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Do you remember during the first week of school when I had you each create a name card and asked you to answer some questions about you that helped me know more about you?  Questions like "What animal are you similar to?" and "Who do you look up to?" and "What action have you done that you'd like to undo?".  Then I asked you, if you wanted, to write a question for me to answer so that you could get to know me better.  Well, I've written most of those out and answered them.  Here they are, in random order, and with various levels of sincerity in my answer.

Questions from Kennedy Kids
1. Do you know anyone more strange than you?
    Sure.  I have a bunch of friends who are quite strange.  That is
probably why they are my friends.

2. Are you scared of the dark?
    Yeah, but only if I'm in an unfamiliar place.  If I know where I am
and what it looks like in the light, then I don't mind the dark at all. 
Actually getting around in the dark is kind of a game.  I sure wouldn't
want to be blind though.

3. Why are you so weird?
    It serves me well.  I was always hyper in school and I had to find
ways for it to work FOR me instead of AGAINST me.  I'm still working on

4. Why do you try to be funny?
    Humor is one of the best parts of my job.  It always makes things
more fun if there's something funny going on.  The best teachers I ever
had were the ones who could mix good jokes and stories into the day.

5. Have you ever done comedy?
    Not really.  When I ran backpacking trips for my summer camp I would
tell a bunch of jokes in order to keep the group hiking along side me
and moving along the trail.  Sneaky, eh? 

6. When is your birthday / how old are you / how do you feel about it?
    This one is easy.  I was born on January 6th in 1960, so that makes
me 4ummm forty somethin'.  As my friend says, we are older than dirt.

7. How much money do you make/have?
    I make about $4000 per month after medical coverage and retirement-- some
goes to taxes, retirement, and  a little goes to teacher dues.  I don't have
much saved up now because I have to pay off a loan I took in order to buy the
house we live in.  In the late '80's I DID save up about $500 per month for a
long time in order to save up to put a down payment on the house.

8. What is the meaning of life?
    I'm not sure there is one, and really I don't need one.  Every day
is pretty amazing just as it is so I don't spend much time looking for
deep meanings to life.  If I had to guess, I would say that it is to be a good
person to yourself, to others, and to the planet.

9. Can you reach terminal velocity without going into space?
    Me personally?  I don't want to reach "terminal" anything right now.

10. What would it be like to do heart surgery on someone?
    Stressful.  I actually started college as a "pre-med" but after a few
years I realized that the pressure doctors deal with would be too much
for me.  Watching the heart surgery was amazing -- didn't even seem like it
was all that tough (which means the surgeon must have been excellent).

11. What kind of a question should I write?
    Write one like that.  Oh look, you just did.  Well done.

12. What is your middle name?
    Arthur.  It comes from my dad's dad's grand-dad.  My parents actually
recently apologized to me for naming me after that guy after they found
out that he was a scumbag who cheated on his wife.

13. Have you always liked science?
    I always liked certain areas of science like anatomy, botany,
electricity, physics, and oceanography.  Most of the astronomy stuff
bores me.  Kind of like baseball statistics.

14. What college did you go to?

    University of California at San Diego.  Great school and a beautiful
campus -- right on the ocean between the towns of La Jolla and Del

15. Why did you choose to teach or teach science?
    I never really intended to become a teacher as a career.  I did a
bunch of jobs after college just to see what they were like, and when I
started teaching here I fell completely into it.  I can't think of a better
job!  Any why science?... Probably because most kids LIKE science. 
Most of the other subjects aren't as fun or interesting.  But the other
teachers probably feel that way about their subjects too (at least I hope so).

16. When are you going to stop being weird?

    Uhhh.  Nope.  And you?

17. What are your sister's and brothers' names and what are they like?

    Oldest is Michael.  He's way more hyper than me and usually does
things that are a lot of fun -- like windkites, technology stuff, and
traveling to cool places.  Then there's Stephan.  He is quiet and really
smart.  He studied physics at Berkeley and is a software programmer. 
My sister Carol is a total mom.  She does artistic design for educational
18. What is your credit card number?
    The number is 5394-6019-2026-2197.  Not necessarily in that order.

20. What is your favorite skateboard brand?
    Used.  I can't stand the prices of new equipment.  I think the
companies rip kids off by putting a trendy graphic on a lousy deck and
selling it for way too much.  Gee, do I sound bitter?  When I lived in San
Diego I used to go to the Del Mar skate park and watch Tony Hawk
skate.  He was only 13 then and it really bugged me to see all the company reps
scam on him.

21. Where, when, and how did you meet Mrs. Heumann?
    We met at a school that we both worked at.  She and I were always working at school
late at night and after a while we just decided to go see movies together
to distract us from all the junk we had to do for school.

22.  Will you really answer ANY question?

25. What is your favorite funny story or joke?
     I have a friend who can tell ANY story and make it the most funny one
in the world.  My favorite is his story about Charlie and the Golden Tuba. 
Not very appropriate for school, though.

26. What is your favorite store to shop at?
     Home Depot.  Duh.

27. What was your most embarrassing moment/funniest thing that ever happened to you?
     Well, there have been two majorly embarrassing events in my life (that
I can tell you about).  The first happened in third grade.  I was giving my
first oral report of my life in front of the class.  It was about tigers.  I
got so nervous that I peed my pants -- not much, but enough to show. 
The second was when I was in college.  One late night at the library I walked
into the bathroom a bit absent mindedly and noticed that something looked
strange to me but I couldn't tell exactly what so I just proceeded to use the
toilet.  Then three women walked in (yeah, I had walked in the ladies room by
accident).  As I "hid" in the stall, they had quite the conversation about
"girly things" and even asked my opinion through the door.  I couldn't say
much back which made things suspicious on their part.  Well it gets quite
involved but we all survived, but some of us had severely damaged our dignity.
 Turns out my friend watched me go in the wrong door and didn't say anything.
 What a guy.

28. Do you have any pets?
     Four cats and one dog (beagle).  The pet that I remember the most was a
dog named Miki, but she died a few years ago.  She was half cocker and half
Samoyed (sp?).  We used go camping together.  She understood English, which
made it tough to keep secrets around Christmas time.

29. What do you like to do in your free time?  What are your hobbies?
     Free time?  I would consider every part of every day as "free time"
because I choose to do whatever I am doing.  Even "work".  Try it.

30. What make, year, model, and color is your car?
    I have compact and a pick-up truck.  Truck is a 1989 Mazda.  I think the paint is
probably white, but since I never wash the poor thing, it is a very natural
shade of grey.

31. How many years have you been teaching?  When did you start?
    I've been teaching middle school for 21 years and before that I was a ski
instructor in Tahoe.  Does that count as teaching?  In my opinion, a
more important question is "how long have I been learning?".  As long as that
never stops I'll be getting better and better.

32. Why are you making us do this?
    Hey, quit your whining.  You only had to write one question (and
yours is quite profound, by the way), but I had to write all the answers.

33. Why did you choose to teach at Kennedy?
    It chose me.  It was the first place I had an interview and they
hired me the same day.  I often wonder how different things would be at
a different school or city.

34. Why do you insult yourself?
    I'm not sure -- I hate that about myself.  Hehe.  Actually I'm quite
arrogant so my ego could use a little jab every once in a while.  Feel free
to help out.  J/K.

35. What kind of sports do you like?
    Tennis, skiing, sailing, mountain biking, waterskiing, backpacking,
and playing in ocean waves.  Most of those are actually 'recreations'
instead of sports.  Oh well.

36. Which do you like better, long or short distance running?
    Depends if I am chasing or being chased.  I like running distances
between a half mile and four miles.  In high school I ran the 880 (two laps)
and cross country.  My fastest lap was just over a minute and fastest mile was
5:15.  It has been all downhill since then. 

39. Do you give F's?
    Sure, if you earn them.  You'll have to work hard to get one though -
- never do the homework, sleep during class, deceive parents, etc.  Get
the point?

41. Where do you live and what is the house like?
    We live near Lexington Lake in the mountains west of Los Gatos.  The
house is small and had to be rebuilt after we bought.  It is getting closer
to being "done" but since the kids and my family are growing we will
have to add more rooms (like a second bathroom and fourth bedroom) or move
to a bigger house.

43. Are we going to mix liquids that explode like in the movies?
    Nope.  I'd like to keep my job, thanks.

44. Why did you want to be a teacher?
    I can't think of another job that could possibly be this much fun. 
See question 15.

46. What is your favorite clothes brand?
    Levi.  No doubt.  Actually, the brand doesn't matter, but the
material does.  COTTON.  100%.

47.  Have you taught any grade other than 7th or subject other than science?
I taught 6th grade in Oceanside and 5th in downtown San Diego.  Those
jobs were totally different than here -- Oceanside kids were all from military
families and the downtown job was in a bario.  Actually, I
liked them both as much as here but for very different reasons.

