The online blogging world is often full of the unexpected.  Recently a “blog meme” started.  It is similar to a “chain letter”.  Blogging and connecting with others in these spaces can often be very serious about topics and issues – in education for sure.  I wasn’t sure what to make of this “meme” at first, but now I have seen it growing in participation.  I now see it as a nice break from the more persuasive writing and blogging and an opportunity to link and connect more bloggers and networks in a serendipity kind of way.

Donna Fry also saw this an opportunity to bring some joy to blogging and I appreciate her participation in furthering the outreach and linking a group of northern bloggers here.  This meme has been named as “Homework” in the Twittersphere, and not long after I received my “homework” from Donna, I received “tags” from Doug Peterson and Johnny Bevacqua.  So in the name of connecting education bloggers and joyful blogging, I have decided to have a go at this.  I also have a tough time turning down an assigned task. 🙂

Here is 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.
  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.

As I mentioned, Donna, Doug and Johnny nominated me in this meme.  Please check out their posts (linked above) to read more about how this started and for the list of bloggers they connected.  There, that is #1 done.  Now #2 is not as easy for me, but here goes (and I won’t be upset if readers skim through this part).  Hmm, some random but true facts….keeping in mind Donna’s reminder to have fun but be careful about personal information that we post online:

1. I am the youngest of 4 (how did my parents do that?!)

2. I have lived in 6 different towns/cities

3. I have spent time in only 3 Canadian provinces – must travel more!

4. My dad had his own dog sled team and bush plane.

5. I enjoy watching and identifying birds.

6. I met Fred Penner when I worked in a children’s book store.

7. I celebrated Christmas in a different city 4 years in a row.

8. I enjoy walking and writing and how both allow me to think.

9. My Grandma lived to 100.

10. My favourite month is July.

11. I have read almost every John Irving novel.


Now on to Donna’s 11 questions: My answers in bold

1. What was the first “subject area” you studied after leaving high school? Psychology

2. If you could cook anything, what would you cook for supper tonight? Something my mom used to make.

3. What makes you stop and pause during your day? Fresh outdoor air or something inspirational in nature.

4. Cats or Dogs? Cats, since I have never owned a dog.

5. If you could have only one Pinterest Board, what would the topic be? Nature

6. What was the catalyst that got you blogging in the first place? Discovering blogs via Twitter and support from others

7. What is one (funny) childhood misconception that you had, or that you have experienced with a young child? (for example, we lived near Manilla, Ontario during the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. My 5-year-old daughter watched the news and thought it was right near our house!) My mom used to tell stories about “Brother John” (my dad’s brother) when I was young. I thought he was preacher, but she was only making a distinction from “John Sr.”, his dad.  Oooh…! 🙂

8. What was your favourite summer job? A number of summers working in a concession at a Drive-Inn Theatre – yup.. cars in rows, speakers attached… those were the days!  I saw the endings of many movies those summers.

9. Where do you find flow?  Chillin’ alone with tea poured…looking out over a lake preferably.

10. What was one personal challenge you faced in 2013?  Adjusting my focus and priorities

11. What are YOU passionate about?  Family and community


Next up, Doug’s questions, which he invited anyone reading his post to answer:

When was the last time you backed up your computer? The last time my husband did (he thinks it is time again..)

If you could speak any language other than English, what would it be? Norwegian

Where would you go for your dream vacation? Norway or Scotland would be on the list.

Have you ever received a parking ticket? Yes, and only one!

You’re in control of the thermostat.  What’s your ideal room temperature? 21 C

Have you ever taken an online course? No, but have helped others doing so.

What was the last educational conference that you attended? People for Education’s annual conference.

When was the last time you were in a public library? Spring of this year.

Have you ever dabbled with Linux? No

What would you consider to be the best photo you’ve ever taken? Toss up between a kitten and flowers.

What, and where, is your favourite park?  Rushing River Prov. Park, Kenora


And now Johnny’s questions… creative juices are flowing now…

What keeps you up at night?  Unresolved conflicts/misunderstandings with others or struggles of/with my kids

What would you consider comfort food?  nachos

What is one thing you would change about your job?  I work on call, so I go with the flow. 

What is one thing you would change about schools today?  Hard to stick to one 🙂 Let’s start with less sitting in chairs…

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone?  That advice is advice… and not always correct.  Try on what “fits” or toss.

The biggest inspiration in my life is_____ I’d say a combination of beautiful things: music, scenery, people

What was the first music concert you attended? Edward Bear (not kidding!)

What is the first movie you attended?  A Walt Disney movie likely.  Or was it Planet of the Apes? 🙂

Other than work, I have a passion for___ Family and community

If you wrote a book, what would the title be?  Gooseberry Lane

When I grow up I ___hope I don’t stop learning.

Now my turn to tag and interview!  I have decided to nominate some bloggers who I have met at least once, and a few others who I have talked about meeting up with.  I have met both Donna and Doug in person and it would be great to meet Johnny, but they nominated me and the rules say I can’t list them 😦  I would also like to invite anyone reading this post to participate.  If you don’t have a blog, you are welcome to respond in the comment section.

I hope the following bloggers/PLN friends will find a way to participate.  No problem if you don’t wish to… I meant to do ‘my homework’ before Christmas!  This is a invite to have fun and share, but also my way of saying Happy New Year to you, and that I appreciate our connection.

Jennifer Chan

Fred Galang

Tracy Bachellier

Robert Hunking

Katie in NorthTO

Andrew Campbell

Stephen Hurley

Nathan Hall

Philip Cummings


Jane Mitchinson

My 11 questions:

What is your favourite season or month? Share a reason, if you wish.

Where would you like to travel next?

What band/music do you enjoy that you discovered through a recommendation from a person younger than you?

What do you plan to eat more of in 2014?

What is your favourite flower or plant or tree?

What rock or crystal are you curious about?

What was your most memorable grade level in school?

What book or author are you enjoying lately?

Book or movie first?

Sweet or spicy?

Why did you begin to blog? Do you blog for the same reason now?

Thank you for reading and participating!