Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What You Never Knew You Wanted To Know

A photo of my family at Old Faithful this summer. They are definitely the most important thing in my life.

This post is part of the 30-Day Blog Challenge from TeachThought. To learn more about the challenge go to

DAY 10: Share 5 random facts about yourself...
1) I have a minor in Spanish and have visited Guatemala three times.  On one of the trips, I stayed with a family to practice the language, climbed a volcano, and visited the Mayan temples that have a cameo in Star Wars. During the other two trips, I stayed in a small village and volunteered sorting coffee, planting trees, and completing various construction jobs.
2) I had a bad habit of biting my fingernails all during childhood and until I was in my 20's.  Every once in a while, usually while I'm reading a good book, I catch myself biting a fingernail again without even thinking about it!
3) I like to sing and act. I was involved in many musicals and plays throughout grade school and high school. My freshman year of college, I sewed costumes for the theater department as part of my work-study job.  Nowadays, the closest experience I get to this is acting out all the crazy character voices in the books I read aloud to my sons.
4) My husband is a stay-at-home dad and has been since my eldest son was born. Before we even had children, we always knew that one of us would stay home with them, and he has done an amazing job. We've gotten used to people initially looking at us strangely when we explain our situation, and my husband has reconciled himself to the fact that he'll never really fit in with the stay-at-home mom groups.
5) I love reading all types of books, but I've always had a soft spot for fantasy novels. I read The Lord of the Rings series and the Chronicles of Narnia as a young childway before I was able to completely understand them. I'm currently reading The Book of Three to my boys and loving all the memories it's bringing back. (Oh, and there are some great character voices to create in reading this book out loud as well!)

Share 4 things from your bucket list...
1) Teach abroad.
2) Visit the Galapagos Islands.
3)  Be in a community theater musical with my boys.
4)  Run a marathon.

Share 3 things you hope for this year, as a "person" or an educator...
1) I shared with my students today that I have one wish for them: "Grow." Grow in their learning, grow in their understanding of the world, grow in their relationships with each other.
2) I am hopeful that each of the teachers I work with as a technology integrationist feels supported in our new initiatives.
3) Finally, and most importantly, I hope that I can continue cultivating strong bonds with my family despite increasing demands from my job.

Share 2 things that have made you laugh or cry as an educator...
1) In one of my first years of teaching, a Senior football player in one of my classes accidentally called me "Mom" in front of the entire class. The other students gave him a hard time for it, and at the time I tried to brush it off to save him some embarrassment. I had a good laugh about it later when I was alone, however!
2) I am the Knowledge Bowl coach for our high school, and I've had some great laughs with these kids. Whether it's goofy answers during practice or funny stories on the bus on the way to a meet, I always enjoy their zany sense of humor.

Share 1 thing you wish more people knew about you.
1) I am a very focused person. This means if I'm working on something at my computer and you try to say something to me, I might not break away my attention. If I'm in a meeting, I don't deal with deviations from the agenda very well.  Even if it appears I'm not "actively" doing something, you can bet my brain is working out some sort of problem or planning and organizing some future activity. Sometimes this comes off as being overly serious or even angry about something, while in reality it's just me concentrating. My husband teases me that I have a "face" that I make when I'm in this mode, and it could be easily misinterpreted as frustration or inattention, when in reality it's a reflection of those gears in my mind spinning.


  1. Amanda, where in Guatemala have you traveled? I stayed in Quetzaltenango for a month one summer to brush up on my Spanish. One of the best experiences of my life! I am really enjoying your blog posts for this challenge. You are so thoughtful and intentional in everything that you write. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My host family was in Antigua and the small village I volunteered in was named San Lucas Toliman. I was also able to take shorter trips to Panajachel, Quetzaltenango, Tikal, and a sea turtle preserve on the ocean (which I can't remember the name of at this moment!). It was an amazing experience for me as well, and I'm hoping to take my boys there when they're a little older. It's so important for people to truly experience another culture, not just visit a foreign country.

    Thanks for your supportive words about the blog! It gives me motivation to keep going. Especially for those nights when it's after 11:00, I've just finished all my school work, but I still haven't blogged for the day yet!