My readers thank you, AB, for tagging me in this blog meme “11 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Me.” And I thank you because I get to make a list of eleven things, eleven being (as we all know, RIGHT?) the perfect number. I’m going to be half-assed about the meme, though, and just answer the questions AB has posed to me (and ten other people); I will not go on and ask eleven original questions of eleven other bloggers. Without further ado.
1. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Being a teacher’s pet and a teased child (the latter begat the former), it’s nearly impossible for me to pick one teacher to be my favorite. I’ll narrow the field by taking the word “teacher” to eliminate any of my college professors, which takes me pretty quickly to Miss Dresch, my fourth grade teacher. As memory serves (and I admit, any of what follows about Miss Dresch could be erroneous), she was kind, thoughtful, wasn’t duped by the predictable charm of the popular kids, and once came to pay a visit to my mom and dad (presumably to talk about me) at our home–and I wasn’t in trouble. I liked her so much my parents invited her over for lunch one day, just because. She was tall, and not slender but not fat. She had sandy blonde hair that was somehow both fine and coarse, and she wore it in a bob. In the classroom, she wore sensible shoes and tweedy skirts. She once gave me a little statuette that was a bean with arms, legs and a smiley face and an inscription on the pedestal that said “You’re a great human bean.” Or maybe I gave her that statuette, I can’t remember. In any event, this woman made me feel special and appreciated without calling tremendous attention to me, and that was quite a feat (since usually if I wasn’t the center of attention I figured I wasn’t special at all).
2. What were your sports of choice when you were younger?
I hated sports as a child. Well, let me rephrase. I hated sweating, and I was afraid of balls. (Keep that in context, please. I’ll let you know when you can all bust out your #twss’s.) I had no hand-eye coordination, the Presidential Physical Fitness Test made me want to hide under the bleachers, and I was deeply mistrustful of boys and of girls who were good at boy-like activities (e.g., soccer, softball, etc.). My freshman year of high school I nearly fainted and puked after running the mile, and the gym teacher had to take me inside and run my wrists under the cold water tap. So my sports of choice when I was in elementary school included: reading, climbing trees so I could sit there and read, sewing clothes for my Cabbage Patch doll, and bullying my little brother around while I still could. Those aren’t actually sports, you say? Alright, I’ll try again. I kind of liked riding my bike, pumping on the swings, and playing Marco Polo and Whirlpool in my neighbor’s above-the ground pool. Are we talking about actual gym class sports? I had fun climbing the cargo net in elementary school, and playing parachute. In middle school I enjoyed this odd sport called European Handball, and I grew to like volleyball even though the volleyball court seemed the most likely place for a ball to break my nose. But if “younger” means just, say, ten years younger? Well, then, the answer my dears is “running.”
3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A ballerina. A dolphin trainer. An editor. A writer. An expat. A wit.
4. What profession did you ultimately end up in and why?
I work in book publishing. I first got my job in book publishing because I couldn’t think of anything else to do with my BA and MA in literature, and my best friend was an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster. I stayed in publishing because I couldn’t think of anything else to do; also, I didn’t think anyone else would want to hire me (not necessarily in that order). This is still the case.
5. What is the single most important thing you think parents should teach their children?
6. When you run, what is the one thing your mind turns to the most often?
People I love.
7. What is your favorite book and how many times have you read it?
Impossible to name just one book. But I have twice read the life-changing The Bridge to Terabithia. Find out why.
8. If you could only pick one movie to watch for the rest of your life what would it be?
I haven’t seen that movie yet.
9. Are you more comfortable in the city or the country?
It has nothing to do with comfort. It has to do with right and wrong. City life is CLEARLY the right choice. (What, are you waiting for me to add, “for me?”)
10. If you had the option of spending three months of the year in another place, where would you choose?
Bologna, Italy. (That was the easiest question.)
11. What is your all time favorite museum to visit?
Thanks AB, that was fun! Hope you all learned a few things about me. Ideally you learned eleven things, but I admit a few of these stories are retreads.