48.  Are you a boy?
Sure, sounds good.  We guys have it easy.  It would be tough being a
girl.  I've come to REALLY admire the females of the species for all they
offer (ie. the continuation of the species) and endure (ie. the male of the
species).  Once you've seen a mom go through pregnancy, childbirth, and
motherhood, you'll bow down to all women for ever more -- as it should be.

49.  When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Be Happy.  Really, that’s not a wise-crack answer -- it is the only thing
I've ever strived to be.  When I was a little kid (like 5ish) I wanted to be
a vacuum cleaner repair man cuz when my mom though ours was
broken I put the hose back onto the sucker thing and then it started working.
 I thought I was SO cool.

51.  What famous person would you want to marry?
My wife, of course.  She is famous!  Glamorous, talented, charismatic,
and an awesome singer.  I'm the luckiest guy on the planet.

52.  Have you ever wet your pants?
Yup, 3rd grade... while doing my oral report on tigers in front of the whole
class.  I was trying my hardest not to cry.  Ugh.  See question 27.

53.  Have you ever gone abalone diving on Jupiter?
I would, but I think it is against intergalactic fish and game laws.

54.  Did you like science when you were in 7th grade?
Not at all.  I had Mrs. Bukerood and we just didn't get along.  I think 7th
science is the ONLY class in my whole educational career that I didn't
like -- and now I'm teaching it.  Hmm.  God has a great sense of humor.

55.  What are the ages and names of your kids and what are they like?
Hannah is 11 and a fairly smart kid.  Not a total science geek, but she
THINKS hard about everything.  Abby is 9.  Thinks all the time and has a
great imagination..  Olivia is 5.  Eats anything and talks a lot.  I'm tired.

56.  What is your favorite TV show?
West Wing (not on any more). I also like the Daily Show, and
Home Improvement.  Oh, Malcolm in the Middle, of course.

57.  What is the best thing you did this (passed) summer?
Went to visit my mom and dad.  They are great people and the girls love
to be at their house.  We also went to visit Amy's family in Albuquerque and
that was fun too.

59.   Do you like jelly beans?
Nyah.  I don't like candy much.  I have no idea when that started, cuz
when I was a kid I was a total sugar-hound.  Jelly beans get stuck on your
teeth and in your braces too much.

60.  Where did you go to school in 7th grade?
Kennedy Junior High School in Redwood City.

61.  What would you wish for?
Oh, c'mon.  There's no way I can answer that.  The biggest thing is world
peace, understanding, and well being.  If I can't have that, I'd settle for
a good home-made lunch every day.

62.  What is your favorite unit in this class?
Depends on the students.  If the classes are interested and excited
about ANY of the topics, then their attitude becomes contagious.

63.  What would you do if you were a kid right now?
I'd probably stop writing the answers to these questions and go out to ride my
bike up and down the street.  That was by biggest pastime as a kid.  Just
riding around the neighborhood and stopping to play with whoever was out.

64.  What is your favorite food?

66.  How long will it take you to decorate your room?
I'm waiting for the crew from HGTV to come and give it a make over.

67.  What would you do if you won the lottery?
Now THATS a tough question.  I don't often think about what life would
be like if I had a lot of money, cuz, hey I'm a teacher and its just not gonna
happen.  But, if it DID, I'd probably put a whole bunch of it in the bank so
I can live off the interest.  I'd like to have a piece of land upon which to
build a house from scratch.  And a bunch of watersports toys (ski boat,
surfboard, jetski, etc.)

68.  If you could change one thing in your teaching, what would it be?
A different way to correct papers.  It takes about 4 hours per assignment
and I'm not sure it does a lot of good.  There has got to be a better way
to give you feedback on your work and evaluate your progress.  I'm still
looking for the perfect solution.  Any suggestions?

69.  What career would you start if you gave up teaching?
I'd like to build houses.  It would be so cool to design and build a good
home.  I've always liked to build things and a house would be the
ultimate.  I'd also like to work for a package delivery company (like UPS) cuz
I think it is amazing how they get all the stuff from the source to the
destination so fast.

70.  What is your favorite cartoon?
If you mean comic, its Calvin and Hobbes -- no question about it.  But if you mean TV cartoon,
it depends on my mood.  Sometimes I think cartoons like South Park and
Crank Yankers are totally hilarious.  Other times I like kiddie stuff like
Rollie Pollie Olie.  When I was a kid I was a total Bugs Bunny fan.  I think
Looney Tunes are the best overall, if I had to choose just one.  A long time
ago I saw Mel Blanc in L.A.  He is the guy who did all the voices for most of
the Warner Brothers cartoons.

71.  What is the scariest thing you've ever done?
Oh wow.  Hard to say.  Bungee jumping off a bridge near Bear Valley
was pretty intense.  One of the cords broke when the guy AFTER me was jumping. 
Ugh.  Getting lost in the jungles of Kauaii at night with 8 kids was also
sketchy.  I survived both.

72.  What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid?
Road Runner cartoon when I was a little kid, and Saturday Night Live
when I was a teenager.  I also liked ABC Sports on Sunday.  There was no ESPN
then, so the only sports show was only one hour a week.

73.  Have you taught anywhere else?
See question 47.

74.  Which female celebrity would you like to meet?
My wife is my celebrity.  I don't need to meet anyone else.  But going on a
walk with Alanis Morissette would be kinda cool.  She writes good lyrics. 
I also like a singing duo called The Indigo Girls.

75.  Do you have an AOL screen name?
heumanndotorg.    As in the address of my website.  Someday I will think of a
better one.

76.  What makes you like or dislike a student?
That is a really hard question.  I don't think there is any one thing that
will determine that.  I like it when kids have a good sense of humor but
aren't "over the top"; work hard at school but also have non-school
interests; and can be casual without taking advantage of my teaching
style.  Most important thing to me though, is that a kid be nice to other kids.

77.  What is the most unusual animal you have ever seen?
Amy and I were at Grant Park over the summer and we saw a dog (I
think that is what it was) that looked EXACTLY like Stitch.  I'm serious -- we
laughed so hard at the poor thing that we had to keep our distance or else the
owner would know that we were laughing at his dog.  How sad.

78.  What annoying or boring thing do you do with your daughters?
I always bug em about 3 things:  Eat healthy foods.  Clean up the junk off your floor.  Don't fight so much.

79.  Do you speak another language?
Yup.  German (sort of) and a tiny bit of Spanish.  I also know a couple of
words in Hebrew.  Some kids taught me words in Korean, but I don't
think they are the "right" kind of words.

80.  When you were younger did you play sports?
Yeah, soccer, tennis, and cross-country.  I tried water polo but got
dunked all the time cuz I was so small.

81.  Can you code web pages?
Basic html stuff, but nothing fancy like Java.  To do my webpage I use
wyswyg editors like FrontPage and DreamWeaver.

82.  Why do you like Blue's Clues?
It challenges my higher-level thinking skills.  Actually, I only liked the
show when it was just Steve and Blue.  I was younger then.

84.  What is the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten?
Raw tofu.  Or maybe it was a cube of bleached snot.  Hard to tell the

85.  What is your favorite breed of dog?
Mutt.  They aren't as snotty as purebreds.

87.  Ever slammed a body part in the door?
Yup.  My mom shut the van door on my pinkie when I was about 10.  It
wasn't that bad, but she felt really bad, so, of course I took advantage of
her guilt.  "Maybe if we went to get donuts, my finger would feel better."

88.  Do you like pigs, or cows, or bears, or fish (different questions)?
As pets?  Food?  I'm not much of an animal person -- most creatures
have to take care of themselves around me cuz I'm not the nurturing type.
Pigs:  smart but smelly (like some people I know).  Cows:  stupid and smelly
(same).  Bears:  I tried to chase one out of our campstite in Yosemite.  He
just stared at me and grunted (just like I do in class).  Fish:  I'm jealous of em.  They get to
live in water all the time.  How cool that must be.

89.  Have you ever cried in a movie?
Sure.  Chicks love that.

90.  What is the grossest thing you've ever done?
Cleaning the gunk out of the inside of a pumpkin.  Grooooooos.

91.  What cellular service do you have?
Verizon.  Waiting patiently for them to break into the iPhone monopoly.  Finger-tapping deep-sigh patient.  Exasperated grumblings patient.  Pacing a hole in the carpet patient.

92.  How long did you live with your parents?
18 years, 4 months, 9 days, 16 hours, 22 minutes and 14 seconds. 

93.  What is your favorite TeleTubby?
That’s an oxymoron (look it up).  The TV bellies are a cool idea though.

94.  What is your favorite animal, or the one most similar to you?
Beaver.  They build and swim all day.  What a cool way to live.

