American Whiner Episode 98
You're listening to the PODCAST DETROIT visit. WWW dot com tested dot com before information everybody the it is Wednesday evening of American wine or PODCAST DETROIT DOT COM. How's everybody doing my name is Alex joining me tonight in Studio so nice be staring somebody face to face for the first time in a while Stephanie Ferguson English Teacher at Centennial Middle School and South Lyon and you've been and there long enough that I was going to send not centennial it was your at the only middle school and southbound at the time millennium now but back in one thousand nine hundred nine on remarried and you're the one of the English teachers there so not then no yeah no then I had they used to have a performing arts class drama drama class. Oh you're in English added. The performing arts class and the public speaking. They called it communications well. All I knew is that you had the classroom that was down the hall from my English class so anyway. I usually start off the show by asking biographical questions but I'm on this on. I'M GONNA start with one. That's not that I'm GONNA. School just started last week. How are you tired retire. Yeah this is weird. This is the first time in two one this year twenty one so the first time in twenty one years that I didn't go to the first day of school because my son started kindergarten this year I took him to school instead and then Friday I'm a staff liaison for the PTO and so I didn't go to class asked on Friday so this is really the fourth day I've had kids and I have seventh graders for the first time in so the last time I had had seventh grade. I think was when Jim Crawled. It is student teaching. Oh Wow so. He's a teacher for ten years so so yeah it was a while ago that I had had seventh grade so trying to adjust like school and home and all that stuff for the audience. Jim Kurl was on last November with Donna cupper. My high school drama teacher. They did a shine than his wife was on like three weeks ago. She's the dentists that I talked to so. That's Jim is for those of you who remember but so so. What was it like dropping your kid off then having him start the journey so the first day was a little weird we had to sign up for forty five minutes shift it to take him in and just kind of tour the building sign up for a forty-five minutes shift so we were on vacation for Labor Day and we were sent an email with sign up genius for what time we're GONNA come to the first day of school okay. I've never heard of that. I don't have a five year old and I work in the district so I just didn't know that was kindergarten kind of went so we took him to school. It was okay he's gone to a pretty structured day care for this entire time so dropping him off for the day and knowing it was a much different you take to it or was he kind of like new place. A little nervous music teacher was the highlight of the dinner table on Monday night. Yes I had music today. Can you gas my teacher's name honey. I don't know your teacher. I think you can get into play music and we got to run and get to play and mom and she looks at me. I smiled so it's kind of funny like here like him talk about the people he meets the nervous. Today has made a new gym teacher. Oh those guys can be hard. Ask what you think but so he he actually enjoys it then. I don't remember I don't have much unconscious memory of those years. I do remember seeing a video of myself. One once I was about four and my parents were asking me about school and and I was like I just even then I didn't didn't have an answer I was like I remember the thing that made everybody laugh as we're watching. This video is I said was like we sang a song today and the song. It's fun to go to school. It's GonNa go to school and then I cut off. I was like only the teachers sing it this four year old kid but uh but yeah so so your your kid took to it well yeah and so that's that's a that's a load off and he's a weekend now and ah it's hard I went to wake him up Friday to go to school and I said I can get up and go to school and he open when I looked no. Thank you I'm very tired and he rolled back over so we gotta keep doing it. I went for three days kindergarten. So but what about you though how said today is technically the fourth day but look how D- going well. We've spent the last two days taking online testing MHM there is it's weird to try to explain to parents the amount of testing that the kids actually have to do so. They'll take this test. I think they take it three times throughout the year just to kind of see how they they're growing throughout the year but it's the second what's the first full week of school in three days is sitting on the computer. We're going through this testing testing testing well. They're taking the reading tasks right now so just kind of like a reading skills. Were there at yeah. That's so much has changed. You forget it's been I graduated high school in two thousand and four and that's in kid years. That's a lie that's literally lifetime time freshman nowadays. They're sophomores kids that were born that year so yeah after I was working in South Lyon Yeah Yeah. What's that like. What are they into nowadays. What are the things you have to keep them offer their phones. Like how does that work. That's the big thing but I don't allow phones phones in my room just because they do so much of their assessment comes out of the classroom and so you took when you took the sat see you're probably junior sophomore junior somewhere in there taking eighth grade now oh my gosh last year oh my God and so I have to say if you bring bring your phone in here on that day you could disqualify the test results for South Lyon just