Where did you go to high school?
Fenger High School in Chicago.
What was your favorite thing about high school?
My junior year. My favorite class was probably Mr. Carrigan’s. He taught American Literature, and I also had another favorite class which was American History. Also, we took a junior trip from Chicago to Washington to New York, so those were my favorite things in high school.
What about those two classes did you like?
First of all, for the American Literature and American History classes, there was a connection between the two all the time. In American History, we studied the history of the country chronologically and in the Literature class we studied the literature chronologically. But, Mr. Carrigan was my favorite teacher ever, because he wasn’t pretentious. He just loved the literature. He loved William Faulkner. He loved getting into the ideas in literature. He was just a great teacher. He was very low-keyed. He was a little short guy, and he always smelled like beer and salami. He just reminds me of the perfect teacher.
What was your least favorite part about high school?
Chemistry. I hated chemistry. Okay, my least favorite part was probably that I really never fit in in high school. My life really didn’t begin until I got out of high school. But I don’t think high school was really like it is now. Now in high school there’s a big push for everyone to be involved in stuff. And I was involved in stuff, but not to the degree that most kids are now.
Do you think there’s a reason for that?
As far as now a days or as far as back then?
As far as both, really.
Well, I think as far as I’m concerned and the high school experiences when I was in high school, I went to high school to go to college. That was my purpose in going to high school. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I wanted to take the classes that I needed to take to get into college. It was kind of like a stepping stone to college. And I think now a days it still is, but it’s just a whole lot more social.
When you were in high school did you want to be a teacher?
Never. I never wanted to be a teacher. Never ever did I have any kind of desire to be a teacher. But what I realized (later), back in the day… this is 28 years ago, that the people in education were really people that supported each other, and were really cool people. They really wanted to help.
What is one thing you would say to students today?
Just go to school to learn as much as you can. Don’t be close minded, ever. Try to look at all sides in every situation, but learn. Make your education about learning. Achieving, yes. That’s extremely important, but not as important as learning. Learning as much as you can.
Brandon Mauriello / News Editor