95.  How much do you weigh?
190ish.  School food is making me fatter every year.  If I have healthy
food around, I eat it, but all we have here is fattening stuff.  Plus I mooch
chips from you guys in class and that doesn't help either.

96.  Do you ever get bored?
Never.  Work to do, house to build, family to play with, computer stuff to
do, naps to take.     No time to get bored. Besides, I have access to the "Anti-Boredom First Aid Kit"... ask me about it sometime.

97.  Do you like SpongeBob or Patrick more?
OK, don't think less of me, but, I don't watch the show.  I don't avoid it, but
since its not a show that my kids watch, I don't see it much.  I do wonder why
the show is so successful.  I suppose that a show about a bunch of aquatic
weirdos that constantly defy the laws of science has got to be entertaining!

99.  Have you ever been windsurfing before?
Yeah!  It was hard to learn at first, but after I learned how to sail in high
wind it got REALLY fun.  I haven't done it in a long time (like, 5 years). 
The best time I had was during a storm on a lake in the Sierras. I was the
only one out on the water and kept ketting blown over, but it was incredibly fun!

100.  What is the strangest thing that one of your siblings ever did to you
when you were a kid?

There are a few things that they did that are too mean or embarrassing
or inappropriate to describe here, BUT my sister used to tell my girlfriends
all sorts of "private" things about me if I ever made her mad.  So, I was careful
not to make her mad too often.

102.  How does this school compare to other schools you've been to?

Absolutely the best in some ways.  The kids are nice and work really hard
here.  The school I worked in in National City had more "soul" and the kids
were a lot closer to each other than they are here.  They had a lot more
hardship to deal with in that neighborhood.  The school I worked at in San Diego
 was right on the beach so all the kids were surfers -- again, a different breed of kids.  

103.  Do you have a game system or play computer games?
No and no.  I used to play a computer game called Head Rush all the time, but
someone stole (or I lost) the CD.  We used to have tournaments during free
class time and at brunch/lunch. 

104.  What are you planning to do with us throughout the quarter?
Well, now that half the school year has gone by I'm hoping you have a
pretty good idea of what things we are gonna do.  If not, go back to sleep
and ask again in June.

105.  Have you ever driven a go-cart?
Yup!  I used to run a summer camp program taking small groups of kids 
on wilderness trips.  On the way to Yosemite we would stop at a place in
Manteca that had waterslides and really great go-carts.  They were fast,
dangerous, and had no supervision.  Way too fun!

106.  Do you like Brittney Spears?
Not really.  She gets too much attention already and she doesn't need mine.

107.  Can you do anything interesting?
I'm not sure what you mean... almost everything I do is interesting to me but
maybe not interesting to others.  Or do you mean "do I have some interesting
talent"?  The only thing I can think of is that I can accurately guess the
time of day, especially when I'm outside.  Its kinda weird.

109.  Have you ever had a really bad accident?
Nope.  I'm lucky though, cuz there have been lots of close calls in my life.
I've been in 2 boating accidents that shoulda killed me (waterski boat blew up
on me and another time I got thrown out of the boat and it ran over me).
Whew, thanks God.

110.  Who named you?
I have no idea -- I'll ask my parents.  Its an interesting question!

111.  Do you like to streak through your house/run around without your
pants on?

Hmm… that’s a tough one to answer.  In the summer if its hot, I spend some
evenings on the patio with boxers on – does that count?  Or, in the morning,
if I have to wait for a pair of pants to come out of the dryer… or if… uh…
never mind.

112.  Do you have a swimming pool?
I wish.  I have an outdoor shower, does that count?  And my kids have a
plastic kiddie pool, but it is too small for me and my rubber duckie to use at
the same time.  Usually the duckie gets priority.

113.  Would you want to be a woman?
Oh my, that is a hard question.  Yes cuz women are stronger than men in some
ways and certainly more perceptive and sensitive.  But, no, cuz of those same
reasons.  See question 48.

114.  Why do use all the technology stuff?
That question could take a long time to answer.  But in short, I use tech
if/when it can help me do my job better.  Why not?  All other businesses use
technology a whole bunch, and teaching seems to have some good uses.  The
trick is to not use it just for the sake of using tech.

115.  What are the stoplights for?
They monitor the sound level in the room and beep/change color when it gets
above a certain level (that I set depending upon the activity).  It keeps me
from having to shush the class.  I like it!

116.  Did you and your wife always want to be teachers?
I don’t think either of us thought it would be a life long career.  We like
being with kids and both of us value what we offer.  As long as we don’t get
bored, mean, or uncaring we will keep doing it.  Maybe in a few years
something better will take over our lives, but for now, teaching is still a
blast.  Especially here.

117.  Does it bug you when people pick their noses?
If they just “pick”, no, it doesn’t bug me.  I do it too sometimes.  But if
they “dig”, or “mine”, or “excavate” it can get a little distracting.  And, of
course, it matters a whole bunch what they do with the little nuggets they

118.  What is your favorite brand of shoes?
Someone bought me a pair of Globes last year and I really liked them.  Usually
I buy Nike’s of Vans from the outlet stores in Gilroy.  A few weeks ago I
bought a pair of black, red, and yellow ones that are a bit too “loud” so I’m
still scared to wear them to school.  Maybe when I get more self confidence.

119.  Do you know how to curse in another language?
Heck no.  Well, actually that is a lie.  See question 79.  I know some nasties
in Spanish, German, Hebrew, Korean, Mandarin, and … oh, English.  But I can't
really remember them all (or any), so that’s probably for the best.

120.  Do you like the Vortex (ride at Great America)?
Is that the stand-up one?  Nah, not much.  I like Top Gun the best still, and
the lying down one that they took out after one season.  Bummer.

121.  Have you ever been in a James Bond movie?
Umm.  Maybe.  Who’s asking.   To me, the best part of those movies are the
cars, boats, and techno-gadgets.  Very cool stuff.

122.  Do you hit kids?
Come closer and ask that again.

123.  Do you watch the Playboy channel?
Nah, we only get basic cable – my choice.  But I do remember being at a
friend’s house as a kid and he showed me how, if you switch channels really
fast, the blocked ones come thru for a split second.  He was super bored to
figure that one out I guess.

124.  Do you drink or smoke?
No smoking.  I do like margaritas when we go to Chevy’s.  But I don’t like
anything else.  When I went to Germany to visit relatives, they made fun of me
because I drink beer like a “girly man”.  Oh well, I’m a disgrace to the

125.  What is the best and worst grade you ever got on a report card?
Best grade was an A in a college class.  Worst was a C... in 7th grade
science.  Strange coincidence eh?  Maybe that is why I have the job that I

126.  How many times do you fart in the average day?
OH my, that probably depends on what foods I've eaten during the day.
Broccoli causes quite a ruccus.  That is why teachers have the counters in the
front of the room... so we can keep a safe distance form the kids in the front
row.  Actually, seriously, we will learn a lot about flatulants (farts) during
the unit on bacteria and the one on digestion.  Kinda funny stuff.

127.  Have you ever fallen in a toilet?
Not since I was a little kid when I sat down without checking to see if the
seat was down.  Eeeeew.  I actually do have a horrible fear of falling in pit
toilets (porta-potty) things.  What a horrible horrible fate that would be.

128.  What was your dream job when you were 18?
I started college pre-med.  I wanted to be a pediatrician becuase the one I
had when I was a kid was really amazing and smart.  I had some injuries and
sicknesses that he helped me thru by explaining the science behind eveything
and laughing a lot.  Dr. Waltuch.  I wonder if he is still around.

129.  Do you ever want to take over the school?
Oh heck no.  I think that school administration must be a super hard job.
Office people don't spend a lot of time with the kids and they have the
responsibility of keeping teachers like me in line.  Not a very fun job I can
assume.  Anyway, I like being a teacher too much to want to give that up for a
middle management job.

130.  What is the best joke you ever played?
I put peanut butter on the roof of my dog's mouth when I was a kid.  Too funny and too mean.

131.  Have you ever fallen into the Nature Center pond?
Yes, and it was on purpose.  After we rebuilt it and filled it with hose water,
I took a celebration swim.  It was clean then.  I've gone in a few times since
to pull the rocks and junk off the bottom and I don't like it at all -- too
muddy and stinky.  That's why I get upset when kids throw in rocks.  Do you have
any idea how long it would take those rocks to climb out on their own?

132.  Do you like to dance?
Alone, yeah.  I like the way it feels but I'm lousy at it.  I'm always afraid
that I look totally dorky when I dance.

133.  If someone comes from PE and stinks, what do you do?
I open the doors and offer my silent sympathies to the people at his/her table. 
Its a hard thing to tell someone about, and probably even harder to hear.  We
had to take showers in PE when I was in middle and high school, so the stinky
thing wasn't a problem.  Getting naked in front of everyone else, now THAT was
an issue all to itself. 