because he phones in your pocket. I don't even want you to think that of of bringing it here like not not in your pocket. Not your lunch bag. I don't just don't bring it in here so that helps a little bit but yeah there do we and reading. GAM tried kid. Try to read a book like that's like pulling teeth especially if it's something I'm sure some of them how to read something which is probably not something that they're giving you know we'll we'll get into all. I really want to ask you about like Jen's e a and you know what kids are into nowadays you know and the whole future of teaching and how the phone is because we really haven't adapted to the phone the the school system hasn't it's been out for twelve years now so but we'll get into all that but I want to find out more about us so this is the question. I usually start the show off with but where we were well. I was born in L. Michigan but I grew up in Carson City Michigan City Carson City Michigan. It is about an hour north of Lansing thing I tell the kids on the first couple of days of school so it was it was three the district when I was there was three elementary schools and then my diploma actually says Carson City Crystal Middle Hyphen High School Roy one building people in your class ninety four classes ninety four hundred ninety four people in it for T. Shirt on purpose. No this how it works out the little golden ratio so oh now currently it is a one elementary school and then you're done at the lower L. which has k-3 you go to the main building which is four four twelve okay so in my perception and it could be very different. There aren't a lot of people my age that stayed in town but my brother's four years younger than I am and a lot of people his age did. That's quite a euro at the cutoff. This guy must go in shifts the last couple of years. I think the graduating classes have been right around like between fifty to seventy five kids even less naming fewer viewer kids yeah and my niece and nephew go to the same district and I went to a meeting for my nephew a couple years ago when the lady running the meetings said if we could just very quickly go around the table and everyone could introduce themselves to Stephanie to save you a lot of time I went to school with or for everyone at this table like like we can just go ahead and get into the meeting. That's all we need to say yeah so I was trying to explain it if seven seventh graders this year and I was trying to explain the size of the town to them and says more people go in and out of this building every day than live in the town I grew up like and they're probably like they still have towns sounds like a McDonalds. I think open when I was in college. Oh big deal to get at McDonald's. Everybody loves McDonald's out the mayor at the time owned the local like ice cream place and I think he fought it for a long time. Well McDonald's ice ice. Cream machines are always broken but so you grew up in Carson and there were there until college and then pretty much so tell me about your childhood. What did you do like what were you into. I was the oldest fourth or the oldest. I was the tallest fourth grader in my class. I got three the Statue of Liberty in school plateau their fire in the torture. No My dad made my torch. out of a paint roller and Christmas light role really could've made it out of a paint roller and some Turpentine in a lighter. We didn't go to school in Carson City in elementary school. I didn't go to school in Carson City. my mom worked for the hospital system. Alma so we went with her to go to school so we went to the the Catholic school in Alma so I was there. Our first grade to sixth grade. I came back to Carson. City had a different job so was middle school when I hit Carson City was. Did you miss go to school and when he moved back. I didn't want to switch schools but I was a twelve year old girl. I don't know that I would have wanted to do anything anything differently. It was twelve year old girl but it was weird because I had combined classes and also like first and second wearing well. When I started was the year the school opened for the first time so first second and third grade where in one room one teacher. Oh my God that's like that's colonial and then we added a grade every year that they were open so it was I was ahead a couple of books when I went to Hurson city like I had already had their sixth grade science book but it skipped the fifth grade science books. I would go science with the fifth graders like it was just weird but I don't know that if I A hadn't gone to school at St Mary's. I would value education like I do either. and I think I would have gotten bored like how did that form. I'm your I mean well. I'll save that for later because it is one of my questions so you kind of already answered this but your mom is a nurse. What Does Your Dad do dad. Eh was a sergeant for the corrections. Department really does that mean. He was a cop he so my understanding is that he was Virginia State Trooper that's where he met my mom. My Dad was from Richmond okay. My mom went to Richmond for nursing school so that's where they met and so my mom Mr Your family my mom's the oldest of eight so she missed her family. They moved back to Michigan about the time they got married. My Dad was too short to be a state trooper in Michigan. Oh that's the thing that I was told have been seventy two three ish and so he worked a couple of different jobs for a while and then started working for the corrections department so he was a corrections officer present Dard kind of thing yeah and y'all kind of answered this already but what what kind of student were you. You were the type of student who skipped the textbooks. Basically