|Image downloaded from Tea & Snippets|
I've been tagged, and I have been given a blog challenge, but what does that mean? Well to be "tagged" in a blog challenge is like being tagged in the school yard game called Tag. Tag is called 鬼ごっこ (Oni gokko) in Japan. I was tagged by a great teacher in Greece called Sophia Mavridi. Sophia challenged me to share 11 random facts about myself and answer 11 questions; then challenge 11 more bloggers by tagging them on my blog.
- My full name is Michael Denley Francis Stout. If you include my confirmation name, my name is Michael Denley Francis Edward Stout. I'm named after all my fathers. Michael is my father's confirmation name and my paternal grandfather's middle name. Denley is my maternal grandfather's middle name. It was his mother's surname. Francis is the name of the priest who was the celebrant at my parents' wedding ceremony, and he was also the priest that baptised me. Edward is my godfather, and my sponsor at my confirmation. My name has often been an inconvenience. For example, when I got married in Japan, the staff at the city office where I went to register my marriage got confused because I have two middle names. No one has middle names in Japan, and they are under the impression that everyone else has only one middle name. Well, despite the fact that I had all the forms already filled out it took over an hour to get officially married.
- It is very ironic that I became a teacher. I never wanted to go to school, and I never enjoyed school. It wasn't until graduate school that I enjoyed being a student. I look at this as a gift. I have had classes filled with students like I was, and I understand them.
- I attended 4 primary schools. From the age of 5 till the age of 11, I lived in a town near Toronto that was evolving from a rural area to a suburban area. Every time a new school was built I was transferred, but none of my mates were transferred, so I got used to moving and short-term friendships. This is probably why I've never been homesick living in Japan, but if we had Facebook in those days, i probably would still have a lot of those friends today.
- I used to be a night owl, but now I'm an early riser. I have no clue why I've changed.
- I have struggled with my weight most of my life. I was "husky" as a child, but I took up smoking as a teenager and suddenly I was slim, very slim. When I turned 30 I started to gain weight again. I couldn't lose it until I came to Japan with very little money. In the first 4 months I lived in Japan I lost about 15 kilos, because I had no money to buy food. Once I started earning more money I started gaining weight again, and after I quit smoking I gained even more weight.
- I like swimming. When I was in Grade 6 I belonged to the swim team at my school. I practiced every day after school. Despite this I didn't lose any weight. I was very slow. I was last in every race I participated in, but I still enjoyed it very much.
- I do not have a drivers' licence, and I never have. Based on the number of saplings I've run over on golf courses it's probably a good thing I don't drive cars.
- I am addicted to reading. I must read. If I don't have a book or internet I'll read adverts on the train or even the stuff written on a cereal box. When I first came to Japan, I learned the Japanese syllabary called katakana by reading adverts and signs while I was standing outside having a smoke.
- I have had some bad luck in my life, but I've also had a lot of good luck. For example, when I got hired by a language school in Japan, I was posted to a school in Ageo, a city north of Tokyo. That school had 10 teachers. Four of those teachers are still teachers today, three of us got Masters degrees in TESOL. A lot of what I learned about teaching I learned on the job at that language school and some of the best teachers I've ever met were teachers I met there. Most of the stories you'll hear about language schools in Japan will be negative, but my experience was very positive indeed. Guess I'm just lucky.
- While I was teaching at the language school I mentioned above, my trainer, Craig Stevens asked me if I wanted to go to a presentation offered by the local chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teachers (JALT). After that I joined JALT, enrolled in the Temple University M.Ed (TESOL) programme, became a secondary school teacher and eventually a university professor, and I served JALT in many capacities including Director of Public Relations.
- I received my first degree from the University of Windsor. The person who tagged Sophia, Doug Peterson, is an instructor at the University of Windsor. Doug Peterson and I follow each other on Twitter too. It sure is a small world, and it's getting smaller every day.
5. My questions
- Why did you become a teacher?
- Do you do teacher research? Why, why not?
- How important is music to you?
- Where is your favourite place in the world?
- Do you eat to live, or live to eat?
- What's your favourite word (in any language, but if it isn't English, please transcribe the word in roman letters and tell us the meaning in English)
- Can you share an "あそうか！" (Eureka) moment with us?
- Can you give us an example of a time you learned something from a student?
- Where do you want to be in five years?
- Can you paddle a canoe?
- What are your favourite novels?
...and that's all.
Happy New Year everyone!!!