134.  Do you do at home what you do at school?
That's too general of a question.  It would take a lot of writing for me to
give you a whole "Day In the Life of Chris Heumann" story,
and you'd be asleep by the second paragraph.

135.  What is the stupidest thing you did as a kid?
Stapled my ear.  My older brother and sister were really into piercing their
ears but my parents said I was too young (they were right, I was about 7) SO, I decided to do it myself.  I saw the machine that the person at the mall used to make the hole and it reminded me of a stapler.  Thinking that "I could do that myself using a regular stapler", I proceeded to try it.  It hurt too much to do it myself, so I told a friend of mine to do it... hard and fast.  OMG!  It hurt more than I can explain, and of course, the stapler just pinched my ear instead of piercing it.  Plus, everyone laughed at me for being so stupid.  My parents laughed at me, the doctor that treated the infection laughed at me, my siblings as well, and worst of all, the whole school made fun of me.  The earlobe was way swollen for a week or two.  It hurts (my ego and my ear) to even think about it now.

136.  What is your favorite drink?
Iced tea.  I've found a few great ways to make it and a few good places to buy
it.  Panda Express has good stuff, as does the Jack in the Box.  Lemon and lots of
sweetener.  Aaaaaah.

137.  Do you get grossed out during the frog dissection?
Usually not.  It sometimes gets to me by the end of 6th period on the second
day, but its not the grossness of the animal that bugs me.  Instead, its the occasional disrespect of the kids.  See, I feel that if a frog gave its life for the experience some kids will get from dissecting its body, then the kids should honor that sacrifice by being reverent and respectful. If there is a spirit to the frog watching group is dissecting its body, it shouldn't feel that its death was a waste.  So, the occasional bad attitudes and actions of the kids gross me out way more than the blood and guts of the frog.  Although the smell can get nasty after a while too.

138.  How many times did you flunk 1st grade?
Nevr.  And i dunt apreshiat the sejesshun that i mite hav.

139.  What is all the stuff under the TV for?
There are some things that we use and some that we don't.  The VCR, DVD, TiVO and LaserDisc player hook  up to the TV and I use them each -- some more than others.  There is also an amplifier and a  CD player that I used to have connected to big speakers in my room -- kinda the surround-sound effect.  Ever since 7.1 digital sound has come out I haven't used those.  I'm hoping that someday a family will upgrade their home theatre system and donate the old equipment to our classroom.

140.  Do you like Hiei or Kurama (or Karuma, or Rakuma, or Maruka or whatever it is)? I'm ignorant of the animae world, if that is where those names come from.  Sorry, I can barely keep up with my own reality so trying to learn about fantasy worlds is beyond my current brain power.

143.  If you could create a fictional character or show, what/who would it be?
I'd create a show called "Pimp My Room".  People would come and fix up our
room into this cool high-tech place with all sorts of cool stuff for learning.
 Like an executive office/movie theater/amusement park.  It would be soooooooo

144.  Do you like celery?
Yup.  Especially with peanut butter or in ramen soup.  mmm.  Did you know that
celery has negative calories?  It takes your body more energy to digest the
stuff than it contains.  Cool, eh?

145.  What medications aren’t you on?
Seratonin, dopamine, and sometimes adrenaline.  A bit of testosterone too and a healthy dose of estrogen at times.

146.  Did you ever cheat on homework?
Let me see your answer to this question so I know what to write for mine.

147.  If you step back in time, what section of the science book would be the

I'm not sure what you mean by the "back in time", but I think the stuff on
genetics is the hardest.  But, to me, its the best cuz science really doesn't
know much about how DNA works.  Scary stuff, kinda, cuz its all about the
whole essence of living things.  Science fiction-type stuff.

148.  How many frogs have you dissected?
Lots.  One per period per year for about 20 years.  That is a lot of bad karma
to repay to the amphibian gods in the next life. I'm not really convinced that
the whole frog dissection is worth the life of them lil critters.

149.  Would you rather eat a pail full of toenails or a pail full of flies and

That whole "Fear Factor" thing is kinda dumb if you ask me.  But, both sound
too nasty to even consider.  Whats the reward?  And whose toenails, and what
kind of worms?  There are some serious details to discuss before making such
an important decision.

150.  How many hours do you devote to the Nature Center?
Over the past few years its been hundreds actually.  Its been fun hard work
and the place is much more usable now than it was 5 years ago.  Check out the
"Nature Center" pages of heumann.org for descriptions and pictures of the
process.  Or, just check out my big buff arms from all the hard work.  Ha.

151.  Do you like moldy cheeseburgers?
Considering that bacteria are crucial in the formation of cheese, and that bacteria and mold have the same role as decomposers in the environment, the phrase "moldy cheeseburger" seems redundant.  Seriously though, I don't think I've ever had one, but the rotten meat would concern me more than the rotten cheese.

153.  Where were you born?
Berkeley.  Alta Bates hospital.  Room 106.  On the white table in the middle
of the room.  At least that is what I've been told.  Some guy named Mulder tried
to convince me otherwise a while ago, and now I'm not sure who to believe.

154.  What was your first job?
I worked at a bike shop in Menlo Park fixing flat tires.  I could replace a
tube in 33 seconds.  I very important life skill if you ask me.  Plus $2.50
per hour was a rockin' wage for an 11 year old in the '70's.

155.  If you were Barney, what would you do?
Gag Baby Bop.  She is the most annoying creature on the planet.  I can see now
why the species went extinct.

156.  If you had a flame thrower, what would you do?
Walk behind sev-elev and offer to light the cigarettes of the idiots who smoke
there.  "Oooops, sorry about the charred face dude..."

157.  What job did you have before you were a teacher?
I had a bunch of strange jobs between college and starting at middle school.  I
worked on a construction site in San Diego, I worked as a Ski Instructor at
Heavenly Valley in Tahoe, I ran an after school recreation program for
pre-schoolers, and I ran an outdoor adventure Summer camp for 16 years. 

158.  What nationality are you?
My mom is from Bavaria (Southern Germany, on the border with Austria) and my
dad is from Dresden which is also a place on the edge of Germany.  They came
here in 1950 I think... but I wasn't born yet.

160.  Why don’t you get your (left) ear pierced and wear an “I love Science”
ear ring?

No need.  I already have a tatoo that says that.  Never seen it?  Course not.

161.  Do you like candy or chocolate, and if yes, what kind?
Actually, I don't like candy much.  A little bit is ok, but more than that and
I get a little wigged out.  When I was in 5th grade my teacher thought that I
was ADD (just called "hyper" or "annoying" back then), but the real cause of
my psycho behavior were these things called "Fire Stix" that I bought at the
store on my way to school every day.  They were like Jolly Ranchers but much
bigger.  Fried my brain on candy back then, and now I'm kinda "alergic".

161.  What was my sister like?
I'd have to say that I have no idea cuz I can't remember who you are.  To be safe, I'll say that she was "about 5 feet tall, two arms and legs, and pretty smart."

162.  What things do you like to collect?
Ummm.  Lemme think... I like to collect words.  I get em from all sorts of
places like books, people, magazines, websites, etc.  And I store them away
until I can use 'em in the perfect situation.  I'm not very good at it, but I'm
working on it.

163.  Why do you think people tell me that you are a good teacher?
Its a trick.  Don't believe everything you hear.  Actually, I work hard at
finding ways to get kids to learn the most interesting stuff in the least painful way.  I guess that's why.

164.  What is your favorite disgusting food? (see question 84)
Hmm.  "Favorite disgusting" food.  Do you mean the food that I really enjoy
hating or a food that I like that I like but other people find disgusting.  I guess that'd be a
DaddyScramble.  My wife describes that as "all the leftovers from the fridge fried up in a skilletwith an egg mixed in".  Since she is always right, I have to agree with her.

165.  Which period do you like the best so far?
The one at the end of a really long essay that is due tomorrow.

166.  You told us about your (dead) dog.  What kinds of things did you do

Amy and I got her at the pound when we were first married.  Miki was a great
dog because she understood how the world works and tolerated us humans very
well.  She and I went backpacking together a lot until she got too old.  Lots
of great times with her and I miss her a lot.  So does the whole family.  Gee,
this must be the only serious answer in the whole list so far.

167.  Have you ever been skydiving? 
Not on purpose. 

168.   What do you do after school?
Nowadays I pick up my kids from their schools and try to be a good dad until
they go to bed.  Before kids, most of my afternoons were spent around school
or mountain biking in the hills behind Kennedy.

169.  What is your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?
My birthday.  Its not really a holiday for anyone else but me, but I sure
think its important.  I usually celebrate by letting my mom and/or dad know
how much I appreciate being alive.  It was their idea, you know.

