I’ve Been Tagged by Ryan Bretag to disclose 7 things you did not know about me – without fear of prosecution or persecution. This is my first experience with being “tagged,” so I feel honored! Thank you, Ryan!
From Wesley O.
1. I was born in Iowa and am back living here now, but I lived in Santa Cruz, California for 14 years. When first moving there, I worked as a ride-operator at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for a while. I also worked as a waitress at the Dolphin Restaurant at the end of the Santa Cruz wharf. Under the wharf, you can always find sea lions and I learned to love hearing their songs.
2. I moved to California because ever since I was a pre-teen watching “Gidget,” I always dreamed of living by the ocean. After graduating from Iowa State for the second time, I packed my Volkswagen Van with my most treasured possessions: 4 boxes of books, my pillow and sleeping bag, my backpack, and my Doberman Pincher – Paucha –and set out on the road alone, to the California Coast. I headed to San Diego and took Highway 1 north along the coast. I didn’t know where I would end up, but after spending a couple of days in Santa Cruz, I knew that’s where I wanted to be – and there I stayed!
The first house I lived in (with roommates) was right above Seabright Beach – a popular beach between the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and the Harbor. What a dream-come true for an Iowa farm girl - to wake up and look out of my bedroom window at Monterey Bay ! I parked my van and rode my 10-speed bicycle everywhere, and to all of my jobs (the Boardwalk, the Dolphin, and an elementary school where I was a para-educator in a Kindergarten classroom).
I experienced many “firsts” in Santa Cruz – my first earthquake, my first Tsunami warning, my first moving violation on a bicycle for running a stop sign – I had heard you could get a ticket, but I was going uphill and couldn’t imagine stopping, my first time getting hit by a car riding a bicycle and the first time to have my fanny slapped while riding a bicycle – by some teenagers in a car. It was my first experience boogie boarding, body surfing and swimming in 10-foot waves ! I love the ocean and part of my heart will always be in Santa Cruz! And after several jobs unrelated to teaching and 3 long-term substitute teaching positions – I had the experience of my first day in my first classroom as a full-time teacher!
3. I am a scuba diver and got certified in Cozumel, Mexico. By the way, if you are trying to create a timeline of my life this is BEFORE I moved to Santa Cruz. While in college, I took scuba diving courses through the physical education department. I finished my dive classes through a dive school in Des Moines and went with a group of divers (of which I knew none) to Cozumel, got certified and went diving for 3 days. What an experience!
4. I know how to fly a single engine Piper Cherokee airplane. I took flight school courses while at ISU too, and flew out of the Ames Airport. I flew planes much like the one above (but the ones I flew were red and white). I passed my written exam (one of the hardest I’ve taken, because of all the information I had to learn about the motor!). I did my long solo flight where I had to land at 2 other airports – one with a tower, but never did my night flight. I moved to California before I finished and never finished. I originally started flying because I was afraid of heights and had no sense of direction; I perceived both these traits as character deficits and was determined to overcome them. I did for a while, but found once I quit flying they both returned. Through the years, I’ve grown to understand those characteristics are just that – character traits. My deficits are more my perfectionism, my impulsive spending habits, and procrastination (to name a few :)
5. I’ve taught myself everything I’ve learned and still learning about computers and technology, and sometimes that can be very frustrating! I am always very proud of myself when I try something new and it actually works. I never knew just how slow “my way” is until this year. We have 3, very bright, new special education teachers who right out of college, or almost right out of college. At a staff development we were assigned some work on computers. I knew what I was doing, I really did, but the “digital natives” could see how long “my time” was going to be, moved to another computer and got almost half of the work done in the time it would have taken me to get started. That was a very depressing day for me – I really felt OLD. I completely understand their frustration, I would have been frustrated with me too, had I known any better. Now I know why younger teachers don’t like to help us more “mature” ones when we are learning something related to computer skills.
6. I have never been, or ever remember being, bored. I always have something to do, no matter the circumstances. I love the time when I get to do “my thing.” And I love having the time to do it (which as for most people, doesn’t happen often). I enjoy spending time by myself but hate the idea of “being alone.” I feel blessed to have my family because they let me know I am never alone.
7. I am a very spiritual person, but not religious in an orthodox way. I think I believe more like the Pagans; I believe everything on Earth is sacred. I believe the Divine runs through all that exists. I am not particular in what we call the Divine – but don’t see how people cannot accept that there is something beyond “us.” There is a harmony, a balance, that runs throughout all of existence that is undeniable.
And with that thought I tag 7 people who have recently entered my network in one way or another, and I would enjoy hearing more about. They are:
2. Ruth the Mom
3. Andy Carvin
6. Chris Grob
7. Kevin Byers