Until recently, my "firsts" were mostly connected to my career as a teacher. I was the first high-school teacher in my county to earn National Board Certification, and the first classroom teacher in my district to earn a doctorate. Nice accomplishments, sure. They made my parents proud. But those "firsts" give quite a one-dimensional view of me. They give the impression of a bookish schoolmarm (not really the type of teacher everyone is clamoring to hang out with). So I balanced that out with another first; it is one that represents me more accurately as a person.
I am sure that I am the first person to get a group of people stationed on Antarctica to go outside in subzero temperatures to take a "hands up" picture as part of a social experiment.
I am sure that I am the first person to convince people all over the U.S. and the world to throw their hands up and do a half-lunge for a 42-year-old woman who thought: "I wonder if I could get people to do this?"
Hands Up - The Pose is a social experiment that I started on July 10, 2011 on my couch. After reading Facebook comments on my own inclination to do "the pose" in pictures, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could get others to do it too.
After creating the Facebook page "Hands Up - The Pose," I immediately thought about deleting it. My adult sensibilities took over and almost convinced me that the time for silliness and social experiments was over. But then I thought that I should at least give it a try.
I asked everyone I knew to help me get "hands up" pictures from every state and each continent by the end of Labor Day weekend. Guess what? I got them! In just about two months, I collected pictures from people all over the world who put their hands up in pictures for me. Then, I turned the Facebook page/social experiment into a website and charity liaison that is still running and gaining momentum at handsupthepose.com  . Being a "first" can be intimidating and can cause quite a bit of angst, but not even trying and thinking of the "what if's" would be way worse!