Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Coolest Homework Task

I was assigned a cool piece of homework from my good buddy Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) and to be honest it was a timely task, sharing my reflection about me with you.  While I don't consider myself to be very interesting, I do hope that you find my reflections humorous.

Before I get started, I would like to thank Bill for sending me this and for impacting my writing.  Until I met him, I hated to write and didn't think I was very good.  If I hadn't met him (virtually-speaking), I wouldn't be where I am today as a writer.  Thank you, Bill.  You are truly a class act and a teacher whose impact goes far beyond your classroom.

My First Task - 11 Random Facts about Me.

1.  I am blessed to be married to my beautiful wife, Carolyn, who is a police officer.  We were next door neighbors when I was in college and my pick-up line to sweep her off her feet was the following, "What kind of gun do you like to shoot?".  The rest, as they say, is history.

2.  I have 4 children ranging from 19 to 8, and they are my everything.  When I'm not working, I'm with them.  They are a trip and drive me crazy on an hourly basis.

3.  I love to hunt, particularly duck hunt.  While I haven't been as faithful to hunting in the last 3 years, it is a huge release for me.  Yes, I used Duck Commander products long before anyone knew they existed.

4.  Running is my therapy and think-time.  I have a goal to run a half marathon by the end of the year.  I don't think I'll make it by January 1, but I will by March.

5.  Soccer is my favorite sport.  Nothing else comes close.  I played it as a kid, coached it as a dad and love to watch English Premier League football.  Arsenal is probably my favorite of the big teams, but I love to watch the 2nd tier teams pull off upsets.

6.  I love the following movies.

  • Smokey and the Bandit (Yes, Bill.  Jackie Gleason made this a classic.)
  • Lonesome Dove (It's a Texas thing)
  • Braveheart (Ultimate Leadership Movie)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Timeless Classic)
  • National Lampoons' Christmas Vacation (Christmas can't exist without it)
  • Breakfast Club (Yes, I'm an 80's kid)
7. If I could pack up and go anywhere for a month, it would be Spain, England and Italy.

8. I got my degree in vocal performance and was trained to be an opera singer.

9. My dream job would be a professional hunting guide.

10.  I can't watch Modern Family without hitting the replay button.  Christopher Lloyd is the best writer  since Shakespeare, and can string together a conversation of punch lines. His writing is genius. 

11.  I wouldn't be where I am without my faith in Jesus.  I lean on him everyday.

My Second Task - Answer Bill's Questions

Bill, these questions are hilarious.  Thanks for asking...

  1. Grande Soy Green Tea Frappuccino with Extra Whip or House Blend Black?
    1. Definitely House Blend Black (Don't have time for all that foo-foo stuff)  What the heck is the first thing anyway?
  2. If you were going to write a book, what would its title be?
    1. I just completed my first book for submission and have lots of ideas of titles, but currently the proposed title is "The Axiom of Transformational School Leadership".
  3. Rate graphic novels on a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing “useless” and 10 representing “simply amazing.”
    1. Don't have time for that.  Sadly, I only read educational and leadership literature.  I am definitely an informational text kinda guy.
  4. What member of your digital network has had the greatest impact on your professional growth?
    1. Bill Ferriter, Mike Mattos, Dan Rockwell, Steven Weber
  5. How do you feel about the holidays?
    1. Our nation has materialized the mess out of Christmas.  I just like to focus on the "Reason for the Season".  I enjoy celebrating in the simplest way possible without all of the craziness.  
  6. Rate the following movies in order from best to worst:  Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version).
    1. Christmas Vacation is the Best.  I really don't really care for the others. #sorry
  7. What is the best gift that you’ve ever gotten?
    1. My son who was born 6 days after Christmas.  2nd place would be a Big Wheel that I got when I was 6.
  8. If you had an extra $100 to give away to charity, who would you give it to?
    1. Make a Wish Foundation.  They deserve it more than anyone.
  9. What are you the proudest of?
    1. My kids.  They are the best creation my wife and I have ever made.  
  10. What was the worst trouble that you ever got into as a child?
    1. Wow, there are too many situations to list, so I'll start with my earliest memory.  I'll say my worst trouble as a young kid would be when I practicing my kindergarten writing skills with a red crayon all over my grandmother's white wall.  100 coats of paint couldn't cover it up.
  11. What was the last blog entry that you left a comment on?  What motivated you to leave a comment on that entry?
    1. Today, I left a comment on Sam LeDeaux's post called Are you a Leader or a Manager.  I really connected to his post and wanted to add some more thoughts to it.

My Third Task - Questions for You

1.  What is your favorite Christmas tradition and why?

2.  If you could have anyone over for the holidays, who would it be and why?

3.  Flaming hot hot sauce or mild and bland sauce?

4.  Do you root for the underdog or the team predicted to win?

5.  Which person in your PLN do you find most interesting and why?

6.  Which book has made the most profound impact on your life?

7.  What is your favorite decade of all time and what made it the best for you?

8.  What is the best movie of all time?

9.  Which animal best represents your personality and why?

10. What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

11.  What is your New Year's Resolution for 2014?

My Fourth Task - Nominate 11 Bloggers to Join the Homework Club

Add yourself to the list and join the fun

Here is your Task

  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


  1. Holy smokes, John -- I'm SUPER jazzed that you did this.

    Not only did I know nothing about your children, this line blew my mind:

    I got my degree in vocal performance and was trained to be an opera singer.

    I'm trying to imagine you blowing ducks out of the sky while belting out some hard core Pavarotti.


    Have a great holiday,

    1. Hey Bill,

      Really enjoyed this task. I rarely reveal my personal side in my writing but this was fun. Thanks for including me.

      Sometime, I'll have to tell you my story which involved duck hunting, singing opera and encountering a game warden all in the same event. #toofunny.

      Enjoyed this homework.