Friday, April 4, 2008

100 Things About Me

1. My father is a physician.

2. My mother is a tap dance teacher. Before I was born, she was a math teacher.

3. I have one brother (younger).

4. My brother is a Chinese (Mandarin) teacher.

5. I was not raised with any religion. But my parents raised my brother and I to be empathetic, principled people who care about others as well as about the natural world.

6. No religion has really resonated with me, except once while reading about Humanism (which is not a religion).

7. I do believe that prayer is powerful.

8. I am very active in our church community.

9. The Hubby is Catholic. We married in the Catholic Church, we are raising our children Catholic, and we are sending them to our parish school. I sing in the choir and do a lot of volunteer work at our church, and I love our church community. Everyone is surprised when they find out that I am not Catholic.

10. I was born in Monterey, California. In case you're not familiar, it's pretty much Heaven On Earth.

11. Except that I was born in an army hospital since my Dad was stationed there at the time. So that might cancel out the Heaven. (Particularly for my Mom, who had to clean up her own hospital room.)

12. I don't remember the army, though. My Dad was out by the time I was two. Then we lived in Eureka, California and went out crabbing and walking in the redwood forest.

13. I returned to Monterey for one summer in college, when I worked at the aquarium, tried to start a research project at the lab, lived with two nice boys who were taking classes at the lab, and had the best group of co-worker friends from the aquarium. But our schedules were such that when I had the day off, they were working, and vice versa. It was good to have to find things to do by myself. I particularly remember one great day at Point Lobos.

14. Meanwhile, my boyfriend (The Hubby) was working for a winery (yay!) in Modesto (boo!).

15. I grew up in Orange County, California when there were still orange groves.

16. I love Disneyland, but I'm not a Disney freak. I just have lots of good memories there. I feel strongly that Disneyland is superior to Disney World, because it is the original. (Although I have never been to Disney World.)

17. I sing in cover bands. I have two rock bands, a jazz group, and an acoustic group.

18. I started performing in musical theater at about age 9. I didn't want to make it my livelihood, but I'm having trouble at this point in my life managing to have it as a hobby. My last show was four years ago, when I found out I was pregnant with The Boy. I miss it! I hope that some day, when I'm ready to get back into it, theaters will want to cast me again.

19. I took piano lessons as a kid. At present, I can play with my right hand only; I can't do both hands at the same time and still have to say to myself "All Cows Eat Grass" to read bass clef. In the summer before 7th grade, my piano teacher saw me in a show and suggested I do voice lessons with him instead of piano - he had been wanting to start teaching voice. During and after college, I had two other voice teachers who were much better teachers. I sometimes wonder what I would have achieved if I had had one who knew what they were doing when I was young.

20. I went to Stanford, and got two degrees (B.S. in Biology and M.A. in Education). Stanford is probably my favorite place in the world.

21. I met my husband in our freshman dorm at Stanford.

22. I was a teacher. (I am a really good teacher, because I like to break down concepts and figure out different ways to explain them. I like to discover different ways a person might think about them.)

23. I taught seventh grade science and a senior elective at an all-girls' private school.

24. I like 7th and 12th graders.

25. The first teaching job I had was as a dance teacher while I was in high school.

26. At Stanford, as an undergrad, I taught a Biology lab course.

27. When I was in high school, everyone thought I would be a performer or a writer. But I decided I wanted to be a marine biologist.
One who does theater as a hobby.
And has a family.

28. I found it frustrating to major in Biology with a bunch of hyper pre-meds in my classes.

29. One of my college professors told me I should apply to medical school.

30. I had one boyfriend nearly all through high school (although during my senior year he was away at college).

31. I had one boyfriend all through college.

32. The Hubby and I had a long-distance relationship between college and our wedding.

33. I sang a song instead of giving a toast at our wedding reception.

34. I had four maids-of-honor and no bridesmaids (or four bridesmaids and no maid-of-honor).

35. I have kind of lost touch with one of my bridesmaids.

36. Our wedding was in Oregon even though neither of us lived there at the time.

37. We went to London for our honeymoon.

38. I am a stay at home mom.

39. I worked when Big Girl was two years old. I worked at an aquarium two days a week. I had a long commute.

40. I was the first uniformed employee at the aquarium to be pregnant. (They had to figure out a maternity uniform because of me, which was a good thing because a few other employees were pregnant shortly thereafter.)

41. I stopped working at the aquarium a couple of months before Middle Girl was born.

42. I am NOT a scrapbooker.

43. I can never remember jokes.

44. I have a messy relationship with Writing. I am actually pretty good at it, if I take enough time. I have written some wonderful things, but it's tortuous. It involves several days of agonizing over word choice (I have a large vocabulary, but words don't come to me very well - I feel like I have to excavate them from my brain with a tiny pickaxe), getting up and walking around, sitting down again to write a sentence, thinking over that sentence as I walk to the kitchen for a spoonful of peanut butter, repeat, repeat, repeat, except this time maybe I'll have some applesauce. It is exhausting. And I have no time for this anymore. So I stick with stream-of-consciousness writing and crap grammar just so I can get something out. If I tried to actually write, I would never finish even a paragraph. Maybe when the kids are older? But then I will probably be back-at-work, so... no.

45. I hate crap grammar. When I see grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, they jump out at me and "make my neck itch." It's ironic, I know.

46. I used to be punctual, observant, and possessing of a photographic memory. Since my first baby started growing inside me, I have been none of those things.

47. I used to know all 75 of my students' names after just 2-3 days. Now, I can't ever remember ANYBODY's name. If I go back to teaching, I'll need them to wear nametags.

