Everyone Has a Story: Owen B

Today’s mini-interview is with Owen, who is a teacher who makes the world a better place by helping students become successful adults through finding their voice as writers. Today he shares one of the goals he’s working to accomplish and his guiding life question.

(If you’re interested in being interviewed for this blog or have someone in mind for me to interview, please let me know or leave a note in the comments section.)

Photo provided by Owen B (http://everyonehasamrb.tumblr.com/)- Used by permission

Photo provided by Owen B – Used by permission

Name and blog:
Owen B; Hey Mr. B! is where I blog intermittently about education.

What is one of your dreams for your life?
It’s the dream of every teacher to make a difference in the lives of our students. It’s my belief that in order to help students become functional and (dare I say it?) successful adults, they have to master 3 C’s: communication skills, critical thinking, and confidence. It is my dream to find a place where, as an educator, I feel like I can be effective in helping students find their voice as writers, and using that as a vehicle for teaching the 3 C’s. I feel like that’s my contribution to making the world a better place.

What is something on your bucket list?
Well, writing a bucket list, I suppose! I’ve never been the kind of person to create lists like that – I believe in setting small, achievable goals like “get a master’s degree” and “find the perfect Christmas present for my wife.”  I do have ideas about things I would like to experience and accomplish, though. One of those things getting a book published. I’ve been writing novels with National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) for 11 years now, and I’ve finally managed a rough draft that I think is worth revising.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Ok, story time. In college, I got a job working for the on-campus gym. Now, I’m pretty bookish. I’m short, chubby, and the last time I played a team sport was middle school soccer. Most of my co-workers were athletes for the university. Not only did we move in different circles, but we interacted with our peers in completely different ways.

Luckily, though, the guys there liked me. They took the socially awkward blunders of a guy raised in a household of women with mostly women-friends as the innocent mistakes they were. Whenever I did something stupid, they would paw me down like bigger dogs teaching the puppy how to run with a pack.

I was excited to finally have some guy friends. I was telling my therapist about this development, and she stopped me midway through it.

“That’s really wonderful,” she said. “I’m really glad you have these guys to help you. But remember, the advice they give you is based on what they were raised to believe about how men act. You get to make the choice, today and every day, about whether that aligns with who you are. Ask yourself: What kind of man do you want to be?”

To this day, that is my guiding question.

Thanks Owen, for sharing your time and stories with us!

Readers: Do you want to be interviewed, or do you know someone I should ask for an interview? Let me know.

Will you consider joining with me in supporting children’s literacy and healthy self-expression through storytelling? My goal is to raise $1000 for National Novel Writing Month, a non-profit that organizes the event by the same name. Learn more at my fundraising page.

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