Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sunny Days & Warm Reflections

Procrastination has finally been good to me! When I was tagged in @MarkALuque's #SunshineAward, I didn’t act on it right away (I’m either super spontaneous and react to things immediately, or I procrastinate until it’s too late.) Before I knew it, @LS_ Karl had given me even MORE homework which means that I’m taking it upon myself to do the #SunshineAwards Fadeji Style. #dangerous When I first figured out what the #SunshineAwards were all about, I felt like I was 13 again. I mean I almost logged into my account or had the urge to see if someone had recently IM'd me on AOL Instant Messenger. Don't you remember those emails that circulated like this around 1997? In any event, I'm always up for something fun and reflective so let's do this! 

Direction #1: Acknowledge the nominating blogger (in this case, bloggers) 

First of all, Mark and I are a great example of how Twitter connects educators in mysterious ways. One day when I was with a bunch of new administrators at the Sonoma County Office of Education, we had a guest speaker (@POUSDSupt) come talk to us about the power of Twitter. As Jennie shared with us, she explained that just minutes earlier, she had tweeted out a question, asking her PLN (Personal Learning Network) to respond in order to show us the network of people she had immediate access to when she needed support, advice, or insight. One of the first responders to Jennie’s question was @MarkALuque. Mark Luque?! This was a name I had heard over and over again from 2001 – 2005 when I was a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Not only had I heard Mark’s name but I had seen dozens of pictures of his adorable children and heard family stories about him. Crazy! Mark’s sister, Renee, and I were roommates at Cal Poly and she remains one of my closest friends. Although at the time, I hadn’t met Mark face to face, we have since been able to connect thanks to #fallcue and I look forward to hanging out with him in the future as well. As I told your sis Mark, you’re kind of a big deal.

And then there is @LS_Karl. It’s funny to think about my first encounter with Karl because I feel like we’ve known each other forever. I’ll keep it brief but will highlight the fact that yes, @chaugen and I totally stalked Karl at the Google Summit last July when we realized we were in the same sesh. It’s actually quite surprising that I was able to concentrate during @awesomecoachv’s session after meeting Karl LS! I mean seriously…there was a LOT going on that day! Since our meeting, Karl and I have been cheering each other on in our work and I sincerely appreciate his constant positive energy.

Direction #2: Share 11 random facts about myself (harder than you may think!) 

#1 When I turned ten, my parents got me a Shih Tzu that I lovingly named Kelly after Kelly Kapowski on Saved By the Bell.
6 out of the 8 "Barn Girls" in the Dominican Republic 2011
#2 In college, I lived with 7 other girls in an iconic house called “The Barn” and to this day, the 8 of us are still referred to as the “The Barn Girls” by strangers and friends alike in a variety of countries. (lots of stories to go with this one!)
Gimmelwald, Switzerland

#3 I have a minor in Spanish, though I am extremely shy when it comes to speaking the language.

#4 I got sent to the principal’s office TWICE as an elementary student. Once for throwing spaghetti and another for lying in order to get “seconds” of canned peaches. #cafeteriaproblems

#5 I love big hair.

#6 Someday, I would love to run an orphanage but first, I’d like to adopt.

#7 Growing up, we owned a goped, a moped, and a go-cart. #killer

#8 I was ASB President my senior year of high school.

#9 Me encanta spicy food and sushi.

#10 I recently received a free upgrade from North Bay CUE when I moved from a “member at large” to an official board member. #promotion #luckyme

#11 Gimmelwald, Switzerland is my favorite place on earth. 

Direction #3: Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for me. 

1. What is your dream job?
Since I was 18 (so just for the past 5 years), I have wanted to be a principal. I realize that sounds so dorky but honestly, I get to experience my dream job on a daily basis.

2. Who is your best friend and how did you meet?
Ashley Litton. We met freshman year of HS in Spanish class. She couldn’t get enough of my bangs and I loved her sarcastic and frank attitude.

3. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in your life? How did it work out?
In 2005, I left everything I knew and adored in California to chase after a boy I fell in love with who lived in Alabama. We’ll be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary tomorrow. I’m not going to lie, marriage is hard work but I’m extremely proud of all that we’ve accomplished together and I thank God daily for Tayo’s love.

4. You could have dinner with three people from your PLN, who do you invite?
@jenny_derby @cashleywilliams @missamandagrey I can’t get enough of these three. See why here. They are all dynamite teachers too.

5. Are you the oldest, middle, or youngest child?
Oldest. Love my little brother Joe.

6. If you could spend one day doing whatever you want, how do you spend your day?
Sleep in, zumba with @jennyderby, latte, gel mani, massage, pool time with girlfriends, dinner with hubby, episode of The Good Wife.

7. What is the most important characteristic you look for in your friends?

8. What is your go to beverage on Friday evening? Why?
Red wine or a margarita. Why? Because it usually involves friends, fun, and a guaranteed sweet night of sleep.

9. What needs to happen in 2014 for you to be reflecting on a successful year 52 weeks from now?
· Call my grandmas more often.
· Organize more staff get togethers.
· Work out regularly. (yikes!)
· Spend less time at my desk and more time in classrooms by following the Breakthrough Coaching model.
· Stop adding to my already full plate.

10. Who is your hero? Why?
My Grandma Frannie. The “why” would make this already too long post even longer but I don’t know anyone else on the planet like my Gram.

11. What is your proudest moment as an educator?
I’ve had several but they all have several things in common. Spending time with students who need it most, going to extreme lengths to give them what they need, and remaining in their lives years after they were “mine.” Just yesterday I made a frozen yogurt date with one of my students who was in my very first 3rd grade class in Mobile, Alabama and now she is a sophomore in high school. Can’t wait to see her.

Direction #4: List 11 bloggers that I believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love

Let me be clear that there is NO WAY I’ll get to 11 and I’m sure some of you have already been given this HW so you can merge your posts like I did. Either my circle is too small or not enough of the people I know are blogging.

Kenneth Durham (a rockin’ principal and dad who models solid leadership for me)
Ashley Williams (yes, this means you will need to start a blog)
Jenny Derby (yes, this means you will need to start a blog)
Emily Dunnagan (roomie!)
Katy Foster (I don’t care that Sergio beat me to you)
Mark Hammons (no, you’re not too cool for this)

Direction #5: Post 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate. 

1. What is your greatest fear?
2. If you could travel to any place right now, where would you go?
3. What are you REALLY good at? (don’t be bashful)
4. Do you make New Years resolutions? If so, what will they be for 2014?
5. When you want to totally relax, what does that look like for you?
6. Describe your perfect day.
7. What’s one of your favorite childhood memories?
8. What is your favorite quote or at least one that speaks to you?
9. Most exotic (or just plain crazy) food you have ever eaten?
10. What is one of the funniest things a kid has ever said to you? 
11. What percentage of the people you work with do you think are actually “in it” for the right reasons? 

Happy writing!

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