Getting to know a PLN star… an interview with Shelly Terrell

For those of you who don’t know, Brad Patterson (@brad5patterson) suggested a challenge to the PLN. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the premise is simple.  Ask a member of your PLN  5 standard questions, which you’ll see below, and from there, get to know them in ways that you might not otherwise have the chance to on twitter or other social media. As soon as he proposed I called “shotgun” on Shelly :-) Hope you enjoy it!

That's how you usually see Shelly - with her radiant, warm smile :-) and tweeting of course!

Shelly is one of the first people any educator who joins twitter should start following. She’s a passionate educator (and calls her PLN the Passionate Learning Network), keynote presenter, mobile learning enthusiast (There’s an app for anything!), web conferences organizer, webinar presenter, social media goddess and… the best friend one could have. She’s the most supporting person and a true dynamo. I don’t know where she finds energy to do everything she does, but I’m glad she does. I was fortunate enough to meet Shelly face to face last January in Yorkshire when we both took part in Berni Wall’s (@rliberni) fantastic Professional Development Week Workshop – it was friendship at first sight! We shared a room and would stay up til 6am talking… She’s been a true friend ever since, being there for me whever I needed and it was an immense pleasure to be able to interview her for this challenge!

The 5 Standard Questions:

If your students were to label you with 3 adjectives, what might they be?

Playful, caring, supportive

(Why am I not surprised… 3 adjectives that definitely fit Shell like a glove)
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

Lots of German beer, Coke 0, soy burgers, lactose free milk & in my cabinet chickpeas and blackbeans because this is pretty much what I eat everyday.
(As a coke o addict myself, I can vouch for her answer here… Simon Greenall (@simongreenall) could barely keep up with our drinking habit when he was our host in Oxford!

If you weren’t a teacher, what might your profession be?
I would be a beach bum with a seriously cute surfing pug, Rosco. Seriously, though, I would be running my nonprofit organization I started years ago that I had to give up. Artists, musicians, poets, and writers came together to teach homeless children, gang members, and troubled youth how to express themselves through art, writing, and/or music. We would raise money by throwing these incredible shows in this huge warehouse that had been renovated to serve as art studios. Then we would get together weekly to talk about how we would improve the community through creativity and art. These were some of the best moments of my life. Ethos achieved the SAMMinistries 2001 Volunteer Group of the Year Award for the creation of a music and arts program for homeless children.
Thanks to this challenge I learned about this part of Shell’s life… which only validates her commitment to education and the transforming power of it. I hope she can pick up her organization from where she left it and continue to spreading love, education and transformation soon… And as for Rosco, he’s the only dog who’s glared at me (when I lectured him about farting while his mom was holding him)… pretty amazing ;-)
What do you find most difficult about the teaching profession, or What has been your most difficult class as a teacher?
The most difficult thing about the teaching profession is the politics that get in the way of supporting good teachers. My most difficult class was in Germany. I co-taught at an English camp for German speaking children. The class consisted of 20 children between the ages of six- to seven-years-old who spoke and understood very little English. On the first day, I received a less than warm welcome. The children ran around the classroom flying paper airplanes. They climbed the walls literally because there were bars on the wall to hang the floor mats! They ignored me, since I knew as much German as they knew English. The worst part of the week was that one little boy was treated as an outcast and the children were quite cruel to him. We experienced many behavior problems.
As an educator I can certainly relate to that… politicians know nothing about teaching and education, and only get in the way…
What was the last book/movie you read/saw, and what have you seen/read way too many times?
I am currently reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami.
The last movie I saw was with you for our Skype date. Remember we saw Just Go With It with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston?
I buy several copies of a book, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, so that I can give it to my friends. I have even read this book to an exboyfriend who hated reading. LOL! I have watched The Wedding Singer, Heathers, and Dirty Dancing way too many times. That’s really the reason I don’t sleep because I am too busy trying to make up the time I spent watching these movies. I actually spent an entire summer with friends watching Heathers once a day for the entire summer! Talk about die hard fans.
Yes… I remember! For our readers, a brief explanation…Shelly and I have movie Skype dates, where we start watching the same movie at the same time, and we skype while we do it, so we comment on the scenes and laugh a lot…. It’s a lot of fun! We had some bad movie choices, but the last one was a perfect chick-flick – just what we needed that night! As for Dirty Dancing… well, Ania Musielak also mentioned it on her interview to James Taylor, and I have to admit it seems its influence transcends cultural borders. I know most of the lines on that movie by heart and have the special edition DVD. Because “nobody puts baby in the corner!”
The Extra Questions:
From all the places you have visited, which did you like the most? Which is the most beautiful?
I have traveled to 16 countries and 100s of cities. I am the worst at choosing; therefore, I’ll name top 5 which are the beaches of Mexico, Barcelona, Alghero, and Austria. I really loved Brighton Beach too but it may be because I got to make memories with so many friends.

