Saturday, December 20, 2008

Interview Answers

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
yourself?


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.

7 comments:

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

"Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living."

I really like that quote. Awesome.

MountainLaurel said...

That may be my favorite quote of all time, except for Borges, "I imagine heaven to be a kind of library." I thought you'd like it, Kit. And if you don't know much about Mother Jones (most people don't), you should look into her story. It's quite an inspiration, and I think you'd get a lot out of it. After she lost her whole family, she dedicated her life to fighting for unions and workers.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Back in the 80s I was in Boston at the MacWorld Expo. At the time, the Apple technology chief was a guy names Jean Louis Gasse. I never really liked the guy, but he was a visionary.
His presentation was called the "1000 Libraries of Alexandria." In it he talked about a point and click virtual world where you could access all the information in the world from your home and how it would change our life and make us all so more well informed. I never dreamed that it would come down to a bunch of morons like me ranting into cyber space and other morons living their lives in an imaginary world.
I believe it was at the same Expo where Atkinson previewed "MultiFinder," the worlds first GUI where you could have more than one program running at a time. There was also "HyperCard," the first GUI point and click programing environment. Windows was a long way off and DOS users were still ranting about how stupid a GUI point and click operating system was. HA! and they've still got DOS managing things in the background.
Ahhhh, those were such heady times and we were SOOOOO going to change the world.

MountainLaurel said...

Does that bring back memories, SH. I was in grad school in the 90s. You know, when Al Gore invented the Internet (which he actually did lay a lot of the groundwork). Seeing the Internet for the first time, exchanging ideas with folks all around the world, we realized that we were in a position to change the world as well. Exciting times. and we're still living in them.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

ML, like most innovative technology, the internet will soon become a totally commercial tool of the capitalists. The free exchange of ideas, what little there ever was, is already being suppressed. No, I fear the dreams we had in the 80s have not materialized and won't in my lifetime.
Alas the internet is simply another media outlet that will be used like any other media outlet until there is a huge shift in human awareness on a personal and cultural level.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

ML, like most innovative technology, the internet will soon become a totally commercial tool of the capitalists. The free exchange of ideas, what little there ever was, is already being suppressed. No, I fear the dreams we had in the 80s have not materialized and won't in my lifetime.
Alas the internet is simply another media outlet that will be used like any other media outlet until there is a huge shift in human awareness on a personal and cultural level.

rebecca said...

I LOVE Mother Jones!!! I hadn't heard about "Crystal Peter," though. Bwahahahahahaaaa!!!

Second Life? Really? You're going to have to tell me more about it. I tried it out while taking that really cool grad class over the summer, but didn't get far with it. It is really cool, but I can tell I would need a whole lot of time to figure out what I'm doing with it.