Tim Ferris published his latest book “Tribe of Mentors” in November of 2017. The book has received attention not only for the star-studded list of people interviewed, but also for the types of questions asked to these A-listers. Many others have posted their answers to these questions over the last year. In this post, I give my own answers.

  1. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
    1. Two items come to mind. The first is my new computer mouse–the Logitech MX Master. It makes everything I do on my desktop PC so much easier. The second is a combination of things that fits into one package: my pocket organizer. The combo consists of the Rickshaw Bagworks Diplomat Organizer, Field Notes notebook (grid), Efficiency Supply Checklist notebook, Fisher Space Pen, and Pilot G-2 colored pens. The entire set up is less than $100, and has made grad school planning simple and easy.
  2. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
    1. My favorite failure? Not getting into grad school for Speech-Pathology or Audiology. I applied to both types of programs and did not get in–twice. I did get into a special education M.Ed. program and it was the best thing that happened. I found my true passion and it has led to many other great opportunities, including a year of teaching and my current Ed.S. program.
  3. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
    1. “Get your kid(s) vaccinated, dumb ass!” Seriously though, too many people these days need to get reeducated on vaccines (and no, they do not cause autism).
  4. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
    1. It will sound corny, but I have to say my wife. I couldn’t be where I am today without her.
  5. What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
    1. Probably my obsession with bags. I lost count of how many I have after 40 (number of bags, not my age). I often look forward to choosing my bag for the next day and loading it with what I will take to school or work. It helps relieve some stress by engaging in an activity I enjoy versus one that I have to do.
  6. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
    1. Reading more. It has opened my eyes to more ideas, and has prepared me for the massive amounts of reading assignments in grad school. It has also made me feel more productive on days when I’ve felt I wasted time or got nothing done.
  7. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
    1. Listen more than you speak; you may think you know a lot, but you really don’t.
    2. Ignore over zealous ideals based on “research evidence.” Do your own research and find the conclusions. There is often more than one way to skin a cat.
  8. What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
    1. People often list “screen readers” and text-to-speech as occasional accommodations in IEPs, especially for students with SLD. Screen readers are devices for those who are blind or have visual impairment, and text-to-speech is assistive technology that can’t just casually be thrown in.
  9. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)
    1. Clean, or straighten up a room. Sometimes I’ll even take a shower to relax. Those are my go-to things if I am at home. If at school, a change of scenery always helps.
  10. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
    1. The Practical and Fun Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools.
      1. Great resource for anyone wanting to learn about assistive technology and how to use it in the public school system.
    2. The Great Divorce, by C. S. Lewis
      1. Amazing insight into faith and the daily struggles people face. It really makes you think about creating personal hell versus the stereotypical version we hear about so often in media and religion.
    3. A Call for the Dead, by John le Carre
      1. Excellent character study. All books in the George Smiley series by le Carre fall under this category. I recommend this since it is book 1 in the series. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is also highly recommended.

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