As students, it is easy to forget that teachers have lives outside of school.
As students, it is easy to forget that teachers have lives outside of school. Hopkins teachers work hard, and spend a the majority of their days teaching and advising the 714 students attending Hopkins School. During their free time, after teaching classes, creating teaching materials, and grading tests and papers, many of these teachers manage to fnd spare time to pursue their individual hobbies and interests outside the context of Hopkins.
Many Hopkins teachers enjoy activities related to the arts outside the context of the Hopkins community. There was an artistic trend in the responses of Hopkins art teachers, with Jacqueline LaBelle-Young and Beth Lovell, who both described their passions for media arts. Lovell said, “I love to draw and paint in my spare time.”
Teachers not afliated with the Art Department often enjoy visual arts. Dean of Academics David Harpin often enjoys weekend visits to Yale galleries. Harpin said, “I decompress by making weekend micro-visits to the Yale University Art Gallery or the Yale Center for British Art.” School Psychologist Joshua Brant, meanwhile, enjoys “designing buildings, homes, and public spaces on my computer.”
In addition to the visual arts, several teachers also enjoy music. English teacher Alex Werrell loves to listen to opera and relax. He said, “In my spare time, I like to listen to an entire opera. It’s a real luxury to sit for a few hours simply listening— not reading, not fiddling around, just sitting and listening...being.”
While Werrell enjoys the calm and quiet of an opera, others, Director of Diversity Amanda Friedman enjoys the excitement of a concert. In addition to going to concerts, Friedman spends much of her time playing guitar. Talking about her musical passions, Friedman said, “In my spare time, I like going to “shows” (concerts, movies, theater), fnding new and delicious restaurants, and board games.”
Student Activities Coordinator Ian Guthrie and history teacher Richard Thornburgh also create music. Talking about his interests in multiple genres, Guthrie said “I used to work in music production as a sound engineer and record producer. I’m currently working on a mellow record of instrumental R&B and folk, and a rap mix-tape with Mr. Thornburgh.”
Some of the surveyed Hopkins teachers also enjoy working with their hands. Both physics teacher Benjamin Taylor and math teacher John Isaacs enjoys building and repairing. Isaacs said, “Over the past fve or six years, I’ve been learning how to work on cars as well as learn to race on a track. I spend a lot of time in the garage.”
Meanwhile, other teachers find a way to work outside and be environmentally friendly. History teacher Zoe Resch grows her own vegetable garden and said, “I am an avid gardener, both of flowers, vegetables, and fruits. I take particular pride in my raspberry patch which I planted several years ago using shoots from a neighbor’s prolifc and irrepressible raspberry canes.” Canny Cahn, an English and Psychology teacher, also gardens, in addition to other pursuits. Discussing her interests, Cahn said, “I garden obsessively, show my Shelties, and explore history by antiquing. And I write or read daily.”
Other teachers at Hopkins just like to be outside, enjoying New England weather. Chair of the Art Department Karen Klugman and Art teacher Peter Ziou enjoy walks outside. When Ziou goes for a walk, he enjoys the tranquility of nature. Ziou said, “I mostly walk and hike in my spare time. The sense of time slows down as I am surrounded by nature and its organic beauty.” Klugman said, “I walk in the woods every day with my dog, even going with a flashlight during the winter months; it is essential therapy for both of us.”
Some Hopkins teachers enjoy participating in athletic activities. Spanish teacher Christopher Kozey plays in an Ultimate Frisbee league. Kozey said, “I have [played] for over 15 years. Playing Ultimate is something I look forward to every week!” English teacher Ian Melchinger also shares an interest in sports. Melchinger said, “I train in aiki-jitsu, take care of the chickens, and read comics.”
History Teacher Thomas Peters is focusing on becoming an ordained minister. Peters said, “I’m working as a Ministry Intern at an Episcopal Church in Bantam, CT and taking courses at Yale Divinity School. If all goes well, I hope to become an ordained priest sometime next year. I’ll continue teaching at Hopkins, probably with a reduced load, while also helping lead a local church.”
Though they are left with little free time, Hopkins teachers are much more than educators and have many hobbies of which students are often unaware.
Perhaps the quote that best sums up how everyone spent their free time this winter came from History teacher Tisha Hooks, who said, “Well, these days, I shovel snow.”