Seven things you probably don't know about me

I was tagged by Alex Case of TEFLtastic to write up a list of seven things you don't know and / or you probably don't want to know about me but as these things are quite fun I thought I'd give it a go.

1. When I was a little girl I thought I was a blood relative to or the reincarnation of Indiana Jones. I haven't ever really shaken that belief and have spent most of my life chasing adventure.

I have swum with sharks, climbed up and into volcanoes, stroked a maori wrasse (a fish) as if it were a puppy, fallen off a 75ft waterfall, lived through being tied to a mast in a violent thunderstorm aboard a 64ft ketch while we pulled the lifeboat back on board.

shamanSlept with a scorpion on the wall in a Thai buddhist monastery, ridden an elephant, took a bamboo raft down the Mekong, petted a llama, talked to people you normally only see in National Geographic, followed butterflies, hitched on the back of an onion truck across Sumbawa, spent a night in a church built in the 13th Century by the Knights Templar, fed fish to a dolphin and had a face2face with an orangutan in the wild jungles of Borneo.

I took the road less traveled off of the standard Camino de Frances along the St James' way / El Camino de Santiago and got lost too often to count.

However I discovered what it means to follow the stars and the simplicity of using the sun for directions (it's on your back in the morning, in front of you when you're traveling west).

I walked 700+km and made it to Santiago in 28 days.

2. I moved to Germany for the peace and quiet.

I got exactly that.

oscars3. When I grow up I am not going to be a novelist, like so many of my fellow TEFL comrades.

Instead, I am going to write movies and I'm going to win an Oscar before I am 70. Here's an animation film I worked on and here's something I did to entertain myself/ a gift for a friend.

I am not sure I want to grow up though. I'm almost 40 now and haven't really gotten around to this. Maybe when I'm 60.

4. I was asked last year to become an author of a new business English textbook. I turned it down because
a) it didn't pay very well
the Ed tried to use the standard 'Headway =look how much they made' example as an excuse for the poor advance and royalties
c) my blogs keep me pretty busy in between all my lessons and
I don't want to write textbooks!

I love my blogs and my website and making materials to support these activities because I love teaching English. Yar, yar, scoffers - it's not the best paid job in the world but it just might be the most fun.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge, however, mostly I just like the independence and making learning as exciting and interesting as possible.

Although I use textbooks (not always) and have a great deal of respect for their authors, a textbook would probably not let me, personally, continue to do that. I would consider contributing to something like The art, methodology and psychology of conversation but I'm not really qualified to do this, yet.

5. When I was a teenager I was given an intelligence test, designed for Americans, not for Caribs like me - somehow I managed to get into the top 5% of all students.

A friend, at the time, who didn't get the same who's who letter in the mail, despite the fact she was pulling all A's and I wasn't, told me they had made a mistake.

They may have.

IQI actually don't think much of grades, levels, intelligence tests or, in fact, exams in general. My sincere belief is outrageously that we should do away with all that baloney and tom-phooey and get on with learning and teaching for the sake of learning and teaching.

There will always be mixed-level, mixed-style, mixed-intelligence type classes, punkt.

6. I don't enjoy television - it's a major time-sink.

I do really enjoy a good HBO series, though, like The Wire or Desperate Housewives and am more than happy to fork over the cash to buy the DVDs (or swapsies) so that I can opt for watching it whenever I want to and not have the box in the room tell me when and where.

I mostly entertain myself with the internet, youtube and blogs - not just TEFL related ones ;-).

swanI read incredibly quickly and can finish a Harry Potter in a couple of days, the Swarm took 3.5.

Most novels are done within a couple of hours. This reading habit became way too expensive so I switched to reading business, methodology, pop-science/socio-cultural tomes and autobiographies - it takes a lot longer to figure out what's going on on the page.

I'm a big fan of Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell and can't wait to read Outliers.

Currently working my way through and enjoying Nassim Taleb's Black Swan. And if you're teaching advanced ESP:financials/investor types, give it/ get them to give it a go.

7. For my 70th birthday, in honor of my Oscar, of course, and because I am just dying to do this - I want to ride in a space shuttle so that I can see the world as a green and blue marble.

I am convinced that it is even more beautiful that it appears to be in the photos.


That's it!

So now, on to my seven great ELTers = I call on

Rules = write a list of seven things (okay, Lindsay write 6) about yourself as per above, tag the person who tagged you and then find seven other bloggers (who haven't done this activity yet) and tag them too.

For further inspiration, check out: Nik Peachey's, Gavin Dudeney's, Graham Stanley's, Seth Dickens's, and David V's.


7 Responses to “Seven things you probably don't know about me”

  • Eric says:
    February 18, 2009


    You and I do share many similarities and aspirations. I even moved to Los Angeles in hopes of writing that screenplay, but found a better, smarter, and braver Eric Roth was already an award-winning screenwriter. Oops! Back to the drawing and hello to ESL.

    While I appreciate your warm invitation and the kind thoughts, I am afraid that I will have to break this wonderful chain. Zero time. Sorry.

    But perhaps we could, down the road, work on that conversation book together!

  • Anonymous says:
    February 18, 2009

    Thanks for considering me but I'm much more inspired by your list than people will be by mine!

    David V.

    February 18, 2009

    David, I enjoyed yours! You manage to be witty and concise.

    Something I'm er, er, am not so good at.

    I always think my postings are going to be short...when I hit the page, I say, Karenne, you will not write more than 300 words.

    Karenne, you will not write more than 500 words.

    I need an editor. sigh.

    February 18, 2009


    :-) No problem, it took me a while to get around to doing mine! It's great knowing we're so similar too, not just our work - maybe one day, we'll do not only a conversation meth-book but also a movie!

    Here's to the future!


  • Anonymous says:
    February 18, 2009

    I bet you livened your part of Germany up no end! :-)

  • Marga Alfonso says:
    February 18, 2009

    Hi! I can't believe I am in a "great ELTers" list!
    THANKS a lot for visiting my blog, writing and mentioning it here.
    Keep up your good work!

    Love, Marga

  • Kenny says:
    July 02, 2009

    Wow, you've been around! That was a fun piece. We have to hit a beer garden before the end of July so I can hear the unedited versions of those answers! We share the lust for adventure and your stories took me to a few of those I've had.


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