I did end up having to go to science with fifth graders while the sixth graders went to gym in that didn't upset me. Yes Jim Without my thing. Did you always have like a sort of an affinity for all the subjects or when I got older math and science not so much it's the big it's the very black and white the right or wrong answer having to follow very particular formula and I remember Euboea to take the time to multiplication tests and I remember my teacher saying to my parents that she was pretty sure I had memorized. The answer is based on the color of the tasks and not multiplication location table so it was a true pretty hot because I knew I could get done faster if I just do what the answers were and they were only like six different colors so they're like like I mean it's so funny though because it's like they're teaching you. Pattern recognition like this is pattern recognition. I yeah exactly why. Why do you think you were you. Just I was that. was that always like that for you. You just sort of take to things and if so like like. Why do you think that was I I don't. I don't know really my dad talk about like reading all the time when I was younger and he was like no you remember you'd be sitting on my lap and that'd be reading such agents such no. I don't remember it like you said. I don't really have a lot of like big memories from when I was a kid and the day-to-day Kinda stuff my mom went back back to school and got her bachelors and then her master's degree while we were in school Alma no she says Cmu for her bachelor's. She got her masters from Michigan Shkin State. Okay Yeah we spend a lot of time on the road all over the middle the middle the palm yeah so we used to have to you twenty minutes of reading every night for one of our teachers. We didn't always get in at night by the time you know mom got out of work and picked us up when we got home and dad had dinner ready when we got home and all that kind of stuff so I spent a lot of time I would shove my book in the glove compartment and read by that little light on the way to school glove compartment bomb would sign my form as I was walking into into school or the babysitter. Whatever it was that is dedication. I would have been like there's no way for me to read this book. So when did you first dislike. When was the first sort of idea that you had where you were like. I think I might WanNa teach something so my mom's the oldest of eight so my youngest aunts were in high school when I was a little kid and I idolize my aunt becky and she was going to be a teacher so honored to be a teacher like my aunt becky and then the teacher that I had for first second I think okay hit for third grade too but maybe I didn't she was still in the building sister Eileen Dublin and I to this day. Alex love that woman I mean I think the last time I saw I was in high school my senior year high school but she's still at come over for dinner and it there was just something thing about being at school and being at that kind of place and then my ironically math my chemistry and physics teacher in high school and my English teacher in high high school there was just something about being in those rooms where I knew that was where I wanted to be in what I wanted to do. the just clicked with so you didn't really there was no particular moment for you than just. Kinda was gradual realization. I remember saying for a while. I thought I was going to be a lawyer but I didn't really I think it was just something didn't follow through thrilling must maybe it's the thing I saw on. TV Ella was big on TV they. I really liked to read and think about what I was reading and part of it. I think I think when I tried to count last time there are forty forty grand kids in my family and I'm the fourth oldest well so being around like other kids generation literally the generation of kids but it's also you know societal generation cousin his grandmother cousin who's in seventh grade well did an becky end up becoming a teacher she is. She just retired actually a couple of years ago. Did she teach English a special Ed teacher and did she teach did she stay up in Carson city now up north they moved to Texas for a while but ah like Beaverton gladwin midland okay so it was it was a person then it was a couple people that it wasn't so much I just I just that you were like hey this stuff. Is You know I feel comfortable in this particular setting but why English then why did you end up gravitating towards English. I let my books that makes sense. I figured actually writing or reading by Dashboard right yeah well this summer to was the first time since Henry was born that I read to whole books written for grownups. Oh I remember you're reading. You're up north when I- Sunburn myself that was that was with that was with you guys and in your reading American gods when I was up there by Neil gaiman yeah so that I read this summer and we'll see now. I don't even remember what the other one I do. It was heck seek by Margaret Atwood. Oh Margaret Atwood absolutely yeah. You WanNa hear something really funny. I Oh you know those masterclasses that you see the town. I bought a membership to the you know. The first two classes were taught with who taught the I two class. Margaret Atwood wouldn't game and yeah isn't that weird coincidence means absolutely nothing but just pattern recognition for my freshman year college the English class ask everybody had to take up like some specialized literature class and so you know I'm from small town Michigan's. I'm really GONNA take the world by storm and take this radical images of women and literature. I think the name of the class and the handmaid's tale may have been the first book we