19 Facts, 1 Lie

This was inspired partially by Steve Dembo’s little trivia post, but mostly by famed webcartoonist & adventurer Ryan Estrada. Granted, Mr. Estrada’s are much more fanciful, but I still like my list. See if you can guess which one is false! And yes, I know some of these do make me sound a bit full of myself (assuming they’re true). However, I think there are some embarrassing ones in there as well (assuming they’re true). (After this we’ll return to my irregularly scheduled education / technology / art podcasts. I have one half written.)

  1. Not a clue...or is it?I was born without tonsils. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  2. I was also born with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. The lack of oxygen at this crucial point may explain #19 on this list. Well, it explains a LOT of things.
  3. There is footage of me getting attacked by a goat. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  4. On my first real date ever I locked my keys in the car with the engine running. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  5. An astronaut once signed my hall pass. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  6. I once had a high school teacher tell my class “Oh yeah, my wolves came home last night.” He wasn’t joking.
  7. I have climbed up one side of a mountain and down the other. More than once.
  8. I once forgot to take off my glasses while cliff diving, and spent the rest of that week long vacation without them. I am legally blind without my glasses. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  9. I once accidentally erased my college advisor’s computer hard drive. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  10. After an ATM machine ate my debit card, I walked several miles through over a foot of snow to get it back from the bank. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  11. I once met former president Gerald Ford, but at the time I was too young to understand why it was a big deal. My parents still tease me for that. [FALSE! See the comments.]
  12. I once pointed to a student’s HTML code and said “There’s your problem, you used two apostrophes instead of one quotation mark.” I was right. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  13. After all those art classes, I still don’t hold my pencil correctly. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  14. My father is the son of a carpenter from Nazareth. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  15. I have taught every grade level there is in the U.S. educational system.
  16. In college I started not one, but two international writing clubs.
  17. I have been interviewed on the news more than once. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  18. As a child when I fell off of my grandmother’s porch railing and broke my wrist, I was berated for misbehaving and not taken to the hospital for 24 hours. [TRUE! See the comments.]
  19. I gave up a department chair position to teach art on a cart in not one but four schools, and considered it a step up.
  20. I am a fourth generation teacher.

Ok, so there are the facts … sort of. Remember, one of them isn’t true. The question is, which one?

28 responses on “19 Facts, 1 Lie

  1. theartguy Post author

    18 is true – My grandmother was rather no-nonsense and I was spending the night at her house, so it wasn’t until the next day that my father showed up and believed something might actually be wrong.

    14 is …ALSO true! My hometown is Nazareth, PA, and my father’s father was a carpenter. (No walking on water, though. He sinks like a rock.) Interestingly enough, Nazareth, PA is also near Bethlehem, PA, east of Egypt, PA, and on the road to Emmaus, PA. Tose wacky, wacky, Moravians liked naming towns after places mentioned in the Bible.

  2. theartguy Post author

    4 is true, as much as I wish it wasn’t. My father had to drive half an hour to give me his spare set of keys. The girl I was dating thought it was the funniest thing.

  3. Ann Oro

    I keep coming back to #13 – the art guy who can’t hold the pencil correctly. There’s another one I keep looking at, but I’ll go for #13.

    I had fun while I waited for my sons to finish their after school activity.

  4. theartguy Post author

    13 is … true! I am only comfortable holding my pencil at an unorthodox angle, which CAN cause my fingers to cramp up if I do too much writing over a short period of time. At the recommendation of my K-6 teachers my parents used to buy me pencil grips to encourage me to hold my pencils “correctly,” but my handwriting was worse with those things so I always took them off.

  5. Linda

    My guess is number 3. Who would ever believe ‘when goats attack”?…. oh wait- that happened to me too-except there was no film of the incident.

  6. theartguy Post author

    3 is true! I was quite young and my parents took me to a petting zoo along with their 8mm camera. Apparently I didn’t LOOK hurt when the goat knocked me down to get at my little cup of animal food pellets, so they just kept filming.

  7. theartguy Post author

    And yet, #1 is also true! I found this out when – again as a kid – my dentist asked my mom when I’d had my tonsils taken out. I’ve never had a tonsillectomy, and yet, they’re not there.

  8. theartguy Post author

    12 is true, and I still frequently use that story to show just how much of a geek I am.

    To be honest, several students in that class had the same problem so after I found it once it was the first thing I looked for later.

  9. theartguy Post author

    10 is … TRUE! Winters in Pennsylvania aren’t like winters in Maine, but they’re far from mild. Be that as it may, I was a dutiful Boy Scout and had appropriate attire for marching through the snow to the bank that was just outside the town limits (read: no sidewalks).

    The bank teller that returned my card to me thought I was joking when I said I’d walked the whole way as well.

  10. Laura Pilker

    I love this! I play a similar game with my students at the beginning of the school year: I give them 4 statements about myself, one being false, and they have to guess which one it is. Then I have them do the same in Microsoft Word and take turns with their classmates figuring each other’s out.

    As for yours, is it 17? Just a wild guess.

  11. theartguy Post author

    17 is true! First time I was ever interviewed was during a Boy Scout event commemorating my home town’s 250th birthday. My most recent interview was 2 years ago when I saw a news crew setting up in Baltimore’s inner Harbor so I snapped a picture of them. They, in turn, asked me a few questions about an upcoming eating contest. Not exactly my expertise, but my guess is they just wanted “person on the street” opinions.

  12. Ann Oro

    The truth is out there. Today’s pick #5. Although there could have been an astronaut in your past, this seems like the lie (today).

  13. theartguy Post author

    5 is true, although I sometimes find it hard to believe myself. A classmate (and member of my Boy Scout Troop) went to Space Camp one summer. While there, he not only met but somehow convinced a well known astronaut to come to our school and give a talk to the TAG students, of which I was one. Afterwards he signed autographs, one of which was on my hall pass.

    …as for WHICH astronaut it was, I’ll save that for if I ever play this game again.

  14. Aemilius

    Even though I am pretty sure that this is true i am going to guess #8.
    This is my first time on but this is fun.

  15. theartguy Post author

    8 is true, though the person who later became my wife still makes fun of me for it. (I called her to tell her what happened.)

    I was smart enough to take my glasses off before diving, but I put them back on to take some pictures. It was a full manual SLR camera, so being able to see if things were in focus was kind of important. My problem was after I took some pictures I forgot I had put my glasses back on … at least until after I came up for air.

    The replacement pair lasted over 10 years though.

  16. theartguy Post author

    9 is true, as much as I wish it wasn’t. I didn’t know as much about computers back then as I do now, although I THOUGHT I knew enough. I thought I was helping him out by reinstalling his OS after a bad crash where it no longer recognized the hard drive, when instead I was overwriting the data that should have been recoverable.

    Lucky for me, the REAL college tech support people were able to bring over a copy of Norton Utilities and recover the majority of his data, including the grades for all of his classes.

  17. Ann Oro

    Two months and the truth’s finally out! Go out there and meet a president. It will make a fine addition to all your other truths.

  18. Memumof2

    I too was born without tonsils, but nobody believes me. I found out the same way. I had a sore throat as a child and after assuming it was tonsils, the doctor discovered I did not have any. Glad to hear someone agree!