into the first 3 books of Frank Hebert’s Dune Series! It was amazing, awesome and highly recommended. I very much enjoyed the parrallels between the book setting of the Dune Planet, Arrakis, with my vacation environment of Baja Mexico. Everywhere I went I gained new insight into the arid environment while enjoying this Sci-Fi classic. It has been made into a great movie, but it was very different from the book!
5. In what school/position was/is memorable to you? Why?
My first job with the Vancouver School Board was working at Kitsilano Secondary, in their Library, as a Secondary Teacher-Librarian. I worked with the most amazing mentor, Giovanna Bombino that year and she taught me so much about teaching and learning in a secondary library. I also worked that year part-time at Tupper Secondary with an equally important and influential mentor Teacher-Librarian Glenys Galloway. Also while with the VSB I worked with Wendy Cowley for a couple of years at Killarney Secondary and gained so much about Teacher-Librarianship. I owe these three mentors so much for my skills and abilities today.
6. What is a health issue or advocacy you hold sincere?
I am very focused on Diabetes as it is an issue close to my family. I hope that we can all make dietary and lifestyle changes to help combat this disease.
7. What is the source you rely on most for news about what’s going on in the world?
Twitter! It is such a powerful real-time network that is responsive to your unique interests and needs. I get different perspectives, breaking information, unique insight and robust discussion from a variety of sources and people. Its truly revolutionary.
8. Can you name the 5 CanadaReads titles and/or authors? Have you read any? Check > (http://kssreads.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/canadareads-2014-looks-powerful-join-us/)
I can! In fact, I went to UVIC with one of the authors, Esi Edugyan as we both lived in the same residence, Ravenhill! Her book Half-Blood Blues is on my night side table, queued up to be read!
9. Why is liberalism a dying political philosophy or is it?
It is not and I hope to see a rebuilt party rebound in the next election! Go Justin!
10. If you could advise and/or act on a solution for a more environmental and economically sustainable Canada what would you contribute?
I would contribute to the protection and expansion of the public Park system. We need to protect our beautiful environments and animals and share them safely and sensitively with others.
11. If answering these 11 with me, What wine would you select?
I would select a IPA craft beer, perhaps something from Driftwood Brewery!
11 Questions I have for others:
1) What is your favourite meal? When was the last time you had it?
2) Where did you travel to last? Can you share a picture?
3) What book did you read recently that has got you thinking?
4) What key moments from your educational journey helped create where you are today?
5) What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
6) Do you have any advice for new educators?
7) How do you like your coffee? And from where?
8) What is your favourite Song/Band? Have you seen them live?
9) Do you like to Camp? Can you recommend your favourite spot?
10) Android or Apple? Why?
So, I am going to recommend my homework to some new colleagues, former colleagues, and friends. Its only recommended, no pressure to do it, and sorry if you’ve already been nominated!
I really enjoyed this activity and hope you do too!
Happy New Years!