Lee Kolbert tagged me in her post, “Strengthening The Ties Within The Blogging Community,” with a blog meme passed on by Jen Wagner in her post, “Because Kristy Asked.” There are several different posts I’ve been wanting to write over the past few weeks and haven’t yet… but I’m putting them off further (probably till the holidays) so I can write this one. This blog meme is similar to a chain letter, but it’s for a very GOOD purpose. I believe when we share about ourselves and our lives in transparent ways with others, we can build (or enable the building) of “virtual bridges” between ourselves. You never know what fact or experience will connect with another person, and on the basis of small connections relationships are built over time. So here we go!

Here’s how this meme works:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. List 11 bloggers.
  4. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  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.

Here are 11 random facts about me.

  1. I grew up in the Presbyterian church but didn’t begin developing a sincere and deep Christian faith until after I graduated from college. I’m serving my second year as an elder in our Edmond church. I try to blog on my Christian blog weekly.
  2. I visited Machu Picchu in 1990 on an exchange trip with the Peruvian Air Force Academy.
  3. I’ve kissed the real Blarney Stone in Ireland. (And I was upside down, but not held by my ankles on the outside wall of the castle per the traditional method.)
  4. My 1993 climb of the 17,000′+ volcano, Popocatepetl, was much less enjoyable because of the homemade paella I ate at an acquaintance’s “quinceañera” the night before.

    The mouth of Popo

    On the Summit
  5. One of my favorite things to do growing up was pore through outdoor equipment catalogs by Lowe Alpine Systems, The North Face, Patagonia, etc.
  6. I absolutely love bread and cheese, especially fresh sourdough bread and cheddar cheese. Food-wise, I could probably live on bread and cheese alone.
  7. I jumped out of perfectly good airplanes four times on July 4, 1990, but turned down the offer from an upperclassman at the end of the day (after my 5th jump of the week) for “blood wings.”
  8. After I update my 2011 book “Playing with Media,” I have specific plans to write three more books in the next two years. Two will be continuations of my “Mapping Media” project (vol 2 and vol 3) and the third will be a handbook for Oklahoma legislators on constructive educational reform / transformation policies.
  9. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with a “life coach” the past year through the Medi-Share Christian health insurance program. These twice-monthly phone calls have helped me establish and work towards multiple health, exercise and nutrition goals. Now that I’m back in the classroom full-time I have district-provided insurance coverage, but I will REALLY miss the relationship and accountability for wellness which this “life coaching” program has provided.
  10. I sang my first public solo as “Daniel” in a musical production of “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” at our church in Manhattan, Kansas, in the mid-1980s. I have not had a lead role in a musical since. I’ve thought about playing Lancelot in Camelot, but probably don’t have a compatible schedule even if I could win the part in a local community theater like our beloved Poteet. (I do love singing, but I haven’t had much formal vocal training.)
  11. I worked part-time several weekends in the late 1990s as an “Apple Demo Rep” in our local CompUSA in Lubbock, Texas, when I was a fourth grade teacher. That was when the iMac was first introduced, and I showed people how to use iMovie. I kept one of the Apple logo’ed coffee mugs we were given to pass out and still use it on family camping trips.

Here are my answers to Lee’s questions.

1. What did you always want to “be” when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a fireman when I was very small. I convinced my parents to stop at fire stations in towns we would visit, and at least one time I even got to go up in the snorkel of a fire truck. At some point in my childhood, however, I switched from wanting to be a fireman to wanting to be a pilot in the U.S. Air Force like my dad.

2. What kind of car do you currently drive?

I drive a red 2003 Toyota Highlander, with a Kansas State University power cat license plate on the front.

Snow Day OKC

3. What would most people be surprised to find out about you?

I love to cook and do most of the grocery shopping for our family.

4. How much time passes between the time when you wake up and your check your phone?

About 15 seconds.

5. When did you last write a blogpost?

I wrote my last post two nights ago. At one point in my blogging journey I posted every day, but I’m writing far less these days. I generally still post at least a few times a week, though.

6. Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

I’m not sure if I’ve felt the true “Imposter Syndrome” or not. I definitely have felt a sense of deep happiness and blessing as a conference presenter, speaker, and teacher. I feel very centered doing these things. I did preach my first sermon at church over Thanksgiving, and I had thoughts similar to the “Imposter Syndrome” prior to sharing that message. When I reflect on the many times I’ve messed up and sinned in my life I definitely can feel inadequate and not up to the expectations of someone who preaches at a church. That’s why forgiveness and grace are so important, though.

7. What would you do if you were not afraid?

I would share with others about the ways we’ve faced and dealt with mental illness on different fronts in our family and extended family through the years.

8. What’s the most bizarre food you’ve ever eaten?

When my wife and I visited China in 2007 and 2009 we tried some pretty strange foods from the ocean and I’m not entirely sure what all of them were. I may not want to, either!

DSC00170

A typical first course at one of our banquets in Hangzhou, China

9. Do you still live in the town where you grew up?

No, I am a “child of the Chisholm Trail.” I grew up in an Air Force family, living in five different U.S. states before sixth grade. We then settled in Manhattan, Kansas, which become my “hometown.” Since then I’ve lived in Colorado Springs, Mexico City, Lubbock, Texas, Edmond, Oklahoma, and now Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I’m a midwesterner.

10. If you have kids, do you let them run around in restaurants?

Yes, we have three kids. No, we don’t let them run around in restaurants. We don’t believe in “leashing” our children either, however.

11. What’s your secret indulgence?

I’ve started to enjoy an occasional gin and tonic some evenings in the past few months.

Here are the 11 questions for the bloggers I’m nominating:

  1. If you could go back in time to any era of geologic history or human history, what would you go see and why?
  2. If you could intervene at any point of human history, what would you do and why?
  3. If you weren’t afraid, what would you do?
  4. What is the most important book you’ve read in the past five years which has positively changed or shaped the way you view technology, information sharing and/or schools?
  5. If you couldn’t work in education, what would be your dream job?
  6. How do you decide what topics are “not bloggable?”
  7. What is one thing you rarely/never share that you are exceptionally proud of?
  8. What is your favorite movie to watch on DVD, Netflix, or other media?
  9. What is one of the best things one of your teachers did on a regular basis when you were growing up that you still remember fondly?
  10. What is your fondest memory of a trip traveling outside your own country? If you haven’t traveled internationally, what international travel memory would you like to make and who would be with you?
  11. If you had one month to live and money was no object, what would you do?

Here are my nominations:

  1. Bob Sprankle (@bobsprankle)
  2. Alice Barr (@alicebarr)
  3. Cheryl Oakes (@cheryloakes50)
  4. Miguel Guhlin (@mguhlin)
  5. Cyndi Danner-Kuhn (@cyndidannerkuhn)
  6. Ginger Lumen (@GingerLewman)
  7. Matt B Gomez (@mattbgomez)
  8. Jason Neiffer (@neiffer)
  9. Scott McLeod (@mcleod)
  10. Shannon M Miller (@shannonmmiller)
  11. Jamie Reynolds (@JamieiReynolds)

Let the sharing continue!

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  • http://ideasandthoughts.org Dean Shareski

    Good stuff Wes. I’ve also done my share of singing but not acting. Thanks for this.

  • kolbert

    Wes,
    Thanks for carrying this forward. I didn’t know you sing. I’d love to hear something from you one day. I love what you said about forgiveness when referring to the Impostor Syndrome. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about those who have chosen to participate. I will have to pick your brain one day about how you work with a life coach. Merry Christmas!

  • kolbert

    Cool! Maybe we can get together a BlogCappella group. I don’t sing, so I’ll just boss everyone around.

  • Pingback: Reflection Week 10: Moving at the Speed of Creativity: Building Virtual Bridges Through Sharing and Transparency | Shaleya Heersink

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