Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seven Things Meme

Kate tagged me for this meme and since I think that they make some great writer's notebook prompts for students, I am doing mine here. But as I have thought about the theme of the meme, I realized that my sharing via Twitter has resulted in many more people knowing much more about me than they probably should. Sigh!

First - the rules:

1. Link your original tagger and list these rules on your blog
2. Share 7 facts about yourself in the post–some random, some weird
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged

Next - the disclosure:

1. I used to be a practicing attorney. I know - I was one of "those" and please, I have heard just about every lawyer joke there is. I have not regretted one minute of my life since changing my profession but I have also not regretted taking that path. It made me a confident public speaker, honed my writing skills and taught me to think analytically - all great qualities for a teacher.

2. I graduated from my undergraduate college in three years. Yes, I know there seems to be an over-achieving thread here but it really was the result of two things: AP credit from high school and summer courses after I switched my major because,

3. I entered college to become a physical therapist!! I did it mostly because my family had my illustrious career as an attorney already mapped out for me and because I wanted to show them that I could (sciences are not my strong suit!). So it should be no surprise to anyone that

4. I have an F on my undergraduate transcript - in organic chemistry. It didn't matter how hard I tried or how many tutors I went through I just did not get it!! Ironically, however that particular course (regardless of the grade) just happened to help me land my first job as an attorney where

5. I worked as part of a team that represented an insurance company in the Love Canal case. It seems that Hooker Chemical (later Occidental Petroleum) wanted to have the insurance companies pay for all of the damages they had to pay out as a result of the lawsuit and it was the task of our firm to show that in fact they did know they were burying hazardous chemicals in locations that would later be playgrounds. Apparently any background in organic chemistry is helpful!!

6. Slightly more mundane - I have played the flute since high school and still break it out on occasion because playing it actually relaxes me. And no - I never let anyone hear me play!

7. My uncle is the Valu Man. I know this might not have relevance to many people outside of Western New York but there it is - my deepest, darkest secret. And yes, he really does dance like that.

Finally, I am supposed to tag seven people but most of my blogging network has already been tagged. So - if you are a reader of this blog - link to your meme or give us one good fact no one knows about you in the comments!!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Wordle Meme

Angela tagged me and some other friends for a Wordle meme. Knowing how much I love that little tool - I was interested to see what would appear. Before the big reveal, however, some rules for the meme:

1. Create a Wordle from your blog’s RSS feed.
2. Blog it, and share your reactions: any surprises?
3. Tag others to do the same.
4. Link back to this post or the post where you were first tagged.
5. Share other uses you have found for Wordle.

The final result for this blog can be found here.

I am not terribly surprised that "writing" and "scoring" came up as words that are used most often. After all, Angela tagged my writing blog (as opposed to the others that I keep) and we have spent a great deal of time in the region the past year talking and thinking about assessments and scoring student work.

What did surprise me is the large "family" that appears on the left hand side. Skimming back through some posts, I realize that in this space I have revealed quite a bit about myself and my family in order to make connections and to connect to my writing. I think that comes from my using my writer's notebook a bit more in my personal life - a goal that I had set for the past year. But I also think that it reflects the time I have taken away from the computer to pay attention to my family. They are the center of all that I do - and I certainly hope that those tales haven't driven anyone away.

I am puzzled a bit my the large size of "one" and "always" - couldn't seem to find a trend in going back through the posts but I am starting to wonder if I am speaking too much in absolutes. Am I adovcating one method as always working? Am I counting on always being able to use one tool? Am I always seeing things in one way?I need to reflect a bit more on that and really search what that might tell me about my writing on this blog to make more sense of it. Of course, input from readers on this piece would be very helpful!!

Angela already stated, and readers of this blog already know, how I like to use Wordle. Wishing that I had someone who followed me around and transcribed all that I said so that I could see if what I say and what I write is similar. But that aside, one thing that using Wordle has helped me realize is that I need to use tags better in my blogs - they are good ways for me to compare what I think I am writing about with what comes up on Wordle.

Thanks Angela for the fun! I'll have to dig up some other friends who blog to see if they will meme with us!