read but there was something there's something about the way she writes even her well the handmaid's tale. I guess people will tell you now is her is science fiction but her her fiction or nonfiction poetry. There's there's something about it. My Dad and I saw hard. I miss you live yeah. Eleven or tenure wasn't married yet so many like eleven years ago yeah well she. She was a really choose. My favorite class that I've I've watched some though so far has such an interesting way of speaking very hypnotic and then she smiles miles stood up an answer a question she goes. Oh a second question for you your Grad student. Can I save everyone some time. I mean just tell you a professor. You asked a question. I if I could do that in class I after that class. I had never read anything by her new she she was just saying gotten around to it and I watched it and I was like wow I need to. I mean this probably partially why she did it but I went out and I got three or three or four overbooks so the she's she's on my list. Now I will devour lows and it was funny because that towards the end of the class and then we'll go back to the interview but she was saying gay ah the people that teach kind of like if the reason for why they're doing it and she's she kinda smiles and she's like I'm nearing the end of my trajectory because he's almost ninety so of that group of girlfriends that we go to go to Canada every ear hit the wineries around Niagara and then every day when I'm up. There have to leave through playboy because she contributes. That's great she's I was. I didn't really know what to expect from her but I I. I just thought you know she's an author on which the respected author she's an octogenarian so she's going to have a lot of wisdom to impart inside and really know what to expect but I've firkin loved. Her class was five years or so put out a comic book. That's right handmaid's tale or something like. WHOA handmaid's tale. She authored a comic book series She's big into the Autobahn movement up there and saving birds and keeping enjoy our cats. That's indoors and all that kind of thing and so it's about it's called Angel Catbird. That's right. She talked about that in class who transforms into Ethel half cat. Here's where his respect from her well. It's like that's. The thing is like these ideas. They can take Neil Gaiman amen kind of does this tour. It's like these ideas that sound like would not work or they just too absurd exactly like they take them. They make Kim relatively grounded and it's still very fantastical way of going about it but yeah no so we'll talk more about. We'll save some time for literature like being able to get kids or have even this kind of conversation totally. I used to get in trouble. I remember my high school math teacher Miss Meller who was one of the better math teachers ages I ever had because I actually learned something. I never took the math but she would always I would read in her class and sometimes she would tell me to stop doing other times. You wouldn't mind ride grade. English teacher may be handed my independent reading book when I walked in the door and I can have it back took. Oh very strict well. I just went pay attention to that. He was saying saying well. It's so hard to fricken. I remember when I moved to South Lyon. At third grade I was I discovered goosebumps books and I remember I was. I got yelled at. Ah I was reading the scarecrow walks at midnight and Alex. Please put that away and write your name on the Board for not follow along following along science so but but yes so so. When did you kind of did make the decision like I I WANNA. I WANNA do teaching at Becky's doing it. I'd take take the screw school really well. I really like these couple of my own teachers. I remember in elementary school. They would trace our silhouettes. Mike for Parent or at night or maybe it was for something for the Church or whatever tracer silhouette and underneath it like right what we wanted to be years something like that night one year. I sat in this assistance. This is struggling. I said I can't decide if I want to be a farmer or a lawyer or because my grandma had been a farmer or a a police police officer like my dad or a nurse like my mom or a teacher and she's she's teacher farmer it was you're not a farmer a the era my mom and my aunt at least becky if not all of my aunts took me to see. Anne and I came back and did the entire thing coming from class the entire show every character. I was cow birthday party that year. This is the real deal was what run would that have been when the movie came out. Oh that was that was how I got into a and they took me to see the stage production but then my whole birthday was the animal on man. That was a Albert Finney. Tim Curry Carol Burnett Yeah. That was the overnight showers my favorite. When I was a kid she is miss. Hannigan never been mismanaged Hannigan for me. Yeah Cameron Diaz Kathy Bates. I'm drawing a blank who else has done it but but yeah so so you made the decision and when was that thing in highschool. So what was the next thing that you were like okay. I'm GonNa go to college major major in education and so tell me about it like what happened with that so I was actually I am the first one of the grandkids graduated edge weighted from high school and went to college and my my mom and my aunt becky were the first ones of their generation to go to college edge and so I don't know if I mom hadn't gone if I would have thought I could go like if I hadn't seen my mom and my aunt kind and if do my uncle rod also went to college but he's not that much older than I am so it's funny to think of them as uncle the marlins cousins and so. I knew I wanted to go to