Teachers Way Back When
June 2, 2017
Mrs. Akers went to Regina Dominican High School, an all-girls Catholic school in Wilmette, where the students were expected to be everything and do everything. Along with her busy academic life, she was involved in class council, music, drama, community service, and a ton of singing along the way. Mrs. Akers had a confusing rotating block schedule in high school, so she and her friends would try to convince the nuns that it was a different day and schedule in attempt to get out of tests. The fine arts are what won her over in high school, with an emphasis on concerts and plays,the equivalent of doing Choraliers and the Fall Play here at DHS. Music was always prevalent in her upbringing; whether it be playing cassettes at home or with friends, or singing and performing herself. Growing up in the 1980s, Mrs. Akers was naturally mesmerized by the music, listening to everything from Journey, Cool and the Gang, and the B52’s to the British pop invasion sound of Flock of Seagulls, and of course the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. One of the biggest differences between her high school experience and that of her students is that kids today can get together in the middle of the week, something she was not allowed to do in high school.
ADVICE: “Keep perspective, because what may seem like a really big deal now blows over pretty quickly…Stay focused on what really matters, which is maintaining healthy, positive relationships that make you better than who you are.”
Mrs. Farabaugh’s teenage experience was a bit more unique than a run-of-the-mill high school career: she went to high school in both England and Singapore. In high school, she was involved in sports, especially tennis, was studious, and played the flute competitively across many different countries in Europe and yet she describes herself as the shy type. If she had a question in class, she would ask a friend to ask the teacher for the answer. Mrs. Farabaugh loved to dance, and would listen to anything that she could dance to, but her biggest musical loves were Queen, Bon Jovi, and Michael Jackson. Although she originally took an interest in pursuing math, when a teacher told her “you have two things against you: you’re a female and you’re blonde,”she knew from that moment on she wanted to be a Spanish teacher instead. Because she always lived in cities with easy access to public transportation, Mrs. Farabaugh didn’t learn how to drive until she was 19, and when she did, she learned the UK-way: on the left side. When she would visit the United States every summer, there would always be one or two incidents where her parents would take a right turn into the left lane, causing a few moments of fear and laughter amongst her family. Although Mrs. Farabaugh’s high school experience was much different than many of ours, she learned to be open to new experiences and accepted people from all kinds of backgrounds.
ADVICE: “Branch out, join clubs, join as many as you can, especially freshman year because those are friendships that are going to be your friends for life… It’s such a crazy experience meeting people from a different family and everyone has a different background, you never realize weird quirks people have until you live with them. Have fun, keep an open mind and be forgiving with differences.”
Mr. Forrester went to private high school in Pittsburgh with a graduating class of 66 students, a number only slightly larger than the combined amount of students in his Junior English classes this year. In high school, Mr. Forrester played three sports: golf in the fall, basketball in the winter, and tennis in the spring. He would eventually go on to play tennis at the collegiate level at Northwestern University. It was the structure of having tennis everyday at Northwestern that allowed Mr. Forrester to excel in college, as opposed to high school where he was a student who did well academically, but was never an academically rigorous student. Anyone who knows Mr. Forrester knows about his deep love for a wide variety of music. There was always music playing in his house, and he loved all the mainstream artists like Bruce Springsteen and Prince. But his passion blossomed when his sister, who was in college at the time, brought home the cassette of the album ‘Under Blood Red Sky’ by a small band called U2, bringing Mr. Forrester into the world of underground music of all genres as a high school kid. Nowadays, you can go up to Mr. Forrester and start a conversation about pretty much any kind of music.
ADVICE: “You will be so much more thankful if you can stay true to who you are and discover who you are. But discovering who you are is not pledging a frat just because it’s popular, and then having to go through that; it should be about discovering what is the most important thing for you and getting experiences that will help you discover that like studying abroad.”
Mr. Huff was the high school kid we could all relate to in some way or another: doing his math homework in the passing periods between classes and not reading the book for English class because he knew the teacher would tell him everything he need to know anyway. Throughout his time at Arlington High School, his favorite classes were math and economics, but would have loved U.S. history had it not been for a “slug of a human being” of a teacher. During his high school years, Mr. Huff was surrounded by baseball, playing or umpiring up to 6 or 7 games a weekend in high school as well as playing for his high school team. Other than being an umpire, he also delivered newspapers, worked in a lumber yard, and was a roofer for his brother’s landscaping company. It was his experiences working in manual labor that made Mr. Huff realize that he most assuredly would rather work in an office building rather than on top of one. Growing up as a classic rock guy, Mr. Huff listened to The Who, but during his high school career, the southern rock genre arose and he started to listening to bands like The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Listening to southern rock as a teenager was supposed to make you seem more “cool and somewhat cowboyish.” Mission accomplished, Mr. Huff.
ADVICE: “Try and get your life in balance; I think society is sending you the wrong message to specialize too much in your education and the stuff you do on the side doesn’t always have to be ‘I’m doing this charitable thing’ or ‘I’m involved in this activity’ so that you can build a resume to look like a more impressive person. Those are good things, and if you find joy in doing them, I would say do them, but the thing I see frustratingly with a lot of the high powered kids at Deerfield that are taking a lot of the APs and stuff like that is that they don’t try to find joy in life and I think you need to do some stuff to, as my father would always put it, recharge your own battery. It’s okay just to be a kid.”