Lunch at the Brighton beach... Marisa Constantinides, Shelly, me and James Taylor... after fish 'n ' chips, of course!

If you worked in a circus, which would be your number?
The trapeze girl for sure although I’m deathly afraid of heights.
Whisky Tango Foxtrot???? Afraid of height trapeze girl??? that’s be something to see…

 What do you indulge in when you’re having a hard time?
Give me a beach. I’m pretty obsessive about being at a beach.
Yeah… any time you looked around in Brighton and couldn’t find Shelly, you just had to go down to the beach to find her… the force the beach and the ocean have over Shelly is unexplainable. (not: I don’t know whether I should mention this here, but Brazil has some amazing beaches… just saying ;-))
What’s your hidden talent? Something you do really well that no one from the PLN knows?

I invented a kiss. It’s a Fish Bubble kiss. Actually my 2 younger sisters and I invented this kiss we give on the back of people’s’ hands.
Ok… I am currently with a sign up sheet for people who want to find out about that kiss on the next tweetup… If you feel like getting  a Fish Bubble kiss, please send your name to me and I’ll send details on how to get it ;-)
After the questions, I thought it’s be nice to do a “ping-pong” with Shelly, where I’d give her prompts and she’d have to say the first thing that came to mind… We did this through Wetoku, so here’s the video:

Hope you join Brad’s challenge!!!! Choose a PLN member and let us know more about him/her!

For other posts on the Challenge read:

Don’t CC Ceci, send her a To  – by Brad Patterson

ELT Blog Challenge: An Interview with Anna Musielak – by James Taylor

24 comments on “Getting to know a PLN star… an interview with Shelly Terrell

  1. seburnt says:

    You have Skype movie dates? Huh. That would never have occurred to me. Neat idea, though.

    I’m really enjoying the familiarising with my PLN I’m getting from these interviews. I’ve known Shelly for about two years now maybe and I think most of what I know has come in the last 6 months. Love you, Shelly. Love you, Ceci. Bests.

    • Yes we do!!!!!!!! and you’re invited to the next one! We can do a three-way Skype :-) I also have been greatly enjoying these interviews…you always find something you had never imagined about your PLN member…. We both love you Ty <3

    • seburnt says:

      It’s a date, of sorts. By the way, Shelly, I love Dirty Dancing. I watched it so many times and listened to its soundtrack over and over and over again back then. It’s definitely on my list of flicks to see again.

    • Tyson!
      You and Rocco should join our Skype dates! Shucks now I might have to buy group video Skype :-) We can all see Dirty Dancing & sing the songs together because I’m sure we all know all the lyrics and dances! LOL!

      • That is a DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!! And I sure as heck know those lyrics!

      • seburnt says:

        Hmmm. We need to /buy/ the ability to group Skype?

        I think this will be a fun internet adventure to go on. =)

      • I need TI help with that!!! Anyone? Do I have to buy the group Skype???