170.  How would you feel if you were abducted by aliens?

171.  Are you a clone?
We'd have to say no on that one.

172.  Do you like to eat?
Duh.  I weigh about 20 pounds more than I 'should', and that didn't come from
breathing too much air.  Ha.

173.  If you could own something that you always wanted, what would it be?
A helicopter.

174.  What was your most memorable moment of elementary school (or life)?
Geez, I really can't answer that one because what moments I remember depends
on what moment I'm in.  Like, if I'm sitting by a campfire talking with
friends, I'll think about a whole different set of things than if I'm working on schoolwork. 
I guess I'd have to say that the times I find most memorable
all have to do with novelty and adventure.  Like holding hands with a girl for
the first time in 4th grade, breaking my arm in 7th, and working at a camp
during my summers between college.  The rest is a contextual blur.

175.  What family member are you most similar to?
My dad.  Or at least I like to think so.  He is a great person and I really
value the parts of me that are similar to him.  He has taught me to be
organized, honest, and to appreciate lots of things in life.

176.  If your house was on fire, what thing would you take out?

Kids.  Well, most of em.  JK

177.  Did you ever try doing science experiments on your own before?
Daily, whether I like it or not.  Science is like a little brother or
sister... no matter how hard you try to get away from it, it seems to be
everywhere that you are.

178.  If you could invent something that has never been built before, what
would it be?

A device that people wrap in with a present, that is motion activates and
talks when shaken.  Like... "hey, stop that!"

179.  What is the nastiest accident/injury that you have ever had?

Boat fire when I was 16.  I don't want to tell much about that.  Burns really

180.  If you were taking a trip to a desert island, what things would
you take?

Solar-powered stuff.  And some glass bowls for distilling water.  And things
to write with.  Maybe a friend or two if they would be willing.

181.  Have you ever lived in other states?
Denial, Utopia, and Depression.  All interesting places, but I like where I am
now much better.

182.  If someone gave you the option to clone yourself, would you?
Yup. Then one of us can do all the things that I can't get done in a day.
Plus, I'd win arguments -- either of me.

183.  What’s your favorite movie?
That changes all the time.  Its like asking 'whats your favorite music'... it
depends on my mood, who I'm with, and how attentive I can be to the movie.  At
home our DVD shelves are full of Disney movies. 

184.  If it was the end of the world and you were thirsty, would you drink tar
or a mysterious green liquid?

Probably the mysterious green liquid.  At least I'd get my curiosity
satisfied, if not my thirst.

185.  Do you like giving homework?
If its good stuff, yes.  Some of the assignments are actually interesting to
kids and also interesting for me to read afterwards.  But most things aren't
that great.

186. Have you ever felt like punching a student because they went too far?
Actually, I have.  One kid gave me a wedgie years (lotsa years) ago... he had
no impulse control and I guess he saw the chance and took it.  I was mad at
the time but I gotta laugh now.... what a weird thing to do.

187.   What was your favorite subject in 7th grade?
Math.  In a time of my life that everything was completely unpredictable, I liked that math was predictable and actually followed rules.

188.  Are you Christian?

Ugh...  a religion question.  I was raised by parents who came to this country to partake of religious (and other very important) freedoms, so I think that they intentionally exposed us to many religions.  We went to a Unitarian church in Berkeley -- talk about polytheistic!  It was amazing though, because at Sunday school they would take a topic (say "honesty") and expose us to what a variety of religions say about the topic.  From there we could make up our own minds about what rang most true with us as individuals.  In some ways it was harder to get my religious "lessons" that way because no one told me what to think or believe.  Instead they exposed me to diversity and facilitated reflective practice.  See, it even sounds confusing writing about it!

189.  What is your favorite shirt?
100% cotton, thick, with a chest pocket.  I love the feel of a good clean shirt, but the feeling usually passes quickly as soon as the first stain of the day finds its way to the most visible spot on a (likely white) clean pressed shirt.  Oh wait, now that I look more closely that what you wrote on your card I realize that it says "skirt" instead of "shirt".  I'm not sure how to answer it now... perhaps "one that someone else is wearing" is the shortest answer.

190.  Which teacher in this school do you [not like] the most?

191.  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

192.  Were you a loner in 7th grade?

193.  At age 5 and 7/8 did you smoosh strawberry jello into someone’s face
during a graduation party?

194.  Who is your best student friend?

195.  How many pancakes does it take to make a doghouse when you are skiing
down a mountain at 20 m/h?

196.  Have you ever been skinny dipping?

197.  Have you ever had braces?

198.  How old were you when you started to walk?

199.  How many times were you suspended in school?

200.  What toppings do you like on your pizza?

201.  Is there another job that you wanted to do more than teaching?

202.  Who is your most boring student?  (and no cop-out teachery answer).

203.  How come Mrs. Heumann isn’t teaching FAME this year?

204.  When you bought all this stuff, did it cost more than your budget?

205.  What elementary school did you go to?

206.  What high school did you go to?

207.  Have you ever had surgery before?

208.  Are you good at computer stuff?

209.  What is the longest word that you know?

210.  Do you like vegetables?
Totally.  My favorite is red peppers, especially with hummus -- yuuuum.  There
is nothing better than an good salad, too.  Cucumbers, carrots, asparagus,
etc... all great stuff.  I was a vegetarian for about a year, but that faded
away, which is too bad cuz I was much healthier then.  I have a friend who is
vegan, but that is way too hard of a lifestyle for me.

211.  What is your favorite music group?

212.  Have you ever tried to catch a fish or a crustacean?

213.  What have you dressed up for on Halloween?

214.  Are you scared of dogs?

215.  What cartoon character are you most similar to?

216.  Have you ever worn nail polish to school?

217.  Are you friends with Mr. Scharmen?

218.  Are you the tallest in your family?
Nope.  Shortest guy by far.  The good side of that is that they put me in the
front row of family photos.
219.  Who is your sports idol?

220.  Where were you born?
Berkeley.  Alta Bates hospital, room 106.  6:27 a.m. on January 6th, 1960.

221.  If you could invent something, what would it be?

222.  What happened on your first day of school?

223.  Do you give a lot of homework?

224.  How many whiteboard pens do you go through in a year?

225.  Have you ever done something and let someone else take the blame?
Wow, that is such a good question because it cuts right to the heart of a
person's character.  I'll have to think about that for a while and get back to
you about it.  Maybe I'll let someone else answer and I'll take the credit.

226.  Have you ever broken a bone?

227.  How many times have you heard the word “science”?

228.  If you could teach a different subject, what would it be?

229.  What is the weirdest place that you’ve ever been to?

230.  Do you eat green pudding?

231.  What nickname do you hate being called?

232.  What is your favorite part of a burger?  Do you put lots of stuff on them?

233.  What do you want to do in life?

234.  If you could be in the Olympics, what sport would you do?

235.  If you were alone in a silent and empty forest, what is the first thing
you would do?

I've been alone in a forest but it wasn't silent or empty.  If it were empty,
it wouldn't be a forest (empty = no trees), but it certainly was quiet.  I
remember lying at the base of a tree in a patch of sunlight and falling
asleep.  It was great.  After that, I went looking for a lake to swim in.
What a day!

236.  Besides the children that you already have, what is your favorite baby name?

237.  What is your favorite alphabet?

238.  What ice cream topping do you like?

239.  What color do you hate?

240.  Would you rather be a tree or a rock?
Tree.  I hear Iraq isn't doing really well these days.

241.  How do you eat spaghetti noodles?
I like them when they are in clumps.  Like sticky rice.  To answer your
question though... I do the twirly fork thing if I'm in the mood, but the rest
of the time I cut them up.  I rarely slurp them in one strand at a time cuz
that makes the sauce splatter on my shirt (and/or neighbor).

242.  Why do you like blueberries?
It must be cuz I get oxidized easily.  Actually, I don't really know
why, they just taste good.

243.  Which key on the keyboard do you like the best?
The delete ke

244.  What kind of socks do you wear?
Cotton.  Shorties.  Usually clean.

255.  If the principal would pay you to watch T.V. rather than teach, would you?
For part of the time I would, especially if I could watch comedy or good
educational stuff.  But any kind of TV gets boring after a while, so I'd want
to teach too.  I guess I'd want to be able to do both, sorry.

256.  What is the weirdest thing you have ever done?

257.  If you had a pet gorilla, what color would it be?

258.  Do you have a favorite stuffed animal?

259.  If you could have any cheeseburger in the world, what restaurant would
it be from?

260.  What was your worst year of school?

261.  Why does chicken taste so good?

262.  What is your favorite type of radioactive ray?

263.  What is your favorite restaurant?

264.  If you could go back in time, what would you do or change in your life?

265.  What is your favorite brand of water?

266.  Were you ever ‘nationwide’ famous?

267.  What is your favorite comic book?

268. If you could grow one extra body part, what would it be?

269.  What advice do you have on girls and what was your first crush like?

270.  If you were given Fairly Odd Parents that would grant you 10 wishes,
what would you wish for?

271.  Does every science word derive from Latin?

272.  Would you consider it strange if you were walking down a beach and a
hand popped up and grabbed your shoe?

Certainly.  I mean, why in the world would I be wearing shoes on the beach?

