I got to know more about my friend Annie at Having a Ball through an "interview" she did with a blogger friend. She in turn gave me some questions:
Q: What were your favorite things about being an English teacher? Least favorite?
A: I love teenagers. The kids were a favorite part of teaching. And I think I've established I love curriculum and planning, so that was fun as well. My least favorite parts? Well, I was really young when I taught and looked even younger; I was mistaken daily for a student. As a result, it was often difficult for me to establish control in my classroom. Of course it didn't help that they gave me, the rookie, the gangster classes (I guess no one else wanted them). I had one kid who sauntered in to class wearing his house arrest ankle thingy. Those two gangster classes were good times. I absolutely loved teaching my honors classes, though.
Q. What inspires you most?
A. My children inspire me most often. They inspire my writing because they give me good content. More importantly, they inspire me to be a better mother. I have good kids. And I'm not just a biased mom; my kids are fun, loving, generally respectful, and they have such good hearts. I'm not always the loving mother I want to be. But when I look at them and what an absolute blessing they are, that incredible realization inspires me to give a little more and do a better job of showing them how much I treasure each of them.
Q. How did you meet TravelDaddy and what are some of your TravelDaddy coping mechanisms?
A. I wish I could remember the exact moment I met TravelDaddy, but I was in third grade, and he was a big fifth grader. I doubt he had much to do with me back then. I went to missionary kid boarding school with Mark. We were actually pretty good friends in high school, though we never dated. Later in college, I dated one of his roommates. When the roommate and I broke up, Mark and I started dating. I tease him that our first date was just a pity date after Roomie's and my break-up, but he denies it!
As for my TravelDaddy coping mechanisms, well, I'm a planner, so I plan. My biggest difficulty when he's gone is feeding my family because when he's here, he's the cook. And he's the kind of cook who can take a look in the pantry or fridge an hour before dinner and cook up something from nothing. I cannot do that. I have to plan a menu, go the store, and get exactly what I need. I'm not good at straying from the plan or from the recipe.
Q. What led you to homeschooling?
A. I began researching homeschooling when Baby #1 was still in utero. However, once Baby #1 was ready for Kindergarten, Baby #4 was days from entering the world. We had just built a house, moved, and helped throw my in-laws a 50th anniversary bash. I felt overwhelmed. So I put Baby #1 in public school. I found that to be a complete pain as well...I had to wake up Babies #2, 3, and New Baby #4 to take Baby #1 to school, and I had to wake Baby #4 up again to go pick Baby #1 up in the afternoon (I don't know if I could bring myself to ever do the bus thing). And I guiltily pulled Baby #1 out of school to go on our annual after-Labor-Day family vacation. So at Thanksgiving, we pulled Baby #1 out of school, and we haven't looked back since.
Honestly, convenience and non-crowded vacations and outings are a HUGE plus for us for homeschooling. Mark doesn't like me to say that because it sounds shallow, but it's true. Of course, I do LOVE teaching them. I love it that they can work at their own pace (I have two who are ahead and 1 who needs to go a little slower). I love that we can go on field trips to match each unit. I love teaching them what I want to teach them when I want to teach them. I love that I don't have to worry about politics in my teaching...like mentioning God or prayer.
Q. What is your dream vacation?
A. Before I die, I will vacation in Italy, and I will go on a REAL African safari. When I was little, we went to the game reserve in Ivory Coast every year. We saw some cool things...lots of baboons, wild boar, antelope, hippos. But never any lions or elephants. One year we rented a safari truck with a driver, and he was determined to show us some elephants. We spent the day tracking elephant spores, but we never found the elephants.
Close seconds are Australia, New Zealand, and somewhere in South America.