Martin Sketchley’s Blog Challenge Post

Our blogging friend Martin Sketchley who runs the amazing blog ELT Experiences recently tagged us in a blog challenge post.

We are returning the favor and answering the questions he posted in his blog.

The Task
Acknowledge the nominating blogger- in this case it would be me…
Share 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
List 11 bloggers.
Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

This is Sean, and since I am writing the post I will be answering the questions as well.

11 Random Facts About Myself

1. I am from Nashville, Tennessee but never wanted to have a southern accent and pride myself on not sounding like I am from the south (although the occasional drawl will slip out.)

2. I have been teaching in some form or another for about 10 years, give or take some time in between working in food and customer service. I started teaching drums at an elementary school after school program. I worked with 3rd-6th graders and fell in love with teaching. Over the 4 years I spent there I taught photography, a drumset class, guitar, and a filmmaking class called Biz Kids where my students wrote scripts and we made short films, skits and TV shows. To this day it is the most fun I have had teaching and would love to eventually teach film, music, or photography. After this I moved to Nashville and taught 4th graders at a Spanish Immersion K-4 school. I then started substitute teaching but could only continue working at the after school program if I taught High School. With no experience with high school students I dove head first. My first week was extremely rough but I enjoyed the hours and dialogue with students. I eventually networked and met a lot of teachers who I became their permanent sub for. I spent my time at a handful of schools and was able to sub full time teaching every subject possible. This led to a permanent position at an alternative high school where I taught Culinary Arts to students that had been expelled from their previous schools for drugs, physical violence, guns, and emotional issues. The following year I was an Educational Assistant with an English teacher for Juniors and Seniors. I learned a lot teaching there and working with students with various backgrounds. I worked here until last May when the school was closed down by the district for financial reasons.

3. I love to travel and have been to Europe 6 times since 2007, spanning 17 countries. 3 of these times I was touring with my bands.

4. I am a self taught musician and although drums are my instrument of choice, I play bass, guitar and keyboards as well.

5. I have been skateboarding for 14 years, which is half of my life. I am very involved in skateboard culture and moderate a skate community on g+ with over 8,000 members.

6. My favorite city is Portland, Oregon. Sarah had been there dozens of times and I had a chance to visit in the summer of 2012 and love it. We moved there this past summer and lived until we moved to Korea to teach. We will be moving back there after our time overseas.

7. I have a fraternal twin brother named Ryan. He was born 27 minutes before me. Even though my mom used to dress us alike as children, we have always been very different. We can’t read each other’s minds or anything but are as close now as we have ever been. He currently lives in San Francisco and works for a well-respected and very lucrative IT company. I also have a younger sister, Mckenzie, who is studying to be a social worker and will be finishing college very soon.

8. I am an avid photographer. I started shooting film in high school using my dad’s Bell and Howell FD35. I have been shooting in some form ever since. I stopped shooting film in 2008 and moved to digital, but I still miss shooting film and see myself returning to it eventually. I now have a canon 5d mkII and run a photography site:

9. I majored in Video Production in college with a minor in film studies. I have written and directed my own short films, music videos, I love foreign films, especially asian films. My favorite directors are Wong Kar Wai, Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Woody Allen, and Toshiaki Toyoda.

10. In the summer of 2002 I fell while skateboarding and crushed my orbital (eye socket). I had plastic reconstructive surgery and now have a titanium metal plate and mesh wiring. I also don’t have feeling on the right side of my face.

11. I went vegetarian my junior year of high school just to try it out and 1o years later I am meat free.  I went vegan over 4 years ago, for health and ethical reasons and love the lifestyle. Being vegan in Korea has not been difficult, there is just a lack of variety here. So we get our fruits, vegetables and tofu here and ordered the things we can’t find online through Sarah runs veganfart.tumblr where she posts my pictures of food we make and eat, as well as stories and recipes.

Martin’s 11 Questions

1. Tell me more about your favourite food you like to try or restaurant you like to visit.

Being vegan for me has given me a deeper and larger appreciation for food. This stems from the fact that it is not hard to make food vegan, but it is not as common to find vegan options wherever you go. vegan cheese and meat substitutes are in abundance in cities such as Portland and vegan restaurants are everywhere. This was one of the main reasons Sarah and I moved there last summer and will return again. Food tastes better now that it ever has. I could list a bunch of amazing vegan restaurants and dishes but I will stick to one that immediately comes to mind and that I have been craving since moving to Korea. The restaurant is called Hungry Tiger Too, and the dish is the vegan nachos. (this link takes you to pictures I took when we were there.) I miss this restaurant and all of the amazing vegan food that Portland has to offer.

