Sunshine Award


I do not do this sort of thing.  I don’t go for blogger awards and lists, I don’t cut and paste things into my facebook status, I don’t even use Facebook to wish people happy birthday.   Yet when Larry Beck of Woodgate’s View honors me with this, I have no choice but to put past practice aside and join in.    As Larry put it:  “As a part of this nomination I am expected to answer 10 questions about myself and then nominate 10 others who I feel have inspired me in kind.”

Here goes:

Favorite Color:  Blue green.  I have my office painted with that color – it’s been my favorite since I could use crayons.

Favorite Animal:   Dolphin.   As a Pisces, I have to stick with sea creatures.

Favorite Number:  2012.  I kid you not.   If I have to go with a single digit it’s been “2” for as long as I can remember.  Yet I had a crush on a girl who lived at ‘2012 Main St.’ at one point in the distant past (I must have been 12) and I remember looking at her house and thinking, ‘wow, 2012 is the perfect number.’

Favorite Drink:  Schneider Hefe-Weizen (a white beer).   Best enjoyed at the Schneider Brewery restaurant in downtown Munich.   They have eight varieties (even the alcohol free one is pretty good), but the original classic is still the best.

Facebook or Twitter:   Tried Twitter but I don’t have time for two forms of social media.   I really enjoy Facebook, and am glad now that my 74 year old mom is finally on board and posting!  It’s also fun to see what students are posting, and to follow former students as they go into the world and have a career.   If you like my blog and want to connect on Facebook, here’s my page:

Passion:   Teaching.   I love my job.  I teach at a four year public liberal arts university, and there is nothing else I would rather do.   It’s a joy to help students learn to think creatively and critically.   I teach courses on international relations and politics in other countries, so I feel like I’m helping young people learn more about the world.   With our large education major, many of them are future teachers too!   I also love an honors course I’m teaching about intellectual history.  Today I’m prepping for tomorrow’s class on Petrarch.   The fact I can keep learning and growing while doing my job is a joy!

Travel is another passion, and I often get to mix my passions and lead travel courses whereby students discover a new culture.  This coming May I’m heading off to Italy along with colleagues Steven Pane (Music History), Sarah Maline (Art History) and Luann Yetter (Literature) and probably with about 40 students (I blogged about the last such trip).

Giving or Receiving Gifts:   I prefer giving, but I’m a bit turned off by the commercialization of Christmas.   So much stress about what to buy, and then others inevitably give things that aren’t really what I like, but I can’t say that since they meant well.    The best gifts are unexpected, not obligatory.  That’s why I prefer Halloween — as do the kids.   We have a huge annual party, decorate the house and the sugary treats flow freely.

Favorite Day:  Monday.  I love my work, and like getting a new week started.   The kids aren’t yet tired from a long week, so they go into school well and are energized when I pick them up.   They go to school very close to the university and I managed to get my schedule such that I can drop them off and pick them up every day.   I like that!

Favorite Flower:   Marigolds.   I don’t know why.  They were my favorite when I was a kid they remain my favorite.

Favorite food:  Pizza.   I’ve worked in various pizzerias, made my own pizza as a cheap staple food all through grad school, and to this day am not tired of it.   There are so many things you can do with pizza.  I love experimental pizzas, though a basic pepperoni and sausage pizza with a good red sauce and not too much mozzarella cheese is the ultimate comfort food.   I do tend to appreciate Italian pizzas more than American ones – they have fewer toppings, are less greasy and don’t go so heavy on the cheese.

Honorable mention: Gelato.  When I lived in Italy I became addicted to it, and when Wicked Gelato opened in Farmington my quality of life index soared!.

Blogs I nominate:

I won’t copy any of Larry’s, though I’m discovering a few going through his list.  Note: do not feel compelled to continue this chain blog.   I will not be upset if you do like I usually do and ignore such awards.  (But, Larry, I do thank you!)

Empathy 2012:  Empathetic guidance/Empathy 2012 is a great blog by a woman who is a self-described empath, with an inspirational outlook on life.   She seems to have shifted attention from blogging to facebook, so like her Facebook page too!

Norbrook’s blog: A political blog by someone who is definitely a progressive, but irritated by the “frustrati” – those on the  left who want ideological purity over compromise and pragmatism.

The Third Eve:  Jungian psychology anybody?  An interesting blog that mixes psychology, academic reflections and religious themes.    A very thoughtful blog by a strong, principled and open minded woman who has experienced a lot in life.

Juan Cole: Informed Comment:  OK, this is a big time blog by a noted academic, but his insights on politics and the Mideast are extremely valuable.  He’s a progressive and is often attacked by the neo-conservatives and foreign policy hardliners.

Families are Built With Love:   The experiences and daily life of a non-traditional family, well told.

Tarheel Red:  I like to think of myself as  a thoughtful progressive, not demonizing the other side and willing to listen and discuss issues without taking it personally.   Pino at Tarheel red exemplifies those traits from the conservative side.  We often disagree, but I like the guy!

Notes along the Path:  I tend to get busy and stop following blogs daily, even though I really like them.  I’ve done that with this one, and I’m the poorer for it.   It’s an interesting blog mixing bits of spirituality, religious faith, experience, politics, and everything from Pam, an insightful and interesting woman with a lot of life experience.

Blue Skies Over New England:  An eclectic, personal blog, it has a very positive vibe to it and is enjoyable to read.

Bucket List Publications:  Everyone wants to read about someone who undertakes adventures and lives boldly.   A cool website, and one with over 8 million hits!

Life as I know it photography:   Yes, it’s a business, but one just started by a UMF grad whose photography is amazing.   Read about her journey building a life and a business just out of college.

List of X:  Some humor in the form of lists – lists of ten items for such topics as “Ten reasons why Mitt Romney choose Paul Ryan as his running mate.”

OK, now I have to go engage in my passion of teaching!

  1. #1 by Larry Beck on September 13, 2012 - 15:58

    “I do not do this sort of thing. I don’t go for blogger awards and lists, I don’t cut and paste things into my facebook status, I don’t even use Facebook to wish people happy birthday. Yet when Larry Beck of Woodgate’s View honors me with this, I have no choice but to put past practice aside and join in.”

    Thanks for being a good sport Scott. I felt like this too when Jean Calomeni nominated me for a similar award several months ago. I finally decided that this type of award broadens our reader base and after all, isn’t that partly why we put our thoughts out there for public consumption? I don’t think it is being vane. I see it more as affirming what we believe but with the intent of testing the waters and allowing for some constructive criticism that will further expand or knowledge base.

    As a side note, I had plans on teaching Sociology at one time, even took my GRE. Didn’t fair too well on that one and thought I would try later but life, a marriage and kids got in the way. At least that’s what I tell myself

  2. #2 by Lee on September 17, 2012 - 00:37

    Oh gosh, Scott! I feel quite honored to be on the list. I r tend to forget that people occasionally read what I write 🙂

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