Saturday 21 December 2013

Blog challenge Eleven+ tagged by @seburnt

I could not find the first post that started this amazing blog chain of nifty personal revelations where you have to do the following:
  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
My thanks for tagging me go to Tyson Seburn who is the only Canadian I know (apart from Justin Bieber and Alice Munro, oh, and some actors).

Tyson has an intelligent blog or, should I say, a blog written by a highly intelligent person. Had I been born in an English-speaking family, I may perhaps be able to write smart responses to his perceptive posts... but I had not. I observe (on Twitter) how he changes his image still retaining that look of a reticent, yet interested professional.

Some facts about me.
(I never thought this was going to be so difficult - to pick just 11 things out of your whole life!)

  1. My name Baiba was coined by a famous Latvian poet and playwright Rainis exactly 100 years ago and it has no meaning whatsoever.
  2. I am an avid bookworm, there is NO day when I don't read. I can read in three languages - Latvian, English, Russian, equally fast. I can read almost anything, except Danielle Steel. When I have run out of reading stuff, I read a dictionary. For the life of me, I could not name ONE favourite writer.
  3. I learned (about 25 years ago) and can recite Shakespeare's sonnet 116 at any time of the day or night.
  4. In my teens, I studied in music school. My instrument is an accordion (because my father played it, I guess) but I can also play the piano.
  5. In my youth, I did a lot of singing - I have been a solo singer in a group, I have sung in several choirs and participated in singing contests. Now I only sing at informal parties.
  6. In people I value a sense of humour as the most important of all qualities.
  7. I love driving, that is the only sport I do.
  8. I am a coffee-lover. I don't drink tea. I am picky about coffee, and I was taught to drink good coffee by my eldest daughter who lives in Italy. I never drink instant coffee.
  9. My favourite fruit is apple. I eat about 3 apples a day, on average.
  10. I have been to 20 countries, mostly European, attending project meetings, PD courses or as a tourist.
  11. I have never been to hospital except to give birth to my two children.

My answers to Tyson's questions:

You have 5 minutes to rescue one of your blog posts from oblivion. Which do you pick? Why?
I guess it would be the post inspired by @teflgeek The Domination Game because once I learned the game and adapted it to my needs, I have used it at the end of every semester for almost two years with most of my junior classes. Students love it!  

How did teaching become (part of) your career?
In fact, it's the only career I have made. And I could not have a different career because I studied for a teacher. But there have been hundreds of times when I wished I had chosen to do something else. Luckily, this feeling always dissolves.

Aside from weather-related impressions, how does Canada come across to you? If you’re Canadian, how do you think we come across to others?
Everybody knows that Canada is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. But what I believe is that Canadians are very independent, considerate and level-headed. (Don't ask me why.) In my ignorance I have a vision that Canadians are either English or French, so - what is a Canadian?

What career path could you have easily gone down had teaching not worked out?
This is easy. I'd have been either a hairdresser (I always cut my younger brother's hair until he stopped letting me do it and rolled my mother's and aunt's hair on hair rolls, they said no one could do it better) or a singer which has been explained in my comments above.

What characteristic of your Chinese zodiac animal sounds like you?
This is the staff that I don't read but my Zodiac sign is Aries and its description pretty much describes me. But don't seriously believe it!

What do you do vastly differently now than when you were a new teacher?
I am more tolerant, for sure. I know how a kid thinks, I can predict their reaction, I can see behind their emotions.

What book have you wanted to read but have never gotten around to it?
This is incredible but I usually get all the books I want to read. I have ordered tons of books from the bookdepository website (they have every book you can think of), bought them in the bookstores and borrowed from the library.

Out of these options, the best class size is… 1 student, 5 students, 13 students, 24 students, 50+ students.
For me, the best size is 13 (15) students. It's manageable, it's compact, it's easy to pay attention to details, it allows more individual help, it has better collaboration options, it lets any personality stand out.

Does your middle name have some meaningful significance, if you have one?
Unfortunately, I do not have a middle name. At the time I was born it was not a practice.

You will give a workshop to your colleagues. What would you feel comfortable leading a session on?
I have been doing it for years and the theme is always the same - technologies, digital tools for teaching and learning. I am proud that I am ready to give such a workshop at a moment's notice.

How do you feel about carpeted rooms in your house?
What a cool final question, totally out of sync with the others! I have no carpeted floors, it is not a tradition in Latvian homes. At best, we may have one large carpet in the living room. I think carpets are good for accumulating dust.

Merry Christmas, Tyson!

My questions for the bloggers I am going to tag will follow tomorrow.


Tyson Seburn said...

Great post I enjoyed reading! It's nice to know a bit more about you, Baiba, not the leasst of which is your impression of Canadians. I think it's very difficult to generalise us, but I'd like to think what you say is true. I do know we generally act less direct and aggressive than our neighbours to the south.

Oh, and one lil thing - the zodiac you mention is not the one I was referring to. :) There's a link in my question to help you.

Baiba said...

I checked the sign tied to my birth and here is what caught my attention because some of it might be true: "This creative, esoteric Sign... makes a great ...teacher of New Age studies -- any occupation that allows its mind the full range of freedom."
I am leaving it to you to guess which sign it may be.

Elina said...

Hey, thanks for mentioning me when you give facts about yourself ;)You know I read your blog, right :) I'll send you some coffee soon!

Baiba said...

Hey baby, you must be the only one among my readers who is not a teacher. Cool!