college. I thought I wanted to go to Michigan state or somewhere bigger like that and then the the year between junior and senior year. I got selected to go to this program that ended. I ended being Adrian College. It was focused on the environment at the theater program so that's what I went to and it ended up being at Adrian and there is just something I knew when I left that program that that's how I wanted to go to school really yeah and and I it just hit me because my sister went to Adrian and that isn't that was why am by remember. When she went one of the reasons you decided she was he's like calmed. Her down was because you did have her as a student and she really liked you and so that was one of the things that made her decide on that the quartet yeah yeah you had you had all three of my siblings but not me but here we are now friend over an eighth grades there you eh trade so so tell me about college like actually going to college and I liked it because it was small and I did kind of invite Gut things go to Alma college to one point almost only half hour from home. It's kind of the Adrian of the North and so I liked Adrian I need. It's kind of where I wanted to be after I'd been there for that weekend so it was big enough that I was you know compared to a graduating class of ninety people really felt like I kind of gotten out inside the world but at the same time small enough to where I I knew people I knew my professors. I it wasn't odd to have like class asset professors house very charming tower yeah. It's very it's very it's it's provincial but like there's also this sort of like class anus to it you wouldn't I mean somebody described Adri until you may not think that that was a but and so this I always tell the kids when they talk about where they're going to go to college or whatever and like you have to go. They're set foot there spend time there because when you know you know but don't go cold into someplace you've never been before and think that that's going to be where you're going to be fine or happy for right four or as was the case four and a half years because I do my student teaching but so tell me about a student teaching then because that was your first you and all it was a couple of internship kind of things here and there. I got pretty lucky my chemistry physics teacher in high school. Charles is pierce. His wife taught in the district but at one of the elementary schools and needed help in her classroom so he asked me if I would go helper so I'd been in elementary schools long enough. It's nine did not want to be you know an entry. Schools were my student teaching. There wasn't one teacher who agreed to take me for the full time but to agreed to share room he so when I did my student teaching taught sixth seventh and Eighth Grade English so that was right off the bat you knew which one did you find you. Alike even have a preference surprised by the sixth grade. I didn't think I would like sixth grade. I thought they would be too young for me. And at the time my Michigan Certificate would out of covered sixth grade seven twelve when I graduated we've since been grandfathered in to sixth grade but I was surprised that I really did like the sixth grade. I thought they would be too young for me but man there was something about eighth grade. You can have a conversation with an eighth grader and you can you can have a funny conversation with an eighth grader like the conversation you have with an eighth grader doesn't have to be that much different than the conversation with an adult so I tell the kids every really you don't understand like the eighth grade. Teachers are here because they want to be. It takes a very special breed of person to be middle school teacher. The Middle School teachers a conversation stopper that is because elementary school teachers. Oh you must you must also like being a parent whereas ice schoolteachers like oh you just is weren't young friends who I went to drop off Henry's supplies on Monday. I think it was just because it's too much for him to carry in and there was a chair in the middle title of his room and his teacher must have out making copies or whatever and I was just going to set them down and leave so weird that there's this little chair just in the middle of the room and I looked and there was a posted sit on it that said urine under here. Oh my God I teach middle school there yeah if that happens in middle school yeah yeah that's a very rare occurrence and it's one the nobody forgets that too so you graduated graduated from two to four and a half years their student taught what happened after that so my dad actually had triple bypass surgery that summer it wasn't supposed to win an for cardiac catheterization or what was that wasn't supposed to I mean nobody's procedure ager and the doctor came out and said we're your dad's needs a triple bypass in today and so. I was like okay well. Maybe I won't apply for jobs this summer like maybe I'll just figure it out because I was back in Carson city. and my dad sold the House that I grew up in. He sold it right right before then because I had graduated from college and my brother graduated from high school and it was a big house and so he's like you know if you are never gonna live here again. Thank goodness the house so we're all kind of crammed in like this little house downtown and I got a call from my student teaching supervisor at Adrian because because South Lyon had offered another somebody that I graduated with a math position and who was just out of curiosity yeah. I remember Rolette name. Yeah I never I didn't have her but I remember the name and so Dr Penny Grampian being the social be that she was asked what else