Seven Things…Plus

platinum_4003281.jpgAnne Truger, one of my DEN Star buddies and Twitter/Plurk friends, has tagged me for the Seven Things meme!  Since I’d already posted the 7 Things You May Not Need to Know About Me, I decided to cross- post to this very neglected blog.  I have high hopes of getting back on a regular writing schedule, but sometimes ‘my appetite is bigger than my stomach!”  :)

Thanks to Mari Hobkirk (from my Plurk PLN) and her On the Road to 2.0 blog, I’ve been tagged for the 7 Things You May Not Need to Know About Me meme! Like many memes, it has been viral…and, as usual, I’m on the tail-end of the spread. However, this meme has the potential for being somewhat timeless as it helps to personalize our widespread and diverse PLN contributors.

So, here are my seven things:

  • My life as an Army “brat” took me to various places in my childhood, to include Heidelberg, Germany and Seoul, Korea (where I graduated from high school). Though at the time I wasn’t that excited about the moves every two years, I look back at those experiences as true treasures! I only wish I’d been older and more mature to better appreciate what those opportunities could offer.
  • Before I entered the rat race of my professional demands, I often relaxed by creating stained glass panels. I would get so focused on the design, the cuts, the assembly, the soldering, and the finishing of each piece…I would get lost in time. Sometimes I would work for 10-12 hours without taking a break, even for food! That intensity was amazing and a reflection of a passion from the past.
  • My favorite color is blue – just a random fact! Blue is considered a ‘cool’ color, but I like the warmth of its hues – from the turquoise to the teal – I love them all! All colors have a place in my world, but blue always rises to the top!
  • In 1990, I spent three weeks in studying dolphin behavior in Tampa Bay via an Earthwatch expedition. I can’t articulate the multi-faceted rewards of that summer – the relationships, the learning, the satisfaction of ‘doing good’, and the incredible dolphins. I have awesome memories, images, and other documentation that I bring out every once in a while…one day I’ll indulge in another expedition.
  • Volunteering as an Intake Counselor at our Neighborhood Health Clinic for the uninsured working poor is an important highlight of my life. I always leave there with a sense of awe: humbled by the proud, but desperate, individuals seeking affordable medical care (to which everyone should be entitled don’t you think?); thoroughly enamored with the founders who still actively participate in the clinic; and glad to be part of a vibrant community of more than 500 volunteers.
  • I can make a great roasted salmon with citrus and thyme entree! Though I love to cook, I don’t often make/take the time. I often read cookbooks, just for the pure vicarious pleasure! Experimenting with foods and cooking techniques is inspiring and relaxing…now, if I could just figure out a way to evaporate the extra calories! :)
  • The use and integration of technology tools in our world excites me and I can’t wait to see what the future unfolds for us, especially in learning and teaching. But I’m also fearful that our educational institutions are not embracing change as quickly nor as thoroughly as needed. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic and hopeful that we will indeed create our futures, as desired!
  • *Lagniappe* – the little extra – I love to learn and, more importantly, I enjoy sharing what I know with those interested. If ‘the teacher arrives when learner is ready,’ how can we create that ‘readiness’?

    To play this meme correctly, I’m suppose to ‘tag’ seven more people to carry on the ‘virus,’ but I’m not sure there’s anyone in my immediate PLN who hasn’t responded….If so, please consider yourself ‘tagged’ and share your seven things!!

    Photo credit to platinum on Flickr

    The Power of Browsers!

    Hopefully you have already shed the IE browser (though I will confess the need to use it on rare occasion when websites are not designed for alternate browsers), but in case you haven’t done so, I invite you to try one of these:

    • Firefox – my absolute “go to” browser and there’s a new version (FF3) being released out of beta on Tuesday, June 17th! In fact, you can be a part of the celebration and quest to set a Guinness World Record with participation in “Download Day“. Besides the increased security and decreased crashes, I love the personal productivity and fun add-ons that make my browsing so much more effective and enjoyable! My favorites are GMail manager, PicLens, and TinyURLCreator, but I use many others on a daily basis, including ScribeFire and FastVideoDownload, not to mention Delicious and Diigo! I don’t really know how to browse without these enhancements – they’ve become that much a part of my internet experience! firefox-title.jpg
    • Flock – built on Mozilla’s Firefox foundation, this browser takes a decidedly ‘social’ slant in the browsing market. I like the integration with Flickr and other social networking sites (twitter, Facebook, etc), but be forewarned – it can be very distracting and I hardly have the willpower to stay on task with my typical internet browsing behavior! I would definitely recommend a “look-see-try,” as it might be a good fit and it definitely offers a exponentially stronger power than IE!  logo.gif
    • Opera -this one is definitely a ‘sleeper’ but it offers a mobile browser for low-end phones and it has a neat “Notes” feature that allows you to create, snippet and manage text – which has come in very handy when wanting to provide comments to students in an online environment. logo4.gif

    No doubt there are others out there, but we’ve definitely come a long way from the ole Netscape, which was my first browser a little more than a decade ago. Browsing and use of internet resources is definitely one of the least recognized and untapped venues, probably because we take it for granted and perhaps that is why folks end up taking it for granted and utilize the ‘convenient’ source. I would guess there is more to come in the future of browsing and urge you to learn more about your browsing tool of choice – not only for yourself, but also for teaching your students!

    Do you have a favorite browser? Why has it become your favorite?

    Moving into May

    The month of May moves at blinding speed as we work to meet all goals before the end of the year! In addition, there are the many ‘end of the year’ recognitions and activities that are held before May 29th, our last day of school. Thus, the compelling need to remain focused…

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    Birth of a New Blog

    Not sure why it took me so long to start this blog, but here I am! Recently, I’ve noticed a resurgence of DEN networking via twitter which allowed me to refocus! It was great to see the excitement when folks received their DEN Summer Institute or LC notices – really makes me feel like I’m part of their team. Hopefully, there will be some vicarious learning for me as I was not able to even participate in the application process. Last year’s experiences on the floating Academic Excursion was terrific and I know the connections will continue to provide more opportunities. Hopefully, I can add to this blog on occasion – with two others that have been neglected recently, not sure how well I’ll do!