Technically speaking, I’m still on holiday, but I also happen to be in an extremely comfortable and surprisingly chic Bangkok hotel with free wifi, so now I can finally get down to the important business of responding to the “Five Things” meme everybody’s been talking about these last few weeks. Way back in December, just a day after we set off for Vietnam, I was tagged by Graham Wegner, and just recently I was tagged again by Silvia Tolisano, Susan Sedro and Chris Craft (update: sorry it took me so long to figure out who tagged me! Internet was spotty, to say the least, in Vietnam) I guess that means I really have been much too slow in posting this sure-to-be-thrilling list of 5 things you may not know about me. Hold onto your socks folks, here it comes:
1. Ever since I was old enough to walk, I was a dancer. I started out at the Steffi Nossen School of Dance in White Plains, New York and , after we moved to Connecticut in elementary school, moved up to the Newtown School of Dance. At the tender age of about 5 I started with ballet and added jazz and tap when we moved to CT. In addition to the dance, I often performed in small professional musical productions in New York (no, not Broadway… yet…) One of my favorites was a performance of the Pied Piper when I was around 8 years old. Unfortunately, I stopped the lessons when I got to college for lack of a dance school in the nearby Storrs, Connecticut area (home to both the University of Connecticut, and a lot of green farm land with cows and sheep).
2. Along with the dancing, I was a cheerleader in high school. This is perhaps my most surprising “secret” for people who don’t know me, because although I am quite vocal and high-spirited, I’m not your typical “American cheerlearder” girl. I definitely enjoyed the dancing aspect of it, and cheerleading camp was certainly an experience I will never forget. I liked it so much that I eventually ended up coaching pop warner cheerleading for our neighboring town, Wilton, CT.
3. As you may have guessed from my last name, I am of Italian descent. Both of my parents are Italian American and both sets of their parents were born in Italy. That makes me 3rd generation Italian American. Growing up all of the food, celebrations, holidays, and experiences I had with my family were centered around my Italian heritage. In fact, I had never eaten a burrito or any other sort of non-Italian ethnic food (aside from Chinese, I think Chinese may be unescapeable in the greater NY area) before I went to university. My husband Alex often comments on the interesting family traditions we still keep, especially those centered around food. One of my favorites is the “7 fishes” on Christmas eve. I still wish I had learned how to make my grandmother’s white baccala because it will always mean Christmas to me! During my sophomore year in college, I studied abroad in Florence; and I knew as soon as I stepped off the plane that I was home…
4. During my first international school posting, I met a teacher whose parents had challenged her to visit 30 countries before she turned 30. The idea intrigued me, and so I adopted it for myself. I am proud to announce that I achieved my goal last year, with about 11 months left on the clock! I have been to:
- the United Kingdom
- the Netherlands
- the Czech Republic
- Vatican City
- the United Arab Emirates
- the United States of America
I’m tempted to challenge myself to another list, perhaps 50 before 50, but I’m not sure it’s healthy
5. And, lastly, although I absolutely love being a technology teacher, I always thought I was going to be an international human rights lawyer “when I grew up.” During university, I spent a summer internship working for an international NGO called the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization where we focused our work on the Ogoni people of Nigeria, the Karen of Burma, and indepdence for East Timor. I enjoyed the work so much that, upon returning to UConn in the fall, I started the university’s first Amnesty International student chapter and was the student area leader for the Connecticut region. After moving to Munich I started the AI student group at MIS, and founded the (then) only English Speaking AI chapter in Germany, which I chaired for the following 5 years. I have loved working with Amnesty, and recently discovered a few new similar organizations: Witness, which uses mobile technology (like video phones) to capture human rights abuses around the world and bring them into the light; and Global Voices, which aggregates blogs from around the world to share first hand perspective and experiences from all walks of life.
And there you have it. 5 absolutely scintillating facts about me. I wish I could have come up with something a little more interesting, considering I had so much time to think about it all. And since I’m so late to the game, I’m going to excuse myself from tagging anyone else (and as I have a look through my aggregator, I see that’s probably not going to be a problem at all).
Update: I’ve been caught. I guess I’m not allowed to get away with not tagging 5 other bloggers, so let’s hear from: Jennifer Cronk, Chrissy Hellyer, Aaron Smith, Ed Warkentin, Konrad Glogowski. I hope I’m back in the good graces of my fellow edubloggers (sometimes, just sometimes, I try to break the rules – it doesn’t always work out).
Pointe shoes from: http://www.ballet.co.uk/images/thumb/pointe_shoes_on_black_mini.jpg
Pom Poms from: http://www.discountcheerleading.com/pages/images/poms/poms_main.jpg
Map from: http://artfiles.art.com/images/-/World-Map-Poster-C10086838.jpeg
Florence image from: http://18.104.22.168/images/guides/italy/travel/florence.jpg
Amnesty logo from: http://schema-root.org/region/international/