48. I am a sucker for flowers. Except carnations. (Never mind that my brother wrote a report in elementary school on "The Carnation: The Superior Flower.")

49. Flowers don't love me back. I don't have a green thumb; I have a withered brown thumb.

50. I like fonts! Much to my husband's chagrin, I have even spent a few hundred dollars one some particularly beautiful fonts.

51. I believe that your choice of font says a lot. It's like a party invitation. The design of the invitation, and the font, tell the receiver a lot about what kind of party it's going to be. I'm not a graphic designer, but I probably could have been one.

52. I don't much care for the font choices on Blogger.

53. My kids would love to eat only pasta and bread.

54. I am a perfectionist. But not about everything. (The Hubby told me to include: "You are selectively anal retentive.")

The Hubby also told me to include the following:
55. "You're a trendsetter but nobody follows you."
(hee - by which he means that I like things (TV shows, for example) before they get popular.)

56. "You don't like when they change things, like March Madness or the Pac-10 basketball tournament or the BCS Bowl Games. Also that they moved the Pac-10 football rivalries."

57. "You think people should never ever ever open presents on Christmas Eve."

58. John Cusack is my Secret Boyfriend.

59. I also love Matt Damon.

60. I do not like to cook.

61. I read at a young age. Big Girl did too, and Middle is becoming a reader as I type. I love to read books, but sadly, don't read much except blogs and magazines these days.

62. I have the best mother-in-law in the world.

63. I love redheads.

64. I love the movie "The Cutting Edge."

65. There was a period in my life when I watched hockey.

66. My third child was a surprise.

67. Thank God we had always talked about having three.

68. I only went to preschool for three days.

69. I don't like making phone calls.

70. My Dad is a sports fan, and so is The Hubby.

71. I don't like feet.

72. I LOVE(D) the feet of my own babies and toddlers. Want(ed) to eat them.

73. We have no family nearby. The closest is 300 miles away. Most are 900 miles away.

74. I think I want to go shopping, but then I am miserable. I think I might hate shopping.

75. I was once a contestant in a beauty pageant, because my high school boyfriend talked me into it.

76. I came in third.

Big Girl says:
77. "My Mom is the greatest! She's very nice."

78. "She has dark brown hair."

79. "She reads us a story every bedtime."

Middle Girl says:
80. "My Mom takes me to the park."

81. "I love my Mom."

82. "She calls me Peanut."

The Boy says:
83. "My Mom tells me I'm a Punkin."

84. "My Mom pushes me on the swing."

85. I fret too much that time is going by too quickly.

86. For a while, I had three cats. Now I have one.

87. For me, the most important political issue is the environment.

88. I think of myself as a good friend, but actually I am terrible at keeping in touch.

89. In college, my jobs included: research assistant (for an ecologist studying a grassland and for a neurologist studying posture and balance), aquarium educator, course assistant, Board Member of the theater group (as well as show staff and cast member), and I helped with whale research in Quebec and Australia.

90. With all three pregnancies, I did not "find out what I was having." I considered it with the third one.

91. When I was teaching, I helped design the new Middle School science building. Last month, nearly 8 years after leaving the place, I saw my old classroom. It made me sad that it is so sterile now. I had animals and aquariums and posters and student artwork up all over. Science should stimulate the mind!

92. I do not have a teaching credential. A Master's degree in Education from Stanford, but no teaching credential. You could say I slipped through the cracks.

93. I had a student, B, who loved science, but didn't get the best grades. As she went through her high school science classes, I made sure that she didn't get lost in the system. I spoke to her science teacher at the start of each new year, advocating that they put some extra effort into this kid, because she could become a scientist. I made sure she never found out about what I did. She went to Texas A&M where she studied Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and is now in vet school. I am so proud of her! I have lots of other students who pursued science and medicine, but none who worked as hard to do so.

94. When I was pregnant the first time, I didn't stop taking my Hip-Hop dance class until my 7th month. It was kind of fun being the pregnant lady in a room full of youngsters, and keeping up with them!

95. Besides ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop, I have also taken Irish dance. I won an award at a feis (Irish dance competition).

96. When we were kids, my mom thought my brother would become a scientist, and I would do something with languages, as those seemed to be our academic strengths. It turned out exactly the opposite. You never can tell!

97. I love my husband's (extended) family, but after 15 years with them, something happened this past Christmas that makes me uncomfortable around them.

98. I have only been a bridesmaid once. And that time, I was not standing up with the rest of the bridal party, because I was singing and dealing with my flower-girl daughters.

99. When I was in 7th grade science class, I used to make sure I answered one or two questions wrong on the test so that my teacher would not announce that I had the highest score. A few times, I had the highest score anyway. I almost just deleted that last sentence.

100. I failed my driving test the first time.


Ree said...

I've only been a bridesmaid once, too. I've been a bride twice though ;-)

JCK said...

This was great! Very cool on being part of the designing team for the Middle School science building. I also possess a black thumb and seem to remember failing the actual physical driving test the first time...because I was so nervous!

You definitely need to add that you are a great and dependable thank you note writer. ;)

Yes, we are definitely on for next Wednesday's meet up with BOSSY!

blackbird said...

I love the 100 things post - and this one was great.
It's nice to learn more about you...

Sarah O. said...

Excellent list! I know these lists are hard because I've started and deleted 100 Things lists about 100 times.

Ah, Monterrey. Possibly The Lemony Family's favorite place in the Lower 48.

I agree with blackbird (as usual). It IS nice to learn more about you.

Luke said...

That's a great post. Here's a website on developing
photographic memory. Check out the tips that they offer. They worked pretty well for me. It's at