273.  Who is your favorite Simpson’s character?

274.  What is your favorite Slurpee flavor?

275.  Who do you miss that is dead?

276.  How many of your dad’s stories did you believe?

277.  What is your favorite fruit?

278.  What food do you hate?

279.  Do you like to dissect stuff and eat it with other stuff (ie.  worms
stuffed with eggs)?

280.  If you were to open a fast food chain, what would you call it and what
would you serve?

281. If you were to get selected to win a science award, would you say that I
was a good student?

282.  Do you like raw fish?

283.  If you had a million dollars what would you spend on it?

284.  What other school would you go to if you got kicked out of Kennedy?

285.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

286.  What size underwear do you wear, and what designs are on them?

287.  Can I have some candy?

288.  What kind of smoothie do you like best?

289.  What is your favorite subject, except for science?

290.  What is your favorite plant?

291.  What is the weirdest fact about your life/self?

292.  Would you ever wear a hot pink tie, green pants, and black pants?

293.  What is your favorite kind of juice?

294.  What number on the clock do you like best?

295.  Do you like subways, if so, what kind?
Veggie.  Extra tomatoes, and with chipotle sauce.

296.  Do you like Halo 2 and guinea pigs?

297.  If the world blew up to make room for a galactic freeway, what spaceship
would you travel on?

298.  Do you like TeleTubbies?

299.  What grade do you think you learned the least in, and why?

300.  When was your last haircut and dentist appointment?
Questions from Peterson Kids

301. What was your last job?
    I taught 7th grade science at Kennedy Middle in Cupertino.  It is a good school with a nice Nature Center.  Amazing kids and really supportive and demanding (as it should be) parents.  I also worked as a Program Director at a Teacher Training Institute at Foothill College.  As I settle in at Peterson, I'm liking it a lot and hoping to be here for a long time.

302. Have you ever shot a bow and arrow or firearm?
    Yup.  When I worked at a summer camp after college, I hung out at the archery range.  Bails of hay should fear my name... I can usually hit one from 5 feet away.  Go me!  The only time I shot guns was when I lived in San Diego.  I took a safety class and was really careful, but they still scare me, actually. 

303. When are we going to be done with these dumb question cards and name tags.
    Now you're done.  Jeez, that was really hard wasn't it?

304.  If you could bring any person back from the dead, who would it be?
My mom.  I miss her.  She probably wouldn't come back though cuz she's kinda stubborn like that.  No, seriously, I'm sad that she isn't able to know my kids or any of her other grandkids.  My youngest daughter sees old family pictures and says "who is that" as she points to my mom.  How sad that they never got to know each other better.

305.  What makes you mad (in the classroom)?
    Easy to answer... it makes me mad when kids say "I'm not!" when I ask them to stop doing something that is wrong.  Even worse, if they roll their eyes I get really steamed.  I thing that it bugs me because it is such a denial of self-responsibility, and true character and good decision making skills are based on self-responsibility.  Apathy used to bug me a lot but I don't care about that any more.

306.  How long have you taught at Peterson?
    Since August 26, 2009.  I'm not counting the days, and if I did I'd have to change this answer each day.    Some days seem longer than others, but most of the time flies cuz I'm having fun.

307.  Do you think you will have pets in 9 years?

    If any new and immortal pets evolve in the next 9 years, then yes.  Besides that unlikely event, I doubt it.  There is a section in the "Philosophies" page of this site (under the Parents' section) that explains why I don't have class pets.  Here is a copy: "For the first few years of my career, my classroom was quite crowded -- even if no people were around. We had snakes, toads, marine fish, insects, plants, and a guest bird or two. But I learned a harsh reality of life after a few years: They die. Every animal that I have had in my class has died before its natural time, and I like animals too much to continue that trend. Perhaps the animals sense that I don't believe that they should be confined to cages in a classroom in the first place and they interpret that as being unwelcome. Or maybe I just don't take care of them well enough and adaptation to their non-natural environment simply takes too long. Whatever the cause, animals (and even plants) never do well in my room and so I don't have them around any more. If you have something at home that you are willing to bring in for a day, please let me know so I can make time in the daily schedule for the class to learn about your plant or animal (or fungus, or protist, or bacteria) -- don't let my bad luck with classroom pets limit the experiences that the kids in your class can have"

308. What is my name? Middle name? etc.
There were lots of questions like this one, or others that asked me to name everyone is all the classes without looking at a list.  Now, hey, lets be real... there is no way I can do that on the 4th day of school.  Maybe if I was Mrs. Fohner, cuz she is really amazing like that.  But I really do try to know everyone by name as soon as I can.  It makes a huge difference if someone knows you personally and I value that.  It is hard, though, because I'm not good at memorizing things.  Plus, with 20 years of teaching behind me and about 5000 kids I've taught, I sometimes confuse kids with previous kids.  How embarassing.  Even worse, at the beginning of your 8th grade year when I'm learning the names of the new sevies, I'm likely to forget about half of the names of the 8th grade kids who say hi to me. 

309.  Have you ever wanted to quit teaching because of a kid?  Why?
That has got to be one of the hardest questions anyone has ever asked.  I've thought a lot about how to answer this one.  So, to be totally honest I'm gonna say "yes"... but only one or maybe two.  They were kids who have frustrated to me to the point where I question whether I'm right for this job.  Not because of behavior issues but more because of the fact that they constantly blamed me or someone else for their actions in my class.  I give kids a lot of leeway to make their own decisions even if it means that they don't do well in the class (academically, behaviorally, or socially) but it really depresses me when they externalize all responsibility for their actions or attitudes.  This is a hard thing to admit, because we teachers are supposed to be infinitely patient and accepting.

310. Which period do you like the best?
The one at the end of the sentence.  When they are in the middle of the sentence. it really bugs. me.  For another flip answer, see question 165.

311. Obama or McCain?
This question was written before the election.  I voted for the Libertarian candidate in the primary election and then for Obama in the general election.

313. What are you thinking?
I'm wondering what kind of answer to write to your question... something witty yet insightful.  Something deep and yet light hearted.  Something with the punch of a good wasabe yet the delicate flavor of a cold glass of milk.  I'm thinking... Cheerios and a banana.  Or crunchy peanut butter and raspberry jam.  Be back soon....

314. Are you rich or poor?
I think I'm rich in the things that matter to me... appreciation of life, a sense of humor, a fantastic job, and a wonderful family.  As far as the money part goes, we're doing fine.  Enough to live comfortably but not enough to fuss over.

315. What is your favorite number?

Twelve.  It is so flexible and versatile.  Plus, a "dozen" looks like "dozing", which is my favorite pastime. 

316. What is your favorite baseball team?
The team doesn't exist any more.  It was me, and my 5ish neighborhood buddies, and we dominated the school field back in the day.  Sometimes it was baseball, but more often it was something much less organized, like a water balloon fight, kick the can, capture the flag, or just a game of ditch out in the back field.

317. If you were a girl what actor or singer or movie star would you marry?
Oh jeez.  I have no idea.  How 'bout Ellen Degeneris.  She does the voice of Dori in Finding Nemo.

318. If you couldn't chose your name what would you have named yourself?


319.  Do you have a Master's Degree in science?
Nope.  I have a Master's in "Instructional Technology".  My knowledge of science doesn't go much beyond the regular college level, which is probably a good thing in some ways.  The more deeply you know a subject, the harder it is to explain that subject to relatively disinterested people in simple terms that don't put em to sleep.

320. If you could be a girl for a day, would you do it?
Well, yes, but it also depends on what day I suppose.  There are a few I'd like to avoid.

321.  Can we sleep in class?

Once in a while, I suppose.  It will be a good way for me to know how interested you are, how boring I am, or how late you stay up at night.  If it does happen, we'll try to stay quiet and leave you in peace.  If you start drooling on the table though, I might have to make fun on you just a bit. 

Questions from Discovery Kids:

501.  Have you ever made a student cry?
Yes, but it wasn't out of sadness or frustration.  One weekend, while I as at school correcting papers, a group of kids showed up because they were extremely bored (why else would you go to school on a weekend).  Anyway, we ended up watching a movie called "The Power of One" together, and there is a very very sad (but important) part in that movie that made us all cry.  Strange how even the toughest of guys can get weepy as long as they know that they won't be made fun of for it.

502. Do you Fandango?
Well, I'm not good at it.  In fact, I'm not good at any type of dancing, but I'm willing to learn.  Hmmm... maybe there is a movie that I could watch to help me learn to dance.  How would I ever find out where/when such a movie would be playing?

