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ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE…MYSELF

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Use this image to view Dr. Dea's first aura. Visit http://www.aurasma.com/aura/  to learn more.

Use this image to view Dr. Dea’s first aura. Visit http://www.aurasma.com/aura/ to learn more.

This summer, I am teaching a series of one-week seminars designed to stimulate thought about how to integrate the most modern computer technologies into teaching and learning. These seminars are taking place in Kauna, Lithuania and sponsored by the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and a not-for-profit group, the American Professional Partnership for Lithuanian Education. This blog will act as my introduction for seminar participants.

On the whole, blogs are as unique as their authors. Some bloggers coach on a topic as the legacy of their writing; others share the day-to-day struggles and victories in an area of interest; yet others focus more on the act of writing than the content–their daily or weekly posts are as divergent as the publication is consistent; still others use blogging to reflect on personal practice.

I have been blogging since 2006. Across those years, my blogging has evolved over each of those forms. As I have grown personally and professionally, my blogging goals and the topics about which I choose to write have taken twists and turns.

My first experience in blogging was during my doctoral program. My cohorts were asked to read blogs of educational wisdom, comment on those blogs, and share them among the group. The extension of that work was to begin of blog of one’s own to act as a log of blogs read and the comments made.  From those beginning days of reading the blogs of others and using blogging as a means to satisfy assignments, this blog was born.

I started this blog with a very short post entitled, Blogging Immortalizes. In part, the meaning of that post is explained in a postscript added in 2013. To know me today is to know that in 2004 my home burned to the ground. All of my worldly possessions…my writing in hard copy, my writing on computer, cherished heirlooms, and my life in photographic memory were stolen as I watched the flames rise into the night sky.

I have always been a writer. I began writing short stories and poetry in elementary school. I vividly recall my first murder mystery…written in 6th grade. Many years ago, as a transitioning adult, I discovered the youthful treasure tucked into the bottom of a cardboard box. In reading my work, I was awed by the teacher who encouraged my writing…bad as it was. Tucked into that box were also poems and papers written through my high school years. All so carefully saved and all silently destroyed in the fire.

Today, my writing is primarily of the informational sort. In addition to this blog, my article, “A Four Year Study of ACT Reading Results: Achievement Trends Among Eleventh Grade Boys & Girls” has been published in Boston University’s Journal of Education. I continue to write on others educational topics and am planning a book designed to support teachers in their creation of curriculum.

But, I am more than a teacher, an educational thinker, and a writer. I am also a wife and a grandmother. I have a beautiful life in the Midwest, living on a working farm, one among the many dreams of youth. As a young girl, I envisioned myself in so many possible places: a farmer (just like my dad and his before him), a doctor (to fulfill my grandfather’s dream), a flight attendant (so I could get off the farm and see the world). In reality, I have become them all. My husband farms with his family. Our oldest son farms with us, too. I have two other children, a daughter and a son. Both work in the agriculture industry; my youngest son works for Monsanto in the soybean industry and my daughter works for Novartis in the swine industry. And I have seen much of the world: college study and follow-up visits to France; a family trip to visit friends in Egypt; hospital mission work and school support in Nigeria. And now, working directly with teachers in Lithuania. I am truly blessed.

For the next three weeks, I am dedicating this blog to stories and reflections of my work with the Lithuanian teachers that I will be privileged to meet. My plane takes off in less than five hours; I better stop blogging and start logging some time with the suitcase! I am so looking forward to meeting new people and seeing new places. I so look forward to my next teaching adventure…in Lithuania. More blogs to come!

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