2. What achievements have you set yourself for 2014?

This is a difficult and loaded question for me. I try not to set year long goals and just focus on living one day at a time. Right now I would say that I want to keep editing conleys overseas video episodes and put out at 1 or more per week. I also want to shoot less pictures but more often. this means that I think about the picture before I take it instead of just shooting a bunch of pictures. Being more conscious of what I see. Skateboard and exercise more. Travel to Southeast Asia (Thailand and Malaysia.)  I also would like to become a more effective ESL teacher. This means that I want to focus more on student conversation and talk time. I am currently teaching adults and trying to be conscious of how often they are talking versus how often I am talking. So to sum up what I just said “Shoot and edit more c.o. video episodes, shoot less/better photos, skate more, travel to malaysia and Thailand, and become a more effective teacher.”

3. What is the weirdest activity you have ever tried in your life?

Weird is a very relative term. I guess for me the thing I felt most awkward doing was dancing in front of other people. I don’t know if that is an activity but at a school function all of the teachers had to perform in front of the whole school. It was more embarrassing than anything.

4. Who do you most admire in your life? Why?

I’ll start with the least personal and go from there. I have admired the vegan/skateboarder/photographer/artist Ed Templeton since I was in middle school. He was a positive influence on me because he didn’t do drugs and was different. I continue to this day to have respect for what he does. Also my Dad because he is such a good person and has always been supportive of what I have wanted to do.

5. What do you think is more important: happiness or money? Why?

This is a very tough question because I have always been very frugal and valued money. I would say happiness though. A combination of the two. I think to be able to live comfortably with a certain amount of money would make me happy.

6. Describe your favourite teacher from school.

My favorite teacher is my High School Photographer teacher Eileen Haynes. My senior year of High School I transferred to a different school to take a Photography class because it was not offered at my  other high school. I ran into a problem although because the Photography class was technically Art II, and I didn’t have Art I. Mrs. Haynes let me take Art I and Photography at the same time. I had a love for photography and Mrs. Haynes picked up on my passion and challenged me. This in turn made me a better photographer. I honed my skills and shooting learned how to print photographs in the darkroom with her guidance. She used to let me stay after school for hours in the darkroom printing whatever I wanted. I learned a lot and had fun while doing it.She also encouraged me to submit my work to a Scholastics Photography contest and I won 2 Silver Key awards for 2 of my photographs. This helped me have more confidence in my work. With her help, I later displayed some of my photographs in a gallery downtown. I have never had a teacher go so above and beyond for me before. I really owe a lot to her.

7. Are you learning any other languages at the moment? Why/why not?

I am currently learning Korean. I have picked up some here and there but have been learning more from the Korean teachers at the school. I have tried learning different languages over the years. I took French in high school and in college. I took a semester of Japanese. I was a High School substitute Spanish teacher for a period of time, and I picked up some German a few times while traveling through Europe.

8. Where would you like to go on your next holiday? 
My next holiday would be to Europe. I have a friend who just moved to Germany so I would go visit him as well as my other friends in Germany. After that I would travel down to Italy and see more friends.

9. What would you do if you suddenly won the lottery?

I will be extremely honest about this one. If I suddenly won the lottery I would quit my job and travel the world. I would photograph all of the places I have always wanted to visit and make a documentary about it.

10. When did you first learn to ride a bicycle and what was it like?

I don’t remember how old I was but I imagine I was quite young. I remember it being extremely difficult. I fell a few times and the sides of the handlebars left half circle scars on my chest. My brother Ryan had just as difficult of a time and there is a home video somewhere of him first learning how to ride where he goes off screen and into a bush.

11. What pet would you like to have? Why?

I am not a fan of pets because I would feel bad about not being around enough to take care of them and give them the attention they properly deserve. I would hate the thought of traveling in the summers while a pet stayed at home by itself.

My 11 Questions

1. You are having a dinner party and you can invite anyone living or dead. Who would it be?

2. What is your favorite band? Why?

3. Favorite song of 2013?

4. Top 5 Favorite films?

5. Childhood fear? Are you still afraid of this as an adult?

6. If you could go back and redo one thing over, what would it be?

7. If you could only eat one type of thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

8. Who is the most influential person in your life?

9. Tell one great childhood memory.

10. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

11. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Well I guess that about does it. That was time consuming but very fun as well.

Thanks to Martin for asking us to be a part of this.

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