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The Liebster Award

June 19, 2014

liebster_awardThank you Allison and Rebekah of Moving Writers for your nomination. I’m so honored!  (And one of the best parts of this was discovering your blog!!)

Official rules for the Liebster award:
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions designated by the blogger(s) who nominated you.
  • Place YOUR nominations for the Liebster Award! Nominate five (or more) other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Make sure to notify them via comment/email, etc.
  • Make up a set of questions for those nominated bloggers to answer.
  • Display the Liebster award badge on your blog!
11 Random Facts

1. Even though I am an English teacher, I would often prefer to read sci-fi, or even cheesy romance novels, than books that are considered “great literature.”

2. I used to play the violin, and then the viola, in high school.  But I really wasn’t very good, because I didn’t practice.

3. When I first tried to be “dairy-free” in 2004, my kyrpotonite was really good Gouda cheese on crackers.

4. I’m married to my high-school boyfriend – and yes, we have been together since high school.

5. I have a Masters in Critical and Creative Thinking.  Yup, that is a real thing, and the program transformed me professionally.

6. I love jasmine green tea, and it can be hard for me to function without it in the morning.  Also, while I used to hate coffee, I just started drinking iced coffee in the afternoon (with lots of sweetener and soymilk of course!)

7. I really don’t like doing ice-breakers.

8. In high school my basketball team went to the state semi-finals my junior year.  Which is extra-exciting when you consider that it was a big state (California).

9. One my favorite parts of working part-time is that I can stay up late (like, past 9pm) and make cookies on a Tuesday night.

10. My husband and I are having fun watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on Neflix.

11. I have never seen Frozen, yet somehow I have almost memorized “Let it Go.”

Answers to Allison and Rebekah’s questions: 

1. If you had an extra $100 to spend on yourself, how would you spend it?

On a trip of some kind.  I would either use it to take my family camping (that can easily pay for a weekend camping trip) or maybe even on an outing to a fancy vegan restaurant.

2. If you could have a professional chef cook you anything, what would it be?

Definitely something chocolate.  And something spicy.  And I would like the chef to be Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

3. Describe a lesson that flopped but you learned from it.

Just this year I tried setting up book clubs with more student planning.  It didn’t go well, but I also got to see some students try things that they might not have done if the tasks were better more prescribed.  I learned that I need to set-up the timing for students, but to give them more flexibility in the content of their discussions.

4. What is the one teaching book you can’t live without and why?

Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle.  Reading this book changed my whole perspective on both why and how to teach writing.  This book is one of the few I have read that really helped me rethink both the philosophy and the practice in my teaching.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Still teaching!  Which is interesting, because that is not the same answer I would have had five years ago.  I also hope that in five years I am teaching something new, or making making time to do more adult education in some form.

6. If you could achieve only one goal in the rest of your life, what goal would you hope to achieve?

The most tangible one would be to run a marathon.  However, the goal I actually would care about is to help my children grow into caring and empathetic adults.

7. What is the best book you read for pleasure in the last 12 months?

Just one??!! Probably Graceling by Kristin Cashore.  Fantastic heroine – I’m a sucker for realistic women characters in fantasy/sci-fi.

8. What one piece of advice would you give graduating seniors?

Don’t just move forward – make sure to explore the edges of what you hope to accomplish.  Take a class just because it sounds fun.  Apply for a job you don’t think you can get.  Read a book you are not sure you will like.  These are the experiences that both surprise us and open new doors.

9. If you had to narrow it down to one moment, what inspired you to start your blog?

Reading another teacher blog (and I feel bad I can’t remember which one!) and thinking “Gee, I think I have something to add to this conversation too!  That was in my fourth year of teaching.  I still have so much to learn, but also so much to say.

10. What fictional character would you like to spend time with in real life?

Valentine from Ender’s Game (and yes, that Valentine, not necessarily the one from Speaker for the Dead).  She is wise, brilliant, and caring, and I would love to learn from her.

My nominees:

Two Awesome Math Teachers at

Magpie B at

Susan Schneider at (Twitter: @SusanLSchneider)

Laila Khairat at (Twitter: @Laila_Khairat)

Or-Tal at (Twitter: @lemino)

Questions for my nominees:

1. If you could travel back in time, what time period would you go to?

2. If you had to change professions for some reason, what other profession would you choose?

3. Which of your blog posts are you most proud of?

4. If you could take over Aren Duncan’s for a day, what policy changes would you put in place?

5. Describe a time you messed up, but learned a valuable lesson.

6. What is one book or movie that you think more people should read/watch?

7. What is something you hope will be true about your life 10 years from now?


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