503. Will you marry me?
Aaaw, jeez, I barely know you.  Garsh.

504. What is your deepest, darkest secret?
Well, well, well.  How is that for deep and dark?  Get it? "well"?!  Ha.  Seriously, I do have secrets, some of which are mine and some of which others have told me to keep.  I'm an open book about most things, but not all.  Here's an unimpressive admission:  I sucked my thumb until I was almost 10.  It was certainly my deepest, darkest secret back then, but not so much any more.

505. Have you ever been bungee jumping?
Yup.  When I was about 20 some friends and I went with a "company" (I think that the whole thing was illegal) to jump off a 200(?) foot bridge near Bear Valley.  It was quite a crazy thing to do.  I also did it a bunch of times in an amusement park in Manteca, but that was only about 40 feet (but much much safer).

506.  What student do you wish that you never had?
That has got to me one of the hardest questions ever.  The ONLY thing that I can think of is about a kid who would have done better (academically) with a more strict and structured teacher.  The kid and I got along great -- probably too well -- and the friendship part of our interactions sometimes made the teacher-student part hard to keep.  Wow, a serious answer -- that is a first.

507. Do you have a special Teddy Bear or blanky?  
I did when I was a kid (up through college), but now I can snuggle up with and drool on just about anything that feels like a pillow.  I had a "Mr. Potato Head" pillow-ish thing that spent a summer backpacking with me and was the envy of all the other sleep-with-head-on-granite backpackers.

508.  Have you ever seen a majestic plastic bag in flight?  
Yup.  I see them all the time now that I've seen the video.  They don't come up to me and beg for scraps, but I get the feeling that they know that I'm in awe of them -- purely from a scientific standpoint though.

509. Do you love me?
Not yet.  Lets give it some time and see how things go.  How's that for a generic "we can be friends" type answer?

510. Do you put mustard on your sandwiches?
Other than the word itself, I don't find much to be offensive about mustard.  As far as sandwiches go, I put it on just a few types.  Seems to me that the condiment is much more complimentary on hot dogs.  My daughters think that I'm really weird because I put strange things on my sandwiches, like horseradish sauce, wasabe, and/or pickled ginger root.

511.  Have you ever skied Mount Everest?
Never.  I've climbed Mount Rainier, Pyramid Peak, and skied almost every summit in Tahoe, but never Everest.  There are some crazy people up there I've heard.

512. Do you prefer lettuce on top of the patty or under the patty on a burger?
Dunno, dontcare.  There must be more pressing issues facing our world these days.  But hey, if I had to choose, I'd go for both top and bottom... gotta love them veggies.

513. How come you like teaching?
Another tough question.  It is hard to say, but it has everything to do with y'all.  Middle school mentality is a perfect fit for me and how I like to be every day.  It feels good when people (me included) learn something new or come to appreciate life in a new way.  I think I have the best job ever.

514. What is your favorite YouTube video?  Can't decide.  Here's a mashup.

515. Peeta or Gale?
I don't take sides on things that don't require it.  Weird how we try to impose conflict and competition where it doesn't even need to be.  The book (Hunger Games) is far above a petty love triangle scenario.  Buuut, Gale is a better fit for her.  I'm such a wus.

516. Have you ever been under communist rule?  They won't let me answer that.

517. Pen or pencil?
Again, "yup".

518. How long have you been an English teacher?
  Although I had the kids to a lot of writing when I taught 7th grade science, this year (2010-2011) is the first time I be doing the English teachering.  

519. What games do you play?
Mind games.  I rarely win or even get a high score.  So many levels!

520. If you could live on any star outside our solar system, which one would it be and why?  Oh, I get it... you're testing my science knowledge by asking whether I'd like to live on a huge sphere of nuclear fission (I think).  Well, I'm too sharp for that.  I'll choose "none of the above".

521. Have you ever bungee jumped off the Eiffel Tower while the fireworks were going off?  Bungee jumping and fireworks, yes.  Eiffel Tower, no.  Given what I know about gravity and the shape of the tower, bungee jumping would be more of a thud--drop--thud--drop--thud--drop than a freefall.  Perhaps base-jumping would be a better choice of idiotic adventurous acts.

522.  Have you ever been to prison?  Nope.  I do know someone who was in for about two years.  Scary, scary, scary.

523.  What is your favorite purple?
Well, I guess that my favorite purple is the one that is a powerful combination of red and blue.  Ok, seriously, now that I think about it, my favorite purple(s) are the ones that streak horizontally between the late, late cloudless high-sierra sunset and the darkening upper skies.  Kind-of an indigo meets maroon, but way cooler than that.

524. Pie?
Blueberry or apple.  Just a slice, thank you!

525.  What was your first word?
Outside.  Actually, it was my middle-daughter's first word (as she was licking the sliding-glass door), but I think that it is such a cool first word that I'll lye and call it my own.  Amazing thing, this parenting prerogative.

526.  What is the weirdest thing you've seen at a public restaurant?  Myself.  Seriously, there was I time when I had been backpacking for a long time and then when I got back to civilization I went to an all-you-can-eat salad bar place (craved fresh green crunchy food).  When I went to the bathroom I caught sight of myself in the mirror and realized just how scruffy and grimy I had become while out in the wilderness.  Since I hadn't seen myself in a mirror during the trip, I sure did look weird!

527. Who do you look up to?  All those tall people that I stand next to.

528. Have you ever dyed you hair?  Yes, and I say that in all embarrassment because it is not something a guy should admit.  I used to put lemon in my hair during the summers of college because when I went back to San Diego for school each fall I wanted to look as blond as the locals.  Nowadays I get highlights once in a while if I can afford it and am feeling in need of a male-type makeover.  

529.  Why do you come up with these questions?  I don't.  You do.  But I know what you meant to say.

530.  What is the ultimate question?  The one for which I can concoct the ultimate answer.  No luck yet, but lets keep trying.

531.  Platypus or hedgehog?  Tough choice, since I know very little about either one.  Based on my limited knowledge I would probably choose platypus because they are such an evolutionary oddity.... egg-laying mammal.  

532.  What is your favorite book?  Calvin and Hobbes Anthology.  Or maybe "The Power of One" by Bryce Courteney.  I also like non-fiction books like woodworking manuals and how-to-fix-stuff books.

533. Have you ever been in a movie?  Well, not a "movie" movie, but I've been in a home movie.  My mom made a movie about me when I was 12 to send to my relatives in Europe who where too old to come visit us in the US.  It was a film movie which had to be edited by cutting up film pieces with scissors and taping the good parts together.  I was trying to be mr. cool, but it backfired severely.

534.  Do you know the first 21 digits of pi?  I know 3.1415925 and after that I'd just be guessing.  But I DO know what it means!  I wonder why they call it pi?

535. What is your favorite saying?  I have lots and lots of them, most are from movies.  "And in the morning, I'm makin' waffles"; "Seven cents, Vern?"; "Wrong lever.  Why do we even have that lever"

536. Why?

537.  How drunk have you?
Not so drunk that I couldn't finish MY sentence.

538.  Do you know the muffin man?  No, but I looked into it and apparently he lives here.

539.  Have you ever met the moonwalking bear?
Well, if you've ever seen me do the moonwalk, you would have the answer to that question.  Imagine a clumsy bear trying to teach it to an even clumsier teacher.  Not a pretty site.

540. Do you have any phobias?  Yes, I am deathly afraid of telling people what I'm afraid of.  I also have a shiver-causing fear of falling through the ice in a frozen river and not being able to break out.

541.  Who is your favorite singer?  Me.  But only in the shower when no one else in listening.  The rest of the time I sound terrible.  Serious answer?  I don't have one.  My preference for music and singers fluctuates greatly with my mood and surroundings.

542.  What kind of student were you when you were in 8th grade?  I was a bit odd, I think, but I didn't really know it at the time.  I had a few good friends, liked school, and had a lot of non-traditional interestes and hobbies.  I certainly wasn't one of the cool or popular kids, but I did have the ability to hang out with just about anyone and feel comfortable.  It was a really fun and important time for me.

543.  Did any teachers ever hate you?  Yes.  My 7th grade science teacher really was exasperated by my unfiltered wit, complete disinterest in the subject (at the time), and brazen lack of respect for (unrespectworthy) adults.  To you, Mrs. Bukerood, I give my most heartfelt raspberry.  How's that for honest?

544. Would you want to me be me (Justin)?  Sure, if for no other reason than to ask one of these wacky questions.  Seriously, I do think that it would be a cool thing to be able to be someone else for a little way.  The world would be a better place if we had that ability because we'd see things through others' eyes and probably be much better off for the understanding and experience.  Plus, then you could be ME for a while and could probably write a much better answer to your question.

