Chris is someone I met when I was in college. I interviewed his brother Dan earlier in my series. Some of the best memories I had in the college church group was with Dan and Chris laughing and telling pickle jokes. Dan and Chris play off each other’s humor really well-they make each other laugh with their distinct comedic timing.
One day, Chris just disappeared to Colorado, and now we all know why…
JM: Tell us a little about yourself.
CH: I am 5’11″ tall. I wear size 12.5 shoes except for chucks, I wear 11′s. Chucks have always made me feel bad about myself in that way. If there weren’t so friggin cool I would boycott on principle.
I will be married to my first wife 10 years this July. We have two darling children, Emily (five going on 18), and Evan (three going on ninja). I know a lot of people are biased and say their family is the best, and their kids are the best looking, etc, but truth be told, they are lying. When I say it, I am not. My wife and kids are amazing. I had no idea how good it could be to have a wonderful wife, crack up kids, and get them all at the same time. I know plenty of people that cannot say the same of their life, and I am in no way trying to brag because it is all through the grace of God that I have been this blessed.
I have a bad habit of new hobbies. The good news is, I can do a lot of different things. The bad news is, I am not very good at most of them. Here are some things I like to do: Fly Fishing, Fly Tying, Play/Coach Volleyball, Video Games (xbl gamertag: nakedjed), play the ukulele, shoot archery, shoot pistols, shoot pool, shoot craps (not really), I love making digital art via illustrator and photoshop and I design and create shirts, stickers, decals etc.. I love doing new things. But I can get a little obsessive about getting proficient at doing new stuff, maybe a character flaw of mine…
JM: How did you end up in Colorado?
CH: I ended up in Colorado after I met my wife for the second time… It actually sounds much creepier than it was at the time. I was living in the mighty PHX and just living the bachelor’s dream: work, come home, eat ramen, play computer games, sleep, repeat. I would mix in church a couple of times a week as well as swing dancing on Tuesday nights…… Something was missing…like, A LIFE. Anyway, I had dated my wife, Kim, in college very, very briefly. Like 3 weeks brief. I hadn’t talked to her in years. I always wondered what had happened to her, so I decided to find out. I, like any interested friend (or skilled stalker), called the alumni association at our school and told them I was trying to get a hold of her. They gave me the last address they had on file, which was her parents, and I sent a letter. She had just returned from living in Venezuela for almost a year and just happened to be living at her parents when the letter got there. She called me the next week, we played the whole AOL chat game for a while and then I came out here (CO) for a visit. I made up my mind that I wanted to move out and pursue Kim. It worked out for me…..
JM: Tell us a pickle joke.
CH: What’s big and green and always blurry?
Pickle Foot -or- Big Pickle (which might sound bad.. or be taken the wrong way… that’s what she said kind of thing…) -or- the abominable snow pickle? -or- the abominable pickle man -or- the pickleable snow man. Take your pick. The point of a good pickle joke isn’t the joke itself, its more about being up for like 30 hours straight and inducing some kind of sleep-deprived, caffeine and sugar fueled hallucination. Hard to describe unless you’ve been there.
JM: You’re a P.E. teacher, yes? How’d you find yourself on that path?
CH: I was sitting in Pre-Calculus my sophomore year of high school hating the class. I remember thinking, “You know what? I really hate math. What could I do that would require me to do as little math as possible…hmmm….Oh, yeah, I could be a p.e. teacher! yay!”
Then I found out how much work it actually is. Which is fine, because at the end of the day, I am still teaching and playing games, sports, activities, etc. But more than anything the thing I love about my job is the ability to talk to high school students about their lives, choices, struggles, etc. There is something about making a high school kid feel normal in such a world of awkwardness. I don’t just teach “gym” though, I teach a rhythm and dance class, an adventure education class, sports medicine and strength and conditioning class. I love my job. I honestly never want to do anything else ever again. I would be fine working until I die at this school.
I have a whole other laundry list of reasons I enjoy p.e. and how it benefits kids, but most of it kinda goes without saying. I do not have my students play dodge ball. Or pick teams themselves. Or go shirts and skins. It is not how we all grew up, its evolved into keeping kids interested in activity for life, so they won’t suffer the fate of their grandparents, parents, etc.
I actually took two cracks at it too. I dropped out my first trip through college, then went back and got my Bachelors. I was hired after my first interview, and a few years later got my masters in P.E.
JM: Tell us more about Rhythm & Dance class and Outdoor Education Class.
CH: Rhythm and Dance was a new class for me this year. I was the only male teacher who had taught a dance unit in a regular p.e. class, so somehow that qualified me to teach an entire year of it. Imagine me, in all of my fat oldness trying to teach hip hop dance to a bunch of high school girls who would rather make fun of me than actually dance. EVERY DAY. Actually, it works out, I teach jump rope, tinikleing, yoga, swing dance and some line dance. I really enjoy dance class, but in all honesty, without boys in the class, it nearly eliminates or at least makes hard teaching dances that are lead-follow based. Like swing, waltz, salsa, etc. At the end of the day, we have a good time though, and as long as they are learning, we are good.
Outdoor education is where my passion lies, however. I teach all types of “alternative” sport activities. Things like, archery, disc golf, geocacheing, fishing, hiking, orienteering, etc. It’s all the stuff that “regular” p.e. classes don’t typically teach. Fortunately, it is all the stuff I love to do. My favorite thing is that it’s an evolving class; we keep adding more stuff to do, like wall climbing, paintball, horseback riding, etc. It is, in my opinion, where p.e. is headed. The era of sports based p.e. curriculums are coming to an end. Teaching kids how to stay active after their high school years is becoming the focus. Finding ways to keep people moving after they have given up on becoming the next Michael Vick is no longer on the horizon.
JM: Would you like to share an internet link?
CH: Wow, there is a lot out there… maybe a couple…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fad6eZTDikA&feature=youtu.be youtube classic. I almost snot every time I watch it.
Anything these guys do is worth watching…
http://www.teefury.com/ An interwebs sleeper. Sick cheap one time offered shirts. I own several. In fact, I went to verify the address for this interview and ended up buying a shirt. <3
www.peteranswers.com Look this one up. It is probably the best way to mess with someone on the internet. It’s been around a while, but if you can find someone who doesn’t know about it, It can be simply epic. You may want to google how it works first, as there is a trick to it.. but holy crap is it fun to jack with people….
Thanks Chris for participating in my interview series! Ask him your questions in the comments below!
Follow him on Twitter @nakedjed