Sunshine at “A Teaching Life”

7.burst-of-sunshine-into-someones-day-kindness-picture-quotes

Here comes the new year!  After a bit of time in which I focused on my family and stepped back from the blogging world for a bit, I feel refreshed and ready to begin anew.  And, as I was catching up on reading blogs that inspire me, I was surprised to discover something lovely: three bloggers who I read devotedly and so admire had thought to nominate me for a Sunshine Award.  Even the name filled me with a sense of warmth 🙂 and accomplishment!  Here’s how it works:

Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
 Share 11 random facts about yourself.
 Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
 List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
 Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

What better way to usher in a new year than to bask in sunshine sent your way, and share it, too?!  So, here goes:

Thank you, Vicki VintonTammy Mulligan, and Adrienne Gear!

11 random facts:

1. I grew up in Bombay, India (it will always be Bombay for me!) speaking 8 different languages – English and French for school, and the rest (Indian languages and dialects)  because that was  Bombay: the melting pot of India. These days, it’s just English…sadly, even my French has fallen away.

2.  I love licorice jelly beans.  They are the only jelly beans I eat. This fact “totally grosses out” the sixth graders I teach…but they are always happy to share them with me :).

3.  I learned to drive at 32, when I found myself living in suburban Virginia, with one toddler and another baby on the way…

4.  …which is why I think I never learned to parallel park, and will still drive around looking for a “regular spot” rather than attempting this impossible task.

5.  Although I have three children and a husband who sing like angels, I can’t.  This doesn’t stop me from belting out tune after tune when I am alone in the car and driving around.

6.  I am a Red Sox fan – a proud member of the Red Sox Nation.  This is a fact that my students (Yankees fans, all) cannot get over.  Winning the World Series did not help!

7.  My husband and I have been together for 33 years.  As cliched as it sounds, and after all we’ve been through,  he is still my best friend.

8.  I cannot ride a bike, ski, or swim…but I love to kayak and I’m learning how to snow shoe.

9.  I do not know how to make small talk – it’s “what’s the meaning of life?” or  awkward silence. Awkward.

10.   The best part of parenthood these days? Knowing that my three are each others’ best friends.

11. Some day I’d like to start a summer writing camp for middle school aged kids…because I really do miss being around them over the summer.

And here are answers to the 11 questions (picked from Tammy, Vicki and Adrienne:

1.  What did you learn from your mother?

To be resilient and true to myself.

2.Where do you find joy in your classroom or work?

The kids I teach.  Their curiosity, willingness to try new learning adventures, and their  endless energy fills me with joy.

3. What do you do to recharge?

I vacuum. Seriously.  It allows me to completely focus on a simple task that requires no thought and can be completed at once. This is unlike anything else in my life.

4.  What was your favorite book as a child and why did you love it?

I loved Wuthering Heights (there was no YA when I was a kid!) – it had everything to capture my imagination: arresting scenery, bold characters, mystery, love and betrayal.

5.  Do you have a quote that you keep (in your mind, a notebook, a pocket, your desk, etc.) that captures something that seems important to you? If so, what is it?

Mary Oliver: When Death Comes
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

6. If you could go back to one moment in time, when & where would that be & why?

I would return to my grandparents house in Bangalore, India.  We would be sitting in their garden having tea and reading.  It was as close to heaven as I am ever likely to get…only I didn’t know it then.

7. What song reminds you of your high school days ?

Neil Young – Comes a Time
8. What city would you most like to visit?

Istanbul – where we’re headed this summer…woo hoo!

 9.   How do you plan for writing on your blog?

I wish that I could say that I have some master plan for this, but I don’t. The wonderful thing about blogging is that it allows you to explore ideas and new learning as they happen. It’s spontaneous, really.

  • 10. What motivates you to write?
  • The fear that I will simply forget what I was thinking, and the knowledge that writing opens new avenues of thought and insight.

11. What are you afraid of?

That I will have lived a purposeless life, benefiting only  my immediate family. That I would only have “visited this world.”

Now, it’s my turn to spread the sunshine.  Here are 11 bloggers  who inspire me:

A Year of Reading – Mary Lee Hahn and Franki Sibberson

Carol’s Corner

Digital Bonnie | Bonnie In Images & Words

Views From a Window Seat – when I grow up, I want to be a writer just like Jeannine Atkins

Reading Is Thinking

Read, Write, Reflect 

Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference

TeacherDance

Teaching in the 21st Century

The Poem Farm

Teach Mentor Texts

And here are 11 questions they may (or may not!) have the time and inclination to answer  (but, I’m hoping that they do!):

1.  What did you learn from your mother?

2. Where do you find joy in your classroom or work?

3. What do you do to recharge?

4.  What was your favorite book as a child and why did you love it?

5.  Do you have a quote that you keep (in your mind, a notebook, a pocket, your desk, etc.) that captures something that seems important to you? If so, what is it?

6. If you could go back to one moment in time, when & where would that be & why?

7. What song reminds you of your high school days ?

 8. What city would you most like to visit?

 9.   How do you plan for writing on your blog?

10. What motivates you to write?

11. What are you afraid of?

 

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7 thoughts on “Sunshine at “A Teaching Life”

  1. Tara – I enjoyed reading this so much! I am relatively new to the blogging world and your blog has been very inspiring to me. I loved getting to know you a little more through this “sunshine” post. Fascinated by your childhood in Bombay and description of your grandparents back yard was beautiful. Your quote is touching – but I don’t think you ever need to worry that you have “just visited”. Aside from your family, would appear that you have taken up permanent residency in the lives of many students and blogging friends. Thanks for all that you do and a very happy new year to you.

  2. Loved learning more about you, Tara. I agree that you do not have to worry about touching others, you have, in more ways than you will ever know. I look forward to learning more about the bloggers you tagged, too.

  3. Wow, Tara, how did I miss this! Thank you, loved seeing your answers, fun about the driving, like roller skating, guess you have to parallel park when you’re fearless (and 15)! Thank you! I’ve been tagged by others, so will combine somehow & post soon! Cheers in the snow!

  4. It’s such fun to learn more about folks through these “sunshine” posts! A friend of mine went to Istanbul a couple of years ago and loved it. I’m a big WordPress fan, but I’ll miss the beautiful pictures you always had over on Blogspot 🙂 Happy New Year!

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