Tapped In Member Perspective: Meet BJ Berquist

BJ Berquist is an art teacher at the Loysville Youth Development Center, a residential male juvenile correctional facility in central Pennsylvania. BJ became a member on February 7, 1998, and has become a valuable member and leader of the community. She was involved in the planning of the Civil Rights Forum held in May, 1998 and has led discussions on Sensory Literacy. BJ, when she's not in her Enchanted Forest virtual office, often takes on the role of official greeter in Reception. She can answer questions about how to do things in TAPPED IN and about what activities are going on. If you would like to meet her, she is frequently online between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific (5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern). BJ, who lives in a real life Enchanted Forest, has been married 31 years to a terrific guy named Tom, has two grown children, a son-in-law (who is also a TAPPED IN member), 7 cats, 2 dogs, 2 fish, 4 frogs, and a sucker-fish.

BJ's Perspective

I became involved with TAPPED IN in a rather serendipitous way. A professor at the University of Indianapolis, Dr. Greta Pennell, had put a notice on the Teachers Helping Teachers bulletin board asking for people to work with her Ed Psych class. I responded to her request and had my art classes answer questions from Greta's students. One of the lessons Greta had for her students was a treasure hunt at TI. I followed the lesson out of curiosity and stumbled into the warm and welcoming arms of some of the most supportive and helpful people I have ever worked with!

I am by no means techno savvy. I enjoy using the computer and can navigate fairly well. If I run into a problem, I either bluff my way through it by trial and error, or I holler for help. I mention this because I think many people hesitate to become involved in an organization like TI, which was, after all, started with a grant from NSF to support science and technology programs.

I am an art teacher in a male juvenile correctional facility. I'm interested in just about everything, but am a true jack of all trades, master of none! And in spite of this I have met and interacted with some marvelous people from diverse disciplines. The Civil Rights Forum gave me the opportunity to not only work with social studies teachers from across the country, but also encouraged me to work closely with the social studies teacher at my own school. This professional interaction has continued and I now have a colleague with whom I enjoy sharing successes and failures.

The staff at TI have also become colleagues and dear friends. When I presented an After School Online on Sensory Literacy, everyone was kind and patient in guiding me through the nuts and bolts of the process and supported my ideas. Any questions are quickly answered, problems are discussed, suggestions are given, and (my favorite) hugs of encouragement are frequently administered. Why do I use TappedIn? For all of the above reasons and more. It provides me with an opportunity to share, to learn, and to see the world through other's eyes.