I have been tagged by Alan Parkinson in a thing doing the rounds on blogs. I have to tell you seven things you didn't know about me, then challenge some others . There is some geography in the mix, as you'd expect..
1) I managed a bookmakers. In fact, several. For a while, I was also relief manager around much of Glasgow and Lanarkshire. People think this means I know a lot about horses and gambling. I don't. What it (and a subsequent job in credit) has given me is an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the two areas mentioned, which comes in handy for teaching urban and industrial geography. I also worked in Woolworths, so I'm pretty sad to see it go. Between the three, I suppose that makes me quite good at mental arithmetic. Unfortunately, this has been of no use at all teaching statistics :-(
2) I am a football fanatic. I really mean a fanatic. I love playing and watching, and at last count, had visited 36 football grounds, the vast majority in Scotland (though with a young family, home games are an achievement these days). The strangest I have visited is Windsor Park, Belfast, as I was sitting in the smallest stand I have ever been in facing what at the time looked like a slag heap (geo reference). The most impressive is the AmsterdamArena, which was literally a planes, trains and automobiles job to get there (Glasgow-Prestwick-Stanstead-Charleroi-Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam), and the furthest away is the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. I won't be revealing my allegiances here, though regular readers could probably work it out, but I do follow the fortunes of Ajax, Barcelona and Fiorentina on the continent. I have to say, my geographical knowledge of Scotland (including the weather!) would be much, much poorer without my extensive travels to matches.
3) I play a musical instrument. In fact, I play three, though only guitar with any proficiency. I am less assured at harmonica and penny whistle, and play them far less regularly. I can't read music, but can work guitar tab and have a good ear. I envy people with real talent.
4) I can't read instructions. I'm sure this is a male thing, but any new item I buy which has paper instructions just baffles me. I have to ditch them and try it my own way. This is amusing me, as I am remembering the number of times I have told students to read the instructions...
5) If I could be anywhere, I'd be in Rome or Glencoe. No difference there then...I think everyone should walk through both at least once in their lives. There is nowhere else I can think of where you gain the same sense of what's gone before.
6) Despite some people's belief, I was not born with sideburns, they just grew on me as I got older ;-)
7) I was late into teaching. I worked for eight years after University without any real direction. I felt an urge to teach for a long time during that eight years, and was disappointed to be using so little of my degree (Geography and Politics) but lifestyle choices meant it would have been difficult to lose the income I was bringing in and go back to being a student. I think I can say that it's the best thing I have done. Like any job, it has it's good days and bad days and brings its own challenges, but the rewards are there if you look hard enough, keep an open mind and remember why you are there in the first place ;-)
Right, who to tag that hasn't already got the call?
I think I'll go for two work colleagues, as everybody else I would have asked has already been there