they had coming coming down the pipeline and they had described this drama position that was going to be open and she tracked me down. She called my dad's house and she said this is the principles phone number for an you need to call her tomorrow because your job is in south. Lyon was terrell true. Yes my second interview and saw fine was on the the last day of school that year and they called and they offered me the job at about or it was the same day that the hospital had called because my my dad it has a kidney transplant and being out for the for the bypass the medication and things like that the kid wasn't responding very well and so I thought Oh fuck doc. I guess I'll just like Casa Fine Tom. I can't take this job and my brother came out on the porch with two beers and he handed me one and he said you've got to go. I love it here. I'm a live here. I'm always GONNA raise my family here. You can't stand it here. You have a job in south Lyon now. How'd you heard of south line at the hand and so you didn't know like you said like you have to go somewhere and make sure you like it. Before you make a decision what happened did you go down and check it out. I interview bill and I think we've talked about this before. and I had a would have been my great aunts nineteen eighty something Torres so no power power locks no nothing and it was a thousand degrees because it was the last week of school in June ninety nine to ninety eight ninety eight ninety two graduated in December of ninety eight and I sought for awhile so I've got on just like I don't have any see jacket on. I just have like like I make the Camisole to go underneath it and my skirt and I put myself in my briefcase and I close the door and I walk around by myself out of my car o groups so so I have to walk into the building and basically my underwear and say hi Jerry on your ten o'clock interview and I locked myself out of my car. Can I please use your phone records. No cellphones no anything and who do you call site call sign. PD came and the officers. He's leading me in the car and he says back. I didn't have to show. Id Nothing you just let me in the car so this was eighty-nine. What are you here for and I said a job interview and he goes ooh Shit Shit. They'll be others like trying to cheer me up so he was like don't work here. Just I in my you know in my own parking lot so things about eleven o'clock when I went in and I answered the questionnaire whatever and I was just embarrassed more than anything else at that point and they they called me back for a second interview and so I I went back for the second interview and they called me a couple days late in the second every was last school so I didn't even get to tour of the building or anything. What was your impression. Though like what did you I mean. You're probably like fuck. I lock myself into my car more than anything bigger than I had known and what's funny is it's hilarious here and somebody said because South Lyon was still pretty on the rise at that point wasn't what it is now still closed. Sharpens was still around that we might have been farmer. Jack was empty yeah which is right across the street so it was still a pretty small town at that point to you from a place of ninety four kids traffic lights traffic lights lights so then see this last day of school so I'm just kind they really have a Lotta time to chat or whatever afterwards so I got the call a couple of days later to go to the board office office and I showed up at the office and Marilyn Mitchell who was the assistant superintendent of Personnel at the time called me in her office and she sat me down and she said I understand understand that surely Charles very taken with you but I don't see anything in this resume that qualifies you to be the drama director well. She had my resume resume from when I had applied for another job in the district. Thank God I don't even know why did I had for some reason my acting resume my resume was in my briefcase and so I took that handed it to her and I said does this change your mind and she said let me go get your contract right off the bat so I mean until you move down there and it was it was that year I went in those apartments right across the street. Oh Yeah and you walk to work every day. what was the first day like so it was it was weird because the first full day so we only see the kids for only ten twelve minutes but it was about that it was weird like having to talk about myself in the third person and introduce myself to people in the third person and you know realizing was it would have been twenty five but now twenty three because I turned twenty five when I had like Bannon Jefferson sort of been a couple years later but like I'm the adult material this is might this is my job but what was it like like I mean you student taught obvious issue but but like the kids you know you're like this is for real now. I'm in charge in like WHOA. How did I mean I was. I remember these kids. I remember these kids. I was there with so like but what were the how how were they like. How did they treat it. You was it just kind of underwhelmed by. These people are so bored then you would have only been ten years younger than me so yeah it was Lina. It was just odd to kind of be in that position where everything custodian teaching didn't. I didn't really have to do parent teacher conferences and I wasn't was an apparent called. It wasn't on me you know it was. There's always somebody else their southern. You lose that buffer but you'd never left your solid South Lyon it. It worked out then. I can't afford to go but I mean that's that's. That's a long time twenty one years. I mean I'm on the second page of the seniority. Listen