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What in the Sam Hill is a Liebster Award?

I always loved that saying–“What in the Sam Hill?”– ’cause I grew up knowing a Sam Hill. We were born one day apart in the same hospital in April of 1975. Our dad’s were BFFs before the term BFF existed. His tree swing is still one of the best swings I’ve ever swung on.

But I digress.

A Liebster Award is a cool “pay it forward” type of award whereby bloggers like Dorothy Suskind, a fellow educator who kindly honored my blog, recognize their colleagues within the blogosphere and basically make their whole day.


In case you (like me) were wondering, here are the official rules for the Liebster award:

  1. List 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the questions created by the blogger(s) who nominated you.
  3. Place YOUR nominations for the Liebster Award! Nominate five (or more) other bloggers that have fewer than 200 followers. Make sure to notify them via comment, email, etc.
  4. Make up a set of questions for those nominated bloggers to answer.
  5. Display the Liebster award badge on your blog!

Since I am a concrete sequential thinker and slightly OCD, I will start with Rule #1 and work my way down.

11 Random Facts about Myself:

  • I value laughter above all else.
  • Today, for the first time, I got a spray tan. I was so freaked out by how I looked that I washed it off after an hour. Now I’m all streaky.
  • I have an uncanny ability to retain pop culture tidbits. For example, I can tell you from off the top of my head the year The Karate Kid was released (1984, duh).
  • I lose the same toenail every May from doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
  • My favorite genre to read is YA.
  • I used to think the “Cars Only” lane at the toll booth was, literally, for cars only. No pickup trucks, vans, or SUVs allowed.
  • I’m really not stupid. Just concrete sequential. There’s a difference.
  • My phone’s ringtone is the Dexter blood theme.
  • I was published in Sassy magazine at age 17. (I got paid $300.)
  • I read an article about head lice today and now that I’m thinking about it, my scalp is itching uncontrollably.
  • I am financially illiterate.

And now to answer Dorothy’s questions:

If you could relive one day in your life, what day would it be and why?
Uh, the day I was nominated for a Liebster Award, natch! Ha ha, just kidding. Can I skip over the obvious “day I got married” and “day I birthed [insert child’s name here]”? If doing so doesn’t offend anyone, I would say that the one day I would relive would be the day I met Judy Blume at the NCTE annual conference in Boston. That was a pretty freaking cool day. It’s either that day or the day I rocked this fab fashion “DO”:


What are your two non-negotiables?
1. Teachers must also be learners themselves.

2. Every Monday evening, I must be given the freedom to watch “The Bachelorette” in peace and with an abundance of snacks at the ready.

What is the best teaching advice you have ever received?
“You are not in the business of sorting children.” —Grant Cioffi

What are three books you have recently read?
Bittersweet: A Novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss

If you had a theme song, what would it be? (Everyone needs a theme song. Think Ally McBeal.)
OMG! I totally just tweeted about this in reference to the theme song to “Who’s The Boss”:

Check out these sweet lyrics and tell me this shouldn’t be my personal theme song.

What is the best lesson you have learned from a student?

When they ask to use the bathroom, always say yes.

Write your six word memoir.

Learned to question. Changed my life.

If you ran for political office, what would your slogan be?

Let’s Just Cut the Crap.

What is one suggestion you would like to share with your administrator but are a bit scared to voice? (Clearly writing it on your blog is a much smarter career move.)

I’m not scared of voicing anything to my admin. She is kick-ass and full to the brim with amazingness. (I’m very lucky, I know. This saddens me.)

What is your favorite twitter chat?

Hmm. Hard to say. Sometimes I feel like we chatters all just talking in circles, preaching to the choir. It was fun to participate in Twitter chats at first, and I do value the opportunity to articulate my thinking about things, but it’s rare that I leave one feeling like I learned something new. I may need to branch out more. The ones I pay the most attention to, though, are #tcrwp and #titletalk.

And now…for my own nominees (NOTE: I have no clue how many followers a blog has or doesn’t have, so forgive me if these don’t fit the “under 200 followers” criteria. Really, you should be reading these regardless):

1. Marcia Larson’s My Toddler is a Supervillain

2. Lori Ungemah’s Read Write Teach

3. Dylan Teut’s Mile High Reading

4. Ralph Fletcher’s The Writer’s Desk

5. Opal School Blog


My questions for these bloggers:

1. What was one of your favorite books as a kid/teen?

2. Name a teacher who influenced you and why.

3. What was the last thing/person/event that made you laugh?

4. Quick! Tell me a word you despise.

5. What song do you always skip over when it comes on the radio/on your iPod?

6. What is one of your guilty pleasures?

7. Why do you write?

8. If you could change one thing about public schooling as it exists today, what would you change?

9. What book that you were assigned to read in high school did you not really read?

10. “Every time [insert name of movie here] comes on TV, I stop and watch it.”

Thanks again, Dorothy! Three cheers to bloggers!

2 thoughts on “What in the Sam Hill is a Liebster Award?”

  1. Easy to see why you earned $300 for an article in my favorite teen mag Sassy. Love your writing! And I totally agree with your views on Twitter chats. Sometimes I feel like we are preaching to the choir. I have learned a tremendous amount about technology and leadership, but it seems like the reading and writing chats are more about connecting with like-minded people. In any case, I love your post and could read you’re writing everyday. Thanks for making me laugh 🙂


  2. I fully expect you to bring a copy of that article from Sassy tomorrow. I already tried googling it… But not even sure if they had internet way back then. This post made me love you more.


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