Saturday, April 7, 2012

8 Questions with........John Bond

Welcome to the first entry of my interview series called "8 Questions with.....". Had a hard time getting this restarted as the first two folks sort of got lost in the falls with moving and working. I hope that I can get their interviews posted here really soon.
 "8 Questions with....." got started a few years ago and as I wrote before,had a great response. I interview people whom I think are very interesting and have something to say. It doesn't matter who we are,what color we are or where we live,we ALL have a opinion and voice....and this series will give you,the reader,a chance to get to some very engaging folks.

   I met John Bond on FB because of our love for college football. He follows the U of Miami Hurricanes and also the smaller black colleges and universities like Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M. I went on the Hurricanes board and was poking good nature fun at the Canes fan as San Jose State once played them and gave them a decent game before fading.
  But soon after we met,we started talking less about football and more and more about social issues. With John being black and myself being white,we started asking each other questions about how we each see things and how it affects lives. John is high school teacher,a very important job if the teacher can reach his/her students and install within them a desire and thirst to learn.
 Its not a easy job and far too many teachers have been reduced to going through the motions and getting paid because they are either burned out or just don't care. 
   I have have several great talks with John as we have talked about the Penn State scandal,the hazing incident at Florida A&M that resulted in the death of a band member and of course the politics of the day.
  I had wanted to ask for a interview but in today's world,putting your name online isn't always so safe. That said,I'm so very happy to have gotten this good friend as the first interview for the relaunching of my series.  I hope you like it

And now....."8 Questions with.......high school teacher John Bond"

1. What was your childhood like? What 3 events carried with you even to this day? 

JB:   My childhood, although a few bright spots, was mainly one that was not very pleasant.  This was mainly due to the fact that l was teased relentlessly for stuff like stuttering (l had a bad one and speech therapy really didn't work), speaking proper English, and doing well in school.  I was often accused of acting white.  I didn't have that many black friends growing and it hurt deeply because l didn't feel connected to anyone in the community.  What also contributed to this was the fact that my parents (specifically my dad) were very overprotective.  Every little thing l said or did came with a lecture and most stuff l tried to do for fun ( l liked) was dismissed as thug/gangbanging stuff.  I had to hide tapes l bought so that l wouldn't get a lecture about this.  About these events:

1) the first spanking l received - me and my brother were jumped coming home from school and l had to fight the bullies off, when we got home l got beaten because all my dad heard was that l was fighting (my pleas were to explain were ignored); after he found out what happened, all he said was "you know l love you right"....l never really looked at him the same way again.
  2) grounded on vacation - we had a timeshare in the bahamas and we generally played around (we were kids and we all knew each other), anyway l was hanging out with this white girl and we were just swimming together (not doing anything risque or anything like that) when l got back to the villa, my dad said that he didn't want me hanging out with this white girl anymore.  I didn't understand since l saw him talking to white people all the time.  He saw me talking to her later and l was grounded for the rest of the trip....all he could say was "well i'm the dad".
 3) receiving my scuba diving license - l remember this because this was one of the only bright spots l ever had growing up.

 2. What was your first car and how did you get it?

JB:  My first car was a 1995 Dodge Neon.  I got this car from a bet.  This was during the time I had pledged my fraternity.  My dad didn't want me to pledge anything and he continued to give me grief over it.  So l made a bet, l told him that if my grades slipped then l would give up my letters but if they went up l would get a car.  Needless to say l got the car (although l knew in advance that my grades skyrocketed).

 3. What three  people besides your parents influenced you the most and in what way?

JB:  Three people - My fraternity brother Jamarkus (he was the first person l met when l got to college and l saw someone similar to me in that he stuttered and played an instrument, it was good to see someone who looked like me taking their education seriously).  My Pre-Calculus professor Mr. Douglass (he taught me to seek help no matter the circumstance and not to let pride get in the way of being successful).  My M.S. Co-Advisor Lewis Johnson, Ph.D. (he taught me the importance of research and how to be patient while working with a sense of urgency, l also think of him as a friend and confidant)

 4. What made you decide to become a school teacher?

JB:  I see people complaining about the education system and how our children are not being adequately prepared for the future.  Instead of complaining, do something about it.  The field of Education was not my major in college but l saw a need and l made myself available to fill this need.  I also saw how minorities are under-represented in the sciences and although it's one thing to tell them that they can be a scientist, it's another thing to see someone that looks like them telling them this instead of being an athlete or rapper.

 5. What are three ways teachers can improve schools and what are three ways parents can help their children education wide?

JB: Three  ways teachers can improve schools - go the extra mile to help kids (i.e...tutoring, going to their extra-curricular events), keep a positive mental attitude, and enforce the rules no matter how small they might be (and be consistent as well).  3 ways parents can help their children - take an interest in their education, hold their kids accountable in everything (from grades to conduct), be their PARENT and not their friend, buddy, etc...

 6. What was the last book you read and what made you choose it?

 JB:  The last book l read was "God's Gift To Women" by Michael Baisden.  l chose to read this because l received it from a friend and l wanted to read something different from the history & non-fiction books that l generally read.  I must say that this thriller kept me glued and l read every page within a couple of days (l must say that l even pictured myself as the main character in a movie adaption of the book)

7.  What do you like best about teaching?

JB:  The thing l like best about teaching is the ability to reach new minds and give my kids some real world experience to go with the textbook material they receive.

 8. Tell us about the city you live in?

JB:  I can't really answer this one because l just moved here in January and l still have yet to explore.  I've been to a few hockey games but that's about it.....GO LIGHTNING!!!!

(Editor's note - we'll have to re-ask this question after the summer!)

9. Can this nation be saved?

JB:  I think about a question that l asked at a lecture a few years ago.  The question that l asked was:  They say that the difference between man and animal is the ability to think and use reason.  With the current nature & tone of politics in this nation, is this still true? (needless to say l got a few chuckles from this).  The speaker said a few things.  The first thing he said was to remember that politicans care about no one but themselves and their next election.  The second thing he said was that no one in the media (left & right) is held accountable for anything that they say and that until this happens no meaningful change will occur.  In reference to this question, l think this country can't be saved until people are willing to be truly honest with themselves about what needs to be done to fix things.  People need to stop voting against their own interests because of party affilation or what they think they should do/have always done.  Times are tough and people need to realize that answers to these problems are not going to be solved in 2 year election cycles & 15 second sound bites!!!

Thanks for always,feedback and comments are most welcome!

No comments:

Post a Comment