(Frequently) Asked Questions

This would normally be a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. But I don’t get a lot of frequent questions. So this is the “Asked Questions” section and includes the few questions people do frequently ask me (with the answers I’d like to give), questions I wish people would ask me, questions I’ve been asked on a limited basis, and questions people just ask in general.

Where are you from?
Tongue in cheek answer: Heaven.
Long drawn out answer that nobody really wants to hear all of: I was born in Utah. We moved to New Mexico when I was nine. We moved to Texas when I was thirteen. I went to college in Utah and my parents moved to Kentucky. I graduated from college and stayed in Utah while my parents moved to Indiana. When I go home to my parents’ I’m not going to any place I’ve actually lived myself. If you want me to name a place where I’m “from” I’m going to say Texas even though I haven’t lived there in 15 years, so nope, I don’t know your friend that lives there too. I live in Arizona, This is where I’m “from.”

What are you studying?
Simple answer with the least amount of confusion afterwards: Learning and motivation theories.
Actual answer, which tends to get long and drawn out and then frustrating: Educational psychology. No, that does not mean I’m going to be a school counselor. No, that does not mean I can tell you what your particular type of psychological problem is. It means I study how we learn, how we use and share information, and what motivates us.

When are you going to graduate?
Emotional answer: Never!!!! :(
More rational answer: We’re looking at December 2012 if everything goes right.

What can you do with your degree?
Big answer: Anything I want! The world is my oyster.
More likely answer: Teach educational psychology classes to pre-service teachers, like I’m doing right now without the degree.

What’s your plan after graduation?
Answer #1: Disneyland!! (Brett? please?) Actually, right now, I’d rather find a beach and sit on it watching the waves with my toes in the sand for a bit.
Answer #2: A Ph.D. was my five year plan. It’s taking me five years. I’ll get a new plan when I’m done with this one. It depends what’s going on with my life at that time. Just trying to pick a font.
Answer #3: Find a permanent position teaching classes like the one I’m teaching right now without my degree.

What did you learn today?
The answer to this one depends on the day. But there’s always something. Isn’t that a great question?

What are you reading now?
Verbal answer: Right now I’m working my way through a non-fiction book for each letter of the alphabet. I’ve learned about corsets, teenagers, the Boston tea-party, optimism, Helen Keller, the Hebrew alphabet, string theory, language theory, the Netherlands, …. Next I plan to work my way through all the books I own that I haven’t read yet. (I’ve noticed that this answer almost is never followed by them recommending a book for me to read. When I was reading more fiction that was always the follow-up, usually with a book I’d decided I didn’t want to read.)
Silent answer: *show you the book cover*

How are you? (and mean it!)
Wouldn’t it be nice if people actually meant that question when they asked it? And then wouldn’t it be nice if we felt comfortable answering it honestly?

What’s your most embarrassing moment?
I don’t have one any more. I used to be embarrassed about a time when I was 12 playing volleyball with a mixed group of boys and girls, most of whom were older than me. I am NOT good at volleyball, but I’ll get out there and pretend to have a good time. One guy kept getting in front of me and getting the ball (because I don’t go for the ball). At one point I decided I would go for it … and hit him from behind instead. At the time I was mortified. Now I figure it was his fault and I’m not worried about it.

What are my options? (in response to me asking “What do you want for dinner?”)
Check the spread sheet.

Why is the top of my head bleeding?
Attack birds.
Invisible, inside attack birds?
Those are the worst kind.

Do you have feet?
I do. But that didn’t stop a doctor doing a physical for me when I joined the track team in junior high from sitting in front of me, with my feet in his hands, and asking me if I had feet.

What did you have for breakfast?
When I give a test I tell my students they can ask me any question they want but if my answering it will give them the answer to the test (ie, they’re basically asking me what the test is asking them) then I will tell them what I had for breakfast. My current class now starts each test by asking me what I had for breakfast. (It’s most often Cheerios.)

When are you having kids?
Why? Did you want to help? (And yes, I’ve told someone that before.)

Are you pregnant?
You sure are interested in my sex life. (And that is what I’ll tell you if you ask because it’s none of your business.)

What is your favorite color? (asked 1 Nov 2011)
Green. I like green. But yellow always makes me feel cheery and purple makes me feel calm.

Do you like turtles?? (asked 28 Mar 2012)
I like their shape. They make me smile. But I will probably never have on as a pet because they eat grubs and I don’t want to have to buy animals to feed an animal.

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