Chuck has Q, I have A

It looks like fellow TU blogger and friend Roger Green posted one of these and tagged another TU blogger, Chuck Miller. Guess what? YES! Chuck tagged me. I am in general pretty poor at these things, but who could say no to Chuck’s invitation? And by the way, I do not always play by the rules, but that should not come as a surprise!

So without further adieu, here we go:

keep-calm-you-got-this-511 – What was the first moment when you said, “Wow, I can really do this”?

Really do what? Blog? I will guess that is what Chuck meant! My first baby steps into blogging began in 2007, when I waded into the waters of (hear this now) far left political blogging with a side order of faith. I was very afraid at first, but nine years later, here I am. I really found my groove in late 2007 and 2008, and I have been blogging ever since – with relative confidence! Honestly, it was through blogging that I truly found my voice, and that I worked on becoming a writer. That’s when I said, in a manner of speaking, and “Wow, I can really do this!”

2 – Which teacher, professor or educator inspired you through your formative years?

best_teacher_ever_poster-rca7c3042a46b48ceb9053665bdcbd922_wvz_8byvr_324Great question – and difficult to answer. I would have to name two teachers that left particular marks on my soul and spirit. One would be Mrs. Ross, my 9th grade social studies teacher at Eastview Junior High in White Plains, NY. She was fierce, an intense woman in a compact frame with a towering intellect. She really got on us to be curious, to know the world, to understand history, to ask questions, and to learn to think critically. She was Jewish and very proud, and of an age (I’m guessing in her 50’s at the time) to make sure we all knew about the Holocaust and its impact. If she is alive, I am sure she is furious with the direction of our nation in some corners.

The other would be my 8th grade English teacher at that same school, Mrs. Hepburn. She was the most dignified person that I met up until that point in life. She, like Mrs. Ross, was fierce. She was an actress who ended up not acting. Her diction was perfect and her knowledge of books and the English language was vast. She was African-American and extremely no nonsense, a woman who did not suffer fools (or laziness or indifference) gladly.

Both of these women gave me a sense of their challenges and how to overcome challenges through question, curiosity, and learning. And then to share those gifts!

3 – Where did you travel to on your most exciting vacation?

Petra, Siq

Petra Jordan, The Siq at night

God has blessed me richly through travel. I have been to numerous countries around the world, and I have loved various things about each one of them. Once again, I can’t name one, so I will pick four! (I cheat!) Seriously, I am about to reveal the embarrassment of riches of my travel experiences, how did I deserve such things?

First – when I made my first trip to Asia, visiting Hong Kong in 1989. It was such a magical experience from the first moment that I got on the plane.

Second – when I visited Medjugorje, which is now Bosnia, but was then in Yugoslavia, in 1990. That trip reoriented my life because I returned to my Catholic faith. (Which is why I am now your Catholic blogger! 🙂 )

Third – when I traveled to my dream destinations of Peru and Bolivia in 2005. From childhood I dreamed of such a journey. To see Machu Pichhu for the first time was an incredible gift in my life, and deeply life changing. Same for my visit to Lake Titicaca.

Fourth – when I traveled to Israel and Jordan in 2006. I want to cheat more and add Israel 2004, but I won’t! Lol! This second journey, which included Jordan, was so eye opening in so many ways, and I saw so much that my entire worldview was enlarged and enriched. Similar to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, seeing Petra for the first time – at night, blew my mind.

You see why I had to do four!

4 – You’re battling aliens from outer space. Who do you want on your battle team – the Enterprise, the TARDIS, the Millennium Falcon, the Yamato or the Serenity? And why?

3131004-5453052638-67712The Enterprise!!! Because – STAR TREK! There is no close second, it is the one and only for me, from episode one of series one and beyond!

5 – You want to hand someone a copy of your favorite author’s book. What is it?

14967Chuck, I am not sure I understand the question… my favorite author’s book? How can someone like me choose one favorite author? I’ll go with my favorite book – A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher and leave it at that!

6 – Finish this sentence – “I can’t believe I’ve seen ___________________________ happen in my lifetime. Wow, talk about being blessed.”

poland_pope_auschwitzI can’t believe that I have seen a pope like Pope Francis happen in my lifetime. He is a remarkable blessing to the church and the world. Here he, sitting and praying in silence in a dark cell at Auschwitz concentration camp earlier this week.

7 – What does the word “blogger” mean to you?

blog1Someone who chronicles the world around them or within them on their little piece of internet territory! And what a gift it is to be one!

8 – Tell us the story about the time you met the legendary famous…

PopShopWell, not exactly met, but number one, without question, favorite celebrity brush with greatness was walking into the tiny Keith Haring’s Pop Shop in December 1986 only to find Keith himself dressed as Santa Claus and having a casual conversation with Andy Wharhol.

9 – What are your “house rules” for your favorite card or board games?

categories-board-games-you-can-tell-that-monopoly-is-an-old-game-hJbOoN-quoteLol – no card games around here. Board games? We play Monopoly once a year… by the rules!

10 – Someone offers you $50 to blog on Christmas Day. What would you write about, and what would you use the $50 for?

50dollarbillAs a Catholic blogger, blogging on Christmas Day is not out of the question, but not anything I would accept money for doing! If I did perchance do so, I would donate the money to a charity that feeds children.

11 – What person out there do you think deserves a standing ovation for all that they’ve achieved?

unseen-heroes-quotes-1That is a really hard question to answer. I think that the most deserving people largely go unseen and unnoticed by most of us, even by those who look.

For good or ill – I am the last person to tag any other bloggers, TU or otherwise, just not my thing. I don’t often do these things, but I am glad that Roger got to Chuck and then Chuck to me!

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One thought on “Chuck has Q, I have A

  1. Best Teacher Ever: In the long ago of 1961, at Camden Catholic High School, there was a small, handsome man with dark curly hair and a slight underbite who taught history. He would jump onto the shelf under the blackboard and cling to the top screaming to keep the elephants moving as Hannibal and his troops accomplished the impossible trek across the Alps, grab the six foot two captain of the football team in a choke hold pretending to stab him while snarling, “Et tu Brute?”. I was also in his home room and we were the only class in the school who would have to kneel on the wood floors for morning prayers. He taught us that we too could cross the Alps but to be careful of power because you might lose your friends. He was let go from his position after years of inspiring and befriending and bringing passion into the lives of countless high school juniors…he died of AIDS before a cure was found.

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