Friday, February 20, 2009

An Interview

As the author of a blog, I'm always working to improve my writing skills and vary the content of my posts.  Linds, at Rocking Chair Reflections, answered some interview questions posed by her friend Isabelle, a few weeks ago and invited her readers to request an interview too.  So here are my interview questions from her.

1.  What do you see as the greatest differences and greatest similarities in the children you teach today compared to when you started teaching?

Kids are still kids and they love to be around adults who have time for them, share experiences, have great expectations and genuinely want to help them.  They love to laugh, create and be read to.  They want to have friends, yearn for approval and like to be busy.  And they love to be recognized and master new things.  Those are the similarities.

I started teaching fulltime in 1995 which is only 14 years ago but still there are some noticeable differences in students then and now.  Our world is much more accessible to people today via the internet, constant news, and the ease of transportation.  More students have some knowledge about current affairs across the oceans and some of them have travelled to warm climates for vacations (Mexico, Disneyworld and other Caribbean points).    

Televisions, DVD players, Ipods, and cell phones can be found in many kids' bedrooms these days which often means that kids are able to watch programming without adult supervision.  The media has a huge influence on kids today, whether it's through advertising, violence or role models.  I wish there were more books and strong role models, especially for boys,  in our students' lives.  

  More families have both parents working now which means that time for conversation, meals and fun is at a premium.  Often mom or dad is working away and only comes home on weekends or for a week every month or every second month for the whole month.  You can see how time together is a precious commodity and can imagine how peers become a big influence in a child's life.   This also means that time to go to the library, to Gramma's house or  to visit cousins can be limited.  I think that time management is a huge challenge for families.  

2.  How and where did you meet your husband?

Bob and I have a unique family history!  Two of my uncles are married to two of his aunts so there were family connections before we came on the scene.  The first time I remember seeing him was when I was about 13 at a family picnic and soon after our church youth groups started doing activities together.  There were shared skating parties, bowling afternoons, tobogganing days and Halloween parties.   Our groups loved to get together because we had lots of girls and they had lots of boys - a perfect mix for teens!  

 My first real date with him was just a month before I turned 16.  (My mom had a rule that I had to be 16 before I could date.)  We went on a double date to see the movie "Love Story" with my best friend dating a friend of Bob's.  It was quite an evening!!  We dated a bit while I was in high school and then our paths diverged until we got back together at the end of my second year in university.  We were engaged just over a year later and were married within a few months.  

3.  What is your favourite school memory?

This one is hard!  I have several happy school memories and I really can't say which is my favourite.  Many of my best memories involve books.

My earliest one is from grade 1.   When school dismissed for Christmas holidays, Mrs. Fairbairn sent home the hardcovered Dick and Jane reader for me to practise my reading skills.  I think there were about 150 pages in it.  By mid-afternoon on the next day, Saturday, I had read the whole book!   I remember Mom busy rolling out pie crusts at the kitchen table and when Dad came in for coffee, I sat on his knee and read the last 2 pages of the book to him.  It's a happy, vivid memory.  

Later in grade 1 I was taken to task by my parents for chasing boys around the merry-go-round and kissing them!!

4.  Do you have any family traditions which have been passed down through the generations?

The traditions our family shares at Christmas have their roots in my grandparents' German celebrations.  Christmas Eve candlelight service and opening our gifts on Christmas Eve are the two most obvious ones.  Now that our children are grown and have their own families, I've had to adjust some of my expectations surrounding these traditions.  

The other 'tradition' that comes to mind is that I come from a long line of 'givers'.  As a child, whenever my grandparents came to visit, they brought a big banana box full of Gramma's  fresh doughnuts, still warm from the frying pan, for us.  Grampa always had a big box (the 2 dozen size) of revels (a rectangle of vanilla ice cream on a stick, covered with chocolate) in the deep freeze on the farm and shared them freely with us.  So it's only natural that my mom would always share food items and I find myself doing the same. Whether it's cookies, a casserole or something from the garden, I love to share  with family and friends too.  It's just a part of who I am, a tradition or habit that I've always seen modeled by the women around me.  

5.  How do you see yourself as a car, a flower and a food?

This one requires a great deal of imagination!!

As a car, I think a Chrysler Caravan (one of our current vehicles) with all its room for friends, family and 'stuff' fits the bill.  Dependability, good gas mileage and easy to drive translate to someone who can be trusted for the long haul and is easy to get along with.  There's room for lot of friends, family and treasures in my life.  

As a  flower, I think I  would be tulips for the way they brighten up a room and add such bright colors to a home.   I hope I bring the same brightness and cheer to my relationships. 

And food - well - - - I love most foods so it's a challenge to narrow it down to just one!  I could easily be a dessert because I love them!  Chocolate-y, rich in taste, specially presented - no, that's not me.  Maybe appetizers?  Tiny, diverse blend of flavours and time consuming - not so much.   I think my very favourite food pizza will be the one I use to describe me - a not too thin, not too thick base that's covered with layers of sauce, meat, veggies and cheese.  In non-cooking terms - stable, big pieces of family and friends, a blend of interests, hobbies and passions,  covered with time, energy and much love.  

If you would like me to interview you, leave me a comment saying you'd like to participate and I will email 5 specific questions for you to answer.  This is a great way to get to know people, improve your writing skills and challenge yourself to remember and describe your life.  


  1. Our friend poses some interesting and thought provoking questions in her interviews - does she not?

    I must say that your mum was rather liberal - 16 and you could date? I have told my girls that they can date now (20 and 23) but I will be their chaperone (that's going down a real treat ;)

    So, you used to chase and kiss boys - I thought I recognized a bit of a rebel in you.

    This was a great interview my friend.

    I'm a glutton - so please, I would love you to interview me. And I would love to ask you some questions - will email you mine.

  2. I loved reading this, Crystal.... so much fun learning about each other! It is interesting...none of my friends dated at school - we all went around in large groups of boys and girls. Mainly to activities in homes, or at church. My parents used to have dozens of kids milling avbout our house each weekend! It was a great way to grow up though.

  3. Love the little "peek" into your past Crystal! Especially the "kissing" story! Funny! My Mom tells a story about me when I was only 5. My Dads sister was a teacher and she took me to school with her for a day. Apparently I was such a "leader" that I had all the kids from her Gr 1 class following me around the schoolyard at recess, doing a combination of "Simon Says" & "Pied Piper" kind of thing. My Aunt says here I was "bossing" all the kids around getting them to do what I told them!

  4. That was fun! I'd never heard those stories about your childhood. You really need to write some of those things down for us and for your grandkids.
    I'm not surprised about your chasing the boys and trying to kiss them. I know you were a heartbreaker.
    I'd be curious to join your interview group. What kinds of questions will you ask your daughter? ;)

  5. Enjoyed your interview and your thoughtful answers.