Local artist, teacher, mother, and all around great person Rebecca Burch has asked me some questions for the Interview meme. If you'd like to be interviewed, please post saying "I'm in" and I'll email you five questions.
1. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
How have your plans changed from childhood to now?
What didn't I want to be? I wanted to be an archaeologist, secretary, social worker, child psychologist, librarian, writer, reporter, diplomat, and politician. I kind of fell into my current job. I started in a liberal arts major, so I had to go to grad school, where I feel in love with teaching from my TAship. Then my class was scheduled in a computer lab, and I got interested in how to use these machines. I was sold! That's the direction my life's taken now. I thought I'd be a faculty member, but I'm doing something even better now: I'm helping them! it's pretty much been a ride rather than a drive. And an exciting one at that!
2. I know you're interested in educational technology -- what is the
most exciting development that you've seen in educational technology
in the last 5 years? What would you like to see in the future?
I think that would have to be the Web 2.0 apps like blogs, twitter, and especially social bookmarking! Most of education and learning happens best through connections amongst people. I have learned so much from reading my favorite bloggers. And I've extended my professional network around the world! How powerful if we can harness that for students.
The next big thing, I believe, is virtual worlds such as Second Life. The reason I got into educational technology in the first place was to bring my students in contact with people from around the world. Fifteen years later, the technology is finally catching up to my dreams.
3. If you could buy one really extravagant gift for your significant
other for Christmas, what would it be? What would you buy for
For my honey, I'd buy a boat. He loves the water and loves boating. Since we're fantasizing, it would be a large sailboat or ship, perhaps a replica of the Santa Maria. We would travel the rivers and oceans, and I would give educational tours of the boat when we were in port.
For me, I have to quote Elton John, "Don't have much money, but, boy, if I did, I'd buy a big house where we both could live, with a dock for your boat, and where neither of us would have a bad commute." OK, I added that last bit. Bernie Taupin is safe.
4. Name a historical or literary figure who has inspired you. Explain.
That's tough for me, because my best friend and hero was always my grandma. I would have to say that my favorite goddess was Diana. (Grandma read and told me mythology when I was young.) In junior high, I learned of Mother Jones. I admired her as a woman who stood up for what she believed in and never backed down. My favorite quotes of hers are "When I die, I shall tell God Almighty about West Virginia." "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." And I laugh every time I remember her referring to Gov. Glasscock as "Crystal Peter." Her legacy to me was to always speak out for what's right, and never to let anyone stand in your way. It's also that you don't have to be delicate or dainty to be a woman. In fact, it can be a detriment.
5. If you became President of the US, what are the 5 things you would
want to accomplish in the first year of your administration.
1. Universal Health Care, single-payer.
2. Economic Stimulus package in which money is distributed naturally in the form of government-sponsored projects, similar to the New Deal.I'd get this money by yanking troops from Afghanistan and Iraq ASAP.
3. Rebuilding our fractured relations around the world.
4. Creating viable alternative energy sources and re-deploying workers in traditional energy sources (hello, coal miners!) into these sources.
5. Immediately banning all versions of "The Christmas Song" except for Nat King Cole's. I mean, really, no one could ever do it better than he did. And I get annoyed hearing folks try.