Tag Archives: 30 at 30 lists

30 at 30 List #4: Drinks

In honor of me turning 30, I’m compiling 30 different top-30 lists on a wide variety of topics ranging from trivial interests of mine to meaningful life moments. Read the introductory post for more background information on my 30 at 30 project. Reminder: there is no scientific rationale for these lists. They were composed by a panel of one—me.

What do you want to drink? It’s such a crucial question. As someone who does not drink coffee or beer, two of America’s favorite beverages, my top answers to that question are unique. Featuring a few childhood classics and a few drinks for those 21 and older, my order of drinks gives you a big gulp’s worth of refreshments to read about. Enjoy this list responsibly!

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30 at 30 List #3: TV Shows

 In honor of me turning 30, I’m compiling 30 different top-30 lists on a wide variety of topics ranging from trivial interests of mine to meaningful life moments. Read the introductory post for more background information on my 30 at 30 project. Reminder: there is no scientific rationale for these lists. They were composed by a panel of one—me.

I probably watch too much television. It’s relaxing, entertaining, and nowadays it’s easier than ever to tune in. When I was growing up, I had to watch what was on one of the 60 or so channels we had from our cable provider. And unless I wanted to set up a VCR timed recording, I had to watch it when it was broadcast or else miss it entirely.

watching TV

Today, the number of channels has ballooned into the thousands. Recording multiple shows can be done with the push of a button using the DVR. On-demand services like HBO Go, Netflix, the Watch ESPN app, the WWE Network, etc., put TV viewing on my schedule. Plus, mobile devices like my iPad or iPhone give me the ability to watch TV on the go. On the track “BBC” from his Magna Carta Holy Grail album, Jay-Z raps “my whole life is leisure.” With the TV technology available to me today, sometimes I feel that way, especially during the summer, prime time for a teacher to catch up on some of the TV missed during the hustle and bustle of the school year.

My list of all-time favorite TV shows includes some current chart-toppers as well as some childhood classics. My list clearly shows my preference for comedies, and it also has some noticeable absentees. Sorry, fans of Game of Thrones, The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and INSERT YOUR BEST TELEVISION SERIES EVER THAT I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU HAVEN’T SEEN HERE. I haven’t watched any of them, at least not yet. For what it’s worth, I came up with more than 20 honorable mentions in compiling this list, so kudos to the programs that did make the final cut.

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30 at 30 List #2: Places I’ve Played Basketball

In honor of me turning 30, I’m compiling 30 different top-30 lists on a wide variety of topics ranging from trivial interests of mine to meaningful life moments. Read the introductory post for more background information on my 30 at 30 project. Reminder: there is no scientific rationale for these lists. They were composed by a panel of one—me.

Basketball has been part of my life since about the time I could walk.

As a kid, I watched my cousin Keith Nies and the Cathedral Prep Ramblers compete in three state championships, including the 1996 showdown with Lower Merion and Kobe Bryant. I had dreams of following in his footsteps, lacing up my sneakers for the orange and black, earning a Division I scholarship, and playing in the NBA. I never realized any of those dreams. After playing freshmen and junior varsity basketball for Prep, I was cut from the varsity team as a junior, steering my basketball career into another direction playing in the local CYO league for my home parish of St. Jude.

Although my basketball career fell a few steps short of a Hall of Fame enshrinement, I’ve had more than my fair share of shining moments. They may not have been ESPN or even Erie Times-News headline worthy, but they stand out in my memory just the same. To this day, basketball is entangled in my identity—player, coach, fan, student of the game. My relationship with the game changes and evolves depending on my role in it, but I cannot imagine my life without basketball being a part of it.

As I approach age 30, it’s pretty clear that my best basketball-playing days are behind me. Still, I plan to continue to find opportunities to play as long as my body will still allow it. Whether it’s a game of H-O-R-S-E or P-I-G at a family bonfire or a student-faculty game at Prep, if there’s a court calling my name, I’m going to answer.

In my life, I’ve had the pleasure of playing basketball in a variety of different places and in different contexts. Click to read the full  list counting down the top 30 places I’ve played.

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30 at 30 List #1: Student Responses to Mr. Hubert’s End-of-Year Survey

In honor of me turning 30, I’m compiling 30 different top-30 lists on a wide variety of topics ranging from trivial interests of mine to meaningful life moments. Read the introductory post for more background information on my 30 at 30 project. Reminder: there is no scientific rationale for these lists. They were composed by a panel of one—me.

Mr. Hubert

This week marked the end of another school year, my third as an English and journalism teacher at Cathedral Prep.  It was also the first year I was charged with teaching AP Language and Composition—to three sections totaling nearly 70 sophomores. It was a challenging task for me as a teacher, but it quickly became my favorite class to teach. It was also (and rightfully so) a very demanding class for my students, but I’m proud to say that the vast majority of them really learned a lot over the course of the year.

Their development as readers, writers, speakers, listeners, and critical thinkers was evident to me in regular class discussions and frequent writing assignments, but cherry on my teaching sundae came after reading what they wrote about the class and my teaching.

Dating back to my student teaching, one of the things I’ve done each year right before summer break is to survey the students. The survey is completely voluntary and anonymous. I preface the survey with a heartfelt plea to my students to be honest and sincere (knowing that I’ll still get the occasional goofball responses). For the most part, though, students take it to heart when you tell—and show—them that you care what they think. So I try to make my case quite clear. Logistically, principals and assistant principals are only able to observe on an occasional basis. My students see me every day at work. They see me at my best, my worst, and everywhere in between. So I ask them to be candid and spend 10-15 minutes responding to a survey that I put together. I read through every single response and take time to reflect on what it all means to me as a teacher.

The first several questions ask the students to assess on a 1-5 scale (from strongly disagree to strongly agree) several statements about the class, my teaching, and their performance in the class. Then, there are a handful of open response questions that ask the following things:

  • How did this class compare to other English classes you have taken in the past?
  • How did this class compare to the other classes you took this year?
  • What did you like most about this class? Why? Be as specific as possible, and list as many aspects as you feel are appropriate.
  • What did you like least about this class? Why? Again, be as specific as possible, and list as many aspects as you feel are appropriate.
  • What do you feel are the best aspects/qualities of my teaching? Why?
  • What do you feel I need to work on to become a better teacher? Please be as specific as possible.
  • What are you taking away from this course that you didn’t have/know/think about/realize before?
  • In 10 years, what are you most likely to remember from or about this class?
  • If you have any other thoughts/comments/feedback about the year in my class, about me as a teacher, or about my teaching style, please include them below.

When I read the responses this year, specifically those from the students who took my AP Language and Composition class, I was blown away. As a teacher, these comments are the fuel that power me to show up early, stay late, and work nights and weekends lesson-planning and reading essays even when it’s not always easy, convenient, or fun. For them, it’s worth it. The end of the school year was the perfect time to be reminded of that.

My first attempt to comb through the students’ responses resulted in more than 100 results. I tried to include a few of the good constructive criticisms in addition to the complimentary comments. There’s really no logical way to rank all these comments in comparison to one another, but this project is about a series of lists, so what follows is my best effort to narrow those down to a top-30 list.

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