so before before we move on. I just wanted to say you brought this delicious wine with you. Normally I drink root beer but today today yeah because that's that's one of the things things you and sort of a tradition where we get together. There's gotTa be some wind so I just wanted to say. Thank you for bringing in this delicious wine. It's it's on top of myself often. Do you want to be This is aged in Bourbon barrel us two of my favorite things and what is this will promote them. One thousand stories bourbon barrel aged infidel F. and from California twenty sixteen glasses about finding a corkscrew in my schoolbag back well. It's funny because if you hadn't this is an open bar here so we probably would've been able to accommodate it didn't work out of their whatever but so I mean South Lyon twenty years what do you what do you remember like. What is your I know I know. Twenty years is impossible but like what how has it been like. I mean obviously it's been good enough for you to stick around right. I it's very weird. I come back to a lot of like weird south. Lyon connections like I got my job because they had hired. Somebody outs from Adrian College this actually I met my husband. I don't know if I I told you that story either so I got my job because the previous teacher was taking a full year from attorney leave Angela Ferguson. Oh that's yeah yeah yes so if you took a full year for maternity leave. They told her job. They wouldn't hold that your spots you could come back when there was another opening year qualified for for so that's how. I got my job. She's taking this full year off at least for maternity leave and she came back and she worked at one of the elementary schools for awhile and her husband was did a tour in Afghanistan and she switched the elementary to be on schedule with her kids and that kind of stuff and came back to the middle school and she was there for a couple of years and she said you should you should really meet my brother-in-law. I think he would really get along. He's dating somebody else. We really meet my brother-in-law and then she say anything for a while and then she started again a couple blue years later and I was like you know what hinge we're both adults like just want to give them my phone number like no big deal so you anyway. That's how I met. My husband was three South Lyon. Even so yeah so there you go but you said something before we went on the air that that really struck me in because you just started doing you originally the drama. Director Star about that when you did the drama director for how many years then well and that was your only job your the drama director taught hot drama and they offered a drama class. They offered a communications class which was like a public speaking class. They did a leadership class for a while which was like community service and in growth mindset kind of stuff so I did a ton of electives for the longest time and then every once in a while if they needed another English teacher the sections of English. When did you move to English teaching fulltime then think after the year you left. I think I got like one or two sections of English than I didn't didn't have English for a while and then I did maybe here and there I did the year that Ben and all those guys wearing eighth grade so long ago that was I had a couple of sections of English. You just turned thirty this series. Everybody's turning thirty or thirty three. I'm still I'm still twenty two that when you were when I listened to that pass episode of the Alec Hutchinson was a former student of mine to Natan Breath about that was that was that was a G. rated say. I can't remember what it was but I was like holy. Shit like everybody is an adult grown ass men. These are these are adults that don't even think about being a not a new thing to kids you know older than Mine uh-huh and so the part of the condition I was hired came with doing the school place and then on one year so I think it must have been like two thousand. God bless him. I think it was like the first full year. Dan and I were dating. I was told I think it was right. After Dan and I started dating I was told that I was going to travel between the two schools and I was going to have to teach eighth grade English at centennial and then come back and teach four different different things at Millennium Room. Oh God yeah it was a rough wine that was a rough year and so at the end of that year I went into the principal's office and said oh I would rather not do this again. Thank you that was too much and the schedule for the following year had three teachers each going over to centennial teach hours of eighth grade English and size it. Can I just go to centennial and teach eighth grade English so that would have been like two thousand thousand eight two thousand nine. Maybe ten years ago ten years ago yeah so centennial. It's been centennial but now you're doing the drama I took the place they posted the other day that they needed a director so when your kid was sort of the reason for Ashby there till four anyway so late release elementary school so I get out of school what to thirty and he's not done until four so might as well enjoy it. So what do you think you're GONNA do for. I actually ordered. It already ordered the script today. Hey it's smiling fifteen kids it's called help wanted so it's about fifteen teenagers looking for their first job. I got to say Stephanie. You're the for my brother and sister. Were the your plays where the first place they ever did. madams been murdered till the Van Burqas Bobby that'd be tighter and that show it was murder mystery kind of like yeah and what started the it's so funny that you're the second one