Facts about me...
Do you know the game "2 truths and a lie"?
This is a classic "icebreaker" game, used in schools, universities, workshops, trainings and seminars. You get a sticky note, you write 2 things about yourself that are true, and one that is a lie. The other people in the room have to guess which statement is a lie.
When you are put on the spot, this can be surprisingly difficult.
Just like the question "tell us a fun fact about yourself." When people ask me this in an icebreaker round, I invariably want to say "I need to go to the loo." Which could be an excuse, or a fun fact, depending on your point of view.
So, here are some sentence starters and examples that make this type of exercise easier.
And while I'm at it, I tell you stuff about me. Some of it might be fun, some of it might be interesting, or trivial. But if you don't know me yet, most of this should be new to you. And: I did not include lies.
Thanks to Judith Peters whose Rapid Blog Flow Challenge was instrumental in creating this blog post.
- 1The series I loved most as a teenager was My So-Called Life. Did anybody else watch that, actually? I am pretty sure that's where I learned what a sonnet is.
- 2I would have sworn that the first film I ever watched in the cinema was 3 Men and a Baby, followed by Ronja Räubertochter. I checked the release dates while writing this blogpost, and it turns out that Ronja was released first. Memory is a fickle thing.
- 3My favourite book is probably Neverwhere. The sentence "mind the gap" will never mean quite the same again for me.
- 4My first car had a spoiler. It was already old when I got it, poor thing. Occasionally someone would pull up next to me at traffic lights, revving their engine. When they saw me behind the wheel they quickly realised that this was not an opportunity for a race.
- 5My worst student job was phone marketing. I was very bad at it.
- 6I love cryptic crosswords. I even wrote my very first blogpost about them.
- 7I like the feel of fresh bedlinen.
- 8I like the sound of a purring cat.
- 9I like the taste of liquorice.
- 10My favourite landscape is the Wattenmeer (wadden sea).
- 11I dislike the sound of people eating crunchy food, such as apples.
- 12The weirdest thing I take on holiday is probably my hot water bottle.
- 13My first thought in the morning is usually: Coffee!
- 14I am scared of birds. And spiders. I am more scared of spiders.
- 15I once read Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman during a job interview and got the job.
- 16I worked in a library while I was preparing for my teacher training.
- 17A thing I enjoy doing although I do it badly: running. It has taken me a long time to see myself as a "runner", and I am still not entirely sure if the thing I do shouldn't be classified as "falling forward without hitting the ground."
- 18My favourite shoes are my walking boots.
- 19I come from Hessen, but I do not speak the dialect.
- 20My motto: Follow your curiosity. As a student, I worked as a freelancer for a local newspaper. This is where it started. Everything is interesting.
- 21As a child I used to go fencing three times a week. I only skived training once because I wanted to watch a Care Bear movie.
- 22I have moved house 13 times. This felt like a lot until about 3 or 4 years ago. By now, I know so many people who have moved even more frequently that I wonder whether this is still a "noteworthy" fact.
- 23I have not had a TV in about 15 years.
- 24I learned knitting in school. The surprising fact: I was in my late 30s and on a school placement. My teacher was a primary school student.
- 25I can't walk in heels.
- 26I eat mostly plant-based food. I am also a bit of a foodie. One of my favourite things to do when visiting London is to try new restaurants that offer exciting food which does not rely on meat.
- 27My favourite Saturday lunch includes listening to the radio, ideally Radio 4's News Quiz.
- 28When I was 23, I moved to the UK for a year to do a Masters course in European Modernist literature. This turned into 14 years. When any of my mother's friends tell her about their children's "year abroad" plans, she just smiles wisely and suggests that they might want to start learning the language of that country.
- 29I remember faces, but not names. As a school teacher, I used seating plans, notes and pictures to remember my students' names. A student who did not notice this once asked me if I was "a magician" because I remembered their names so quickly. Another student scoffed at this: "No, she is cheating."
- 30Pigs are not my favourite animals. I like pigs, like most animals, but thanks to a pandemic-induced diet of Youtube videos I have become very fond of wombats. I love that they have square poo, a thick hide, look like furry pigs, behave like dogs and seem to be very heavy for their size. I also find it very funny when my husband puts on an Australian accent and says "wombat". Sometimes I am incredibly easy to entertain.
- 31I have no sense of direction, but I can read maps.
- 32I love walled gardens, especially if they are also kitchen gardens. And THAT has a lot to do with the "language pig". Why? Find out in Die Geschichte vom Language Pig: kind and curious.
- 33I am scared of heights. Sometimes. Not always. Mostly on stairs, and especially when you can see through the individual steps. Taking me on towers or bridges with glass floors and ferris wheels (=Riesenräder) is not much fun, trust me.
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to be put on the spot = when someone asks you to do something (answer a question, for example) without giving you time to prepare
loo = toilet
fickle = unreliable, changing
spoiler = an attachment at the back of your car that makes the flow of air more efficient, apparently. I hasten to add that the spoiler on my car was quite small, but it made the car look a bit bad-boy-racer-car-ish.
to rev an engine = you press the accelerator (which causes a "revving" sound like you are going to increase speed very quickly)
freelancer = when you are working on individual projects with different employers, not for one employer
to skive = staying away from class or your place of work
Care Bears = Glücksbärchis
heels = shoes with high heels rather than a flat sole
plant-based = This term is increasingly used to replace "vegan", partly because it emphasises that this is a diet based on eating "more plants" rather than emphasising that you eat less of something else (like meat or dairy). I am not a vegan, or a vegetarian, but I eat mostly plants.
to cheat = when you do not follow the rules, for example in an exam
hide = animal skin