      • only one of us has to buy it and then we can all use it anytime we chat…and um… i bought it, so um… when we hanging folks ?

      • Just tell me when… you Europeans choose the time – I am a minority after all. ;-)

      • Rick says:

        LOL… that’d be a lot of fun, I suppose! I remember when one of my best friends went abroad we actually had a few skype chats while drinking some beer, just as we’d do if we were in the same room. However, there was nevera movie involved… Just finished watching (again) Elite Squad 2 – that’d be fun to watch together, huh?! :)

      • I still haven’t watched it, can you believe it! And I actually have a blu-ray copy of it a student gave me – but no blue-ray player! lol! You should try it sometime Rick, it’s a lot of fun! To be honest, I have a movie date tonight ;-)

  2. Vicky Loras says:

    Hi Ceciiiiii and Shellyyyyyyy!!!!

    Loved loved loved the interview, both the written one and the video! It was great to get to know more things about Shell and it was super to see you both and hear your wonderful laughs.

    I also like Shell’s picture at the beginning – she is exactly the way I first saw her in Paris, with that huge smile, that comes directly from her heart : ) (The picture on the beach is super too!)

    I can’t wait to see you both in Paris – and give you biiiiiiig hugs!!! Love you both!


    • Hi Vicky!!!

      Thanks for your feedback! That’s what I loved most about Brad’s challenge… Getting to know things about PLN members that we probably wouldn’t otherwise. And the laughing wasn’t on the script, but were predictable considering who we’re talking about ;-) I expect Paris will be an endless hugging weekend! Can’t wait either… now looking forward to YOUR interview!


  3. Ania says:

    Wow, that’s one hell of an interview:) I would have guessed a couple of things (the beach obsession and Dirty Dancing cause it’s classic;)) but the rest – NEVER:) Thank you Ceci for such a great interview:) And Shelly – one more thing – the trapeze girl?!?! Hats off!

    • I say we should definitely have a Dirty Dancing movie night next time. At the very least Dirty Dancing songs on the karaoke! Glad you liked it!
      Thanks Ania! Doing the interview was great fun! Can’t wait to read others!

  4. You do have to buy the right to show video in Skype group chats, I’m afraid :-( – the free version is only voice for groups, though if two are chatting, video is free.

    I loved your interview, Ceci and Shelly’s answers, too. Am feeling more and more grateful to Twitter these days for being so instrumental in creating our friendship, but spending time with you ladies was also very very precious.

    Love to you both and here is to our next meeting. It’s something to look for


    • Dear Marisa,

      I agree with you…I am also very very grateful to Twitter for making it possible to me to meet so many wonderful people and make some friends. But I also think the face to face interaction essential to really developing these friendships/bonds. The time we spent together was really special :-) Really looking forward that next meeting – and working on my scrabble abilities to make you proud! ;-)

  5. […] she insisted, it’s about putting the power to learn and create in the hands of the students.Getting to know a PLN star… an interview with Shelly Terrell « Box of Chocolates–Shelly is one of the first people any educator who joins twitter should start following. […]

  6. Trapeze girl… I knew it :)

  7. Marisa Pavan says:

    Hi Ceci!

    Thanks for sharing this interview. It’s absolutely enjoyable. And Shelly’s replies are great! It’s fantastic to get to know Shelly better. How certain you are when you say that Shelly is one of the first people any educator joining Twitter should meet. She’s one of the most encouraging Twitter-friends I’ve got. She’s contributed a lot to my professional growth. I’m grateful to Twitter for having given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful people.
    Hugs from Argentina!

  8. […] Getting to know a PLN star… an interview with Shelly Terrell « Box of Chocolates–Shelly is one of the first people any educator who joins twitter should start following. She’s a passionate educator (and calls her PLN the Passionate Learning Network), keynote presenter, mobile learning enthusiast (There’s an app for anything!), web conferences organizer, webinar presenter, social media goddess and… the best friend one could have […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s