1. I keep bees. That usually starts a conversation.
2. The TNJN.com kids make me look like a wizard and a genius every day. I am in awe of them. I wouldn't dare tell them that, however.
3. I love choral music. I'm also a big fan of baroque, bluegrass and fusion jazz.
4. If I am still in bed at 5 a.m., that means I have overslept.
5. My wonderful wife Sally and I discovered gardening after we moved to East Tennessee a few years ago. We have had great fun doing that together.
6. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I prefer watercolor over pen and ink. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I prefer pen and ink over watercolor. On Sundays, I can't decide.
7. When I was in the first grade, my mother wrote a note to my teacher excusing me from class as lunch because it was the first day of the World Series. This was in 1954, and the Series was still played in the afternoon then. I came home and watched the game. That was the game when Willie Mays made The Catch. I don't remember seeing it.
8. The three best reasons for being in education are May, June and July.
9. In 2008, I lost 25 pounds, got my first novel published and grew potatoes. I'm glad I didn't have to choose.
10. I once interviewed Billy Graham at his home in Montreat, N.C. When the interview was over, he asked if I needed to go to the bathroom. I didn't, but I said I did. I figured that was the only chance I would ever get to see Billy Graham's bathroom.
11. I believe in the First Amendment. Not many people do.
12. About two and a half years ago, our cat, Squeaky, died. I still think about her a lot.
13. I am a connoisseur of sunrises (see #4).
14. I am a very lucky fellow. (See picture below. See also my Picasaweb albums. )
15. In 1970, I was one of the very last people in the U. S. to receive a draft notice. I spent four years on active duty in the Navy.
16. Writing for the Mass Media, one of the textbooks I have written, is now in its seventh edition. The book is 25 years old. That's older than most of my students.
17. I once met Bear Bryant. I have a story about that.
18. I have worked for newspapers in five different cities: Bristol, Knoxville, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Chicago. Technically, it's six cities. Does anybody know why?
19. I own two Miatas. One is red. The other is green. Long story.
20. My favorite joke is the one about the kid who gets his grade report at the end of the term and has all Fs, except for one D. He thinks about it and come to the conclusion that he has been concentrating too much in one subject.
21. I created a web site called JPROF.com and also do blogs called The Writing Wright and Honey Dot Comb. Sally came up with that last name, but she denies it.
22. I have one rule of civil behavior for all of my classes, large and small. It's a rule I impose on myself, not on my students. The rule is: If you're talking, I'll listen.
23. Football, basketball and hockey are minor, off-season sports invented to take up the space between the end of the World Series and Opening Day.
24. I grew up in Nashville. That's significant.
25. Writing is one of the most important things that we do.
This was a good exercise, and it was fun.