545. Do you like cream?  Nah.  "Too rich for my blood" as they say.  Literally, actually, if you consider what the animal fat in cream does to the veins of ol' farts like me.

546. Have you ever been cheated on/cheated on someone?  Jeeez, lets just jump right into the I've-known-you-forever-and-can-ask-anything mode!  Well, I don't think that I've been cheated on, but how would I know?  And nope, I've never cheated on anyone else.  There was a close-call once way early in my romance life... sometime around the end of college.  Long story, and not for here, actually.

547. Have you ever worn a Speedo?  Ha, that's a funny question -- very creative.  Well, yes, I have.  When I was a freshman in high school I was on the water polo team (but not for long), and we wore Speedo suits.  Quite revealing, for better or worse.  The only upside to it was staring people right in the eyes as they were talking to me, and catching them looking down.  More embarrassing for them, than for me (most of the time).

548. Are you secretly a Ninja?  Not much of a secret anymore, pal!  Thanks for revealing my secret identity.  If you rearrange the letters in my name quick enough, you can spell ninja, but you have to be fast -- almost too fast to see.

549. Whats your favorite high school memory?  I remember building a sand volleyball court with a bunch of friends and my algebra teacher.  The school had no idea we were going to do it, but we made it look so professionally done that they never questioned it -- I guess all the suits in the front office just assumed that one of the others had contracted to get it built.  I also remember putting our high school up for sale in a bunch of real estate magazines and newspapers.  "For Sale: Large Atherton estate on prime wooded property.  56 rooms, 11 baths, pool, tennis courts, and large recreation room."  We also listed the phone number of the school and they got calls from interested buyers for months after that.

550. Twilight or Harry Potter?  HP... just better writing and a more entertaining series.  Twilight is just 1500 pages demonstrating that some dull girls are hopelessly attracted to shiny things.

551. When you supposedly stole your friends girlfriend, what did you tell her about your friend?  Finally... after hundreds of questions, here is one that I won't answer.  

552. What's the craziest thing you've ever done when you're drunk?  I have only been drunk a few times and never really so much that I would do big crazy things.  Probably the worst thing that I did was to get stuck in a phone booth -- I couldn't figure out how to open the door.  They are hinged in the middle and open inwards, which was way too much for my small and slightly inebriated mind to handle.

553. Have you ever cheated on a math test?  Once in fifth grade, twice in sixth grade, never in seventh, and four whole times in eight grade.  So, yes, I have cheated on math tests 12 times!

554. How did your first date go?  She goed out the front door, but way too soon.  Was it something I said?

555. Whats the weirdest thing that you've ever done in public?  I got down on my knee and sang a love song to a girl that I liked.  For some reason after that she married me.

556. Have you ever won a food eating contest?  Nope, but I've never been in one either, unless our family dinners qualify.  I was the youngest in a family of 6, and so I had to learn to be pretty assertive in order to get fed.

557. Did you ever try to be a comedian? Sure, in just about each of these questions I've tried to come up with some kind of weird answer that might just be funny to someone.  Sigh.

558. Do you ever feel like you hate some students?  Hate? No.  But I have been angered, frustrated, annoyed, and saddened by quite a few. Sometimes, when things get really bad, I have to detach myself from a kid and just choose not to get emotional about a situation or behavior.  There was a kid a while ago who had horrible potty-mouth.  She would swear and talk loud and nasty just (in my opinion) to get me riled up about it (cuz I hate meaningless swearing).  So, I may have hated the behavior, but not the person.  Hey, thats the first serious answer in a while... congratulations. 

559. What was the best project you ever did?  The best school project was one that I did in 9th grade as part of a community-service thing. We built a sand volleyball court at a local community center.  Much more hard labor than we thought it would be, but after even a few decades it is still there and being used.

560. Will we have amazing parties?  Depends on how you define both of those words (amazing and party). I won't provide good times for you -- instead, if great times are to be had, we will make them happen together.  So, my answer is "yes, hopefully we will have amazing parties".

561. If you could be any famous celebrity who would it be?  Hmmm, good question.  I think that I'd like to know what it would be like to be an inventor, like Thomas Edison or Ben Franklin.  Or a good writer or a great athlete.  I guess it is pretty obvious that I can't really choose a single person.

562. If you could change your first and last name, what would you change them to?  I can't say, but if I could, I would change my middle name to "comma".

563. Do you watch Sesame Street while eating cheese?  Well, I used to , but now I have upgraded my entertainment and culinary preferences.  These days it's Phineas and Ferb accompanied by Cheeze-Its.

564. If elephants are microwaves, what are alligators and why?  Incinerator, because of the first letters; E is to M as A is to I.  Simple -- I can't believe you had to ask.  :)

565. What is the drunkest you have ever gotten?  Not very, actually.  I have only been drunk a few times, and never have I been wildly drunk.  I was usually the most entertained (not entertaining) person at parties.

566. How many times have you pooped yourself as an adult?  None.  Seriously.  No shit.

567. What is your least favorite place in the world (that you have been in)?  Phoenix.  The city was just miles and miles and miles of strip-malls and vacant lots.  Everything was paved, everyone was grumpy, and it was just too dry-hot for this ol' tropics-lover.

568. Do you know how to dance?  That is an easy one to answer and a tough one to admit.  I really am bad at it, but I like it -- dangerous combination.  It is like singing under headphones; the person doing it thinks they're good, but to those around it is torture.

569. Have you ever gone ziplining?  Oh yeah!  Lots of times.  At Mount Hermon there is a great set of cables through the redwoods.  When I was in college, my friends and I built a zip-line over a lake (hillside to beach), and it was the first (only?) time I ever used the trigonometry that I learned in school for a practical application (tension on wire vs weight of load vs resulting deflection)

570. Do/did you play video games?   See question 103.

571. What made you decide to be a teacher?  See question 15.

572. What was the worst food you've ever eaten, and if you could trade it for another disgusting food, would you and which one?

573. What is your favorite food?

574. If you could do or get anything you wanted to make you the happiest person alive, what would it be?

575. What in the whole world is most important to you?

576. What is your favorite hobby?

577. Can you do the Can Can?

578. What is the most embarrassing thing you've done in front of your students?

579. What is your favorite birthday?

580. What is the best month?

581. How easily distracted are you?

582. What's the coolest question you've ever been asked?

583. What was your favorite band when you were a kid and now?

584. If you could go to any place in the world, where would you go?

585. What do you think I should ask?

586. Do you have swag?

587. Pugs or drugs or thugs or hugs?

588. Do you have a birth mark? If you do, where is it and what shape is it?

589. Mayo or Miracle Whip?

590. Do you have a secret talent? If you do, what is it?

591. Do you watch a TV show no one knows you watch?

592. If you could have one wish what would you wish for?

593. What's in your wallet? And if there's money, can I take it?

594. Do you have swagger?

595. What is your 5th favorite number and why?

596.  How old were you when you had your first girlfriend?

597. Why did you become a science teacher?

598. Are you my dad in disguise?

599. What were you like when you were in middle school, and did you like it?

600. Swim team or water polo?

601. Who are you and what have you done with the real Mr. Heumann?

602. What is the craziest think you have ever done?

603. Percy Jackson or Harry Potter?

604. If you where on a deserted island and you could only bring one thing, what would it be?

605. What is the meanest thing you have ever done to someone else? Do you wish now that you had never done it?

606. Who was your first girlfriend?

607. Have you ever danced with the devil, near the pale moonlight?

608. How many times have you gotten to school having forgotten something and drove all the way back?

609. Where do you find the "Videos of the Day"?

610. Will you give me candy right now?

611. What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

612. Who was your all time favorite student at DCS?

613. What do you think the is meaning of life?

614. What is the most embarrassing thing you've done in public?

615. How do you like teaching?

616. Are you weird?

617. Can you make a movie-making selective that goes two days a week?

618. Who is your favorite person other than yourself that you know in real life?

619. How many jobs have you had in the past before teaching?

620. What was your first video game console?

621. What super power do you want?

622. What is better, community college or university?

623. Before you got married what did you look for in a girl?

624. Do you believe in weirdness?

625.  What would be your last meal and vacation?

626. You have five minutes to live, what would you do?

627. What is your favorite tech company?

628.  Describe your worst date.

629. What school, other than DCS, would you like to work at?

630.  What sports did you play as a kid?

631.  Have you ever eaten an exotic animal?

632. Who is/was your celebrity crush?

633. What is your favorite type of wine or beer?

634. What are you going to be for halloween?

635. If you could talk to anyone in history, who would it be?

636. Does Mike Wozowski (Monster's Inc.) blink or wink?

637.  What is interesting about you?

638.  What college did you go to, and why that one?

639.  If you had the ability to make anyone do anything by eye contact, what would you do?
Avoid mirrors.