The Truth About (5 Things About) Me

It’s been a fun week of speculating, questioning and challenging people in my PLN as part of the ‘This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours’ blog challenge. Thanks to everyone who made their own video, voice recording or Voki - I feel like it has been a good way to get to know people better, even those who I (thought I) knew a lot about already. And if you haven’t joined in yet, you are still more than welcome to. ‘The more the merrier’ as they say.

Image by Thomas Hawk

Anyway, time to reveal the truth about me:

1. Despite a complete lack of musical talent, I have performed concerts with two different bands.

TRUE!! I first picked up a guitar at 16 but never really progressed beyond strumming a few chords. Nevertheless, I joined a group with a few friends who were talented enough to make up for my lack of talent. As we didn’t know anyone who had a bass guitar, I drop-tuned my guitar and strummed a few low notes and power chords. After arriving in Ankara, I took up the guitar again and this time even laid down a track or two with the help of a musically-minded friend with sound editing software. Our masterpiece was called ‘Achilles Went…’ and if I ever find the CD (it’s what I was looking for when I found those worksheets the other day), I will upload it for your listening pleasure.

Anyway, back to the concerts. I never performed live with my first group here in Turkey but I would perform with another group a few years later called ‘The Aluminium Company’, only this time I was on keyboards. Again, I got by with a few basic chords and riffs. Alas, since I quit that group, my musical career has been on hold…

2. Before becoming a teacher, my only other full-time job was at a Shell petrol station in the UK.

TRUE!! No series of exotic jobs as I backpacked around the globe for me! I graduated from university in the summer of 1999 and upon returning to the town where my parents lived, I got a temporary job at the local Shell station. That soon turned into a full-time job and 7 months there enabled me to save up enough to do my Trinity TESOL course in Barcelona in January of 2000. The rest, as they say, is history.
Of course, I had other jobs while at high school and uni but they were only weekend or part-time affairs such as the classic paper round, working in the kitchens at a Little Chef, waiting tables in a hotel and serving pints to the thirsty hordes of the Toon Army at St. James’ Park.

3. I am an avid stamp collector.

LIE!! Most of you saw right though me on this one (I really should work on my skills of deception). I was given a stamp album once when I was a child but it was never even opened I think!

4. I have never had a full-time teaching job anywhere other than Ankara, Turkey.

TRUE!! This was a pretty easy one to confirm from my blog posts I suppose… A long time ago, I used to fib and tell students I had taught in Barcelona instead of just doing my training there, but that was just to avoid being labelled as a ‘novice teacher’ before I’d even had a chance to teach them anything! (Around the same time, I was also adding a few years to my age for similar reasons - not long until I start doing the opposite Winking smile)

5. I will be competing in the Istanbul Marathon next month.

LIE!! This didn’t seem to convince many of you either… Perhaps saying next month was pushing it a bit far! This is an ambition of mine though and I intend to run in this event soon, if not next year then the year after that…. or the year after that one Smile with tongue out

So, in the end, most of you saw right through me, as evidenced by the fact that the first guess was spot on. Keep looking out for more people joining the challenge and see if you can sus them out as easily as you did with me!

The Truth Revealed by Other Entrants in the Blog Challenge:


  1. I got 50% correct - not bad, I think! Thanks for this great challenge, Dave!

    I'll be revealing my Truths from the Challenge
    ( )tomorrow on my blog!!

  2. I'd just like to say thank you Dave for a fun-filled challenge with real pedagogical worth. I'm going to use this online blog version with my new class on Friday. Through your challenge, I've extended my PLN and had Twitter conversations, learned how to embed Jing recordings and got comments on my blog post!

    Also, I guessed that stamp collecting and running the marathon were lies - hurrah!

    Many thanks again.

  3. Hooray! You just need to figure out how to make your lies match up with what we already know. (or not)

  4. I picked out those truths... once a petrol station worker, always! I feel permanently scarred by my experiences. On the bright side, there's nothing wrong with embodying the spirit of Mark E. Smith.

  5. Thanks for starting up this challenge, Dave!

    I picked up on it pretty late as I've been super-busy, but it's been fun catching up with the posts & trying to figure out which bits are true :-)

  6. You all had me sussed pretty well (except for Chiew of course!)

    Fiona - it's so great that this challenge has helped you extend your PLN, brought visitors to your blog and taught you a new skill or two! That's what these challenges are all about. :) Think about the opportunities for our students!

    Adam - have we followed the same career path then? Still now, the smell of petrol brings it all flooding back... the night shifts and serving microwaved cheese and ham slices to drunken youths through the security hatch, unjamming the automated car wash, being personally blames for hikes in the price per litre... Those were the days!


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