on after after Donna because if it wasn't for you they wouldn't have been interested in the theater in high school and Donna never would have become part of their lives and and I never would have done the theater reader so there you go and I have to say I remember the first time I know who you were just from being a teacher and seeing it in the hallway and things but I remember the very first time that I've ever interacted with. You like not personally but you came into. I had a there were I had name is Aaron Brown stairs. My English teacher and you had to next to hers and then there was my science teacher was yeah that's right yeah and I can't remember his Limor Andrew Branston. I think it was bracing era and her friends you're still you're still friends but so you came in and there was some sort of like you're playing some skit with your kids about like they were from the future and they were supposed to be asking about these about our our quaint technologies not and things like that it is funny because it's one thousand nine hundred ninety two. What did we even have the yeah yeah but but I remember that you you you came in and they the students like only one kid really participated in it and it was Griffin Holbeck name and and I remember at the end of it. You took like the whole class to task in front of us like about like you're like so the rest of you really didn't do anything. I just want to make sure that you you know you're aware of it but that was that was like my first okay so that's what's. Berry you know but but yeah then you you did the plays of my siblings and so that was when it was sort of start hearing about you at home and things like that and you know I was going somewhere with that point and God damn. I can't remember where so before the show uh when I told you I'd I'd taken it back on. You asked me why yeah that's what it was and I wasn't going to it. It's been posted before I haven't taken it and I saw the posting. I don't know I'm going to be here until four o'clock anyway. I could do that and I could pull stuff. I've already done shed got a twelve year backlog of things I've already done and another teacher came in and said he did you see that posting it differently. Erin lowery whose Aaron really when you guys were in school and I did and she had helped me with all the like she and her mom so it all the costumes for wizard of Oz and I said I did and she said he could do. It and I said I don't know and she goes can i. I'm just GonNa say it like the last time I thought you were really happy. At work was when you during the place it goes in who like who your kids like who are the people you know and then all of unlike other your you know your brothers and sister and I've got a couple of their like the kids that I I still know and see and it's funny 'cause I just was a couple years ago. We went up to traverse city but with Jeff Tom gala and his husband spend just getting engage at the time and we were TC whiskey. which is where we want? There is jeff husband jared. What's the bartender he goes. Esso's to how they know each other in the nation because what go ahead ask you'll never guess Esso's to how they know each other. How do you to know each other and Jessica's and she's my eighth grade English teacher. Didn't that happen to us. We were up there. Just this past artists to teach. It's not one of my students but was in the room next door and she's married him every fucking going to start wearing a t shirt but like those. I like the kids I mean like. You said they just turned thirty. They're all adults but you know being I haven't seen Bannon who knows how long but we facetime him when we're entrance right yeah and I came onto the screen and he goes holy. Shit young adults that unfortunate enough to friends with these kids as adults adults. That's how really kind of forged those so. You're hoping that happens again then basically at least to be an different mindset because the. I know them a little bit better so I always everybody does but I always think he did a pretty good job at my job like I would tell you a good teacher. I passionate about loosening just in general but it took four and a half years of fertility treatments for me to get pregnant with my son was it was a really rigid did medical shot scheduled doctor's appointment and so I didn't have time to do the stuff after school that I had done and then my dad got sick and my dad moved into a nursing pursing home and my dad died last year so there was all of this stuff where this two point and then he had a baby at home so like this is kind of the first time where I thought even to myself in years I could do. This took damn fine. Get back to more of that kind of stuff well. I'm glad I can tell even the way you're talking about it. You know you're you're excited about it and you're you're kind of like you know. I hope that I can help. This is still the way it went. This'll be the way is is back in the day. I said to my boss like listen. The last show centennial did was beauty in the bee's. I'm not running costumes building sat. It's going to be this huge thing. It's not even my philosophy for what theater middle school should be. I'm talking like fifteen kids. Blackbox minimal props to shows one night and he was like yeah yeah. That's what we wanted perfect. There's so much I want to get to Stephanie but we're we're. We're believe it or not we're almost we got about seven minutes or so yeah well. I got a bunch of SORTA rapid fire questions. I want to do here and if you could just keep your answers relatively short as as they can be without while still answering the phone but okay well. Actually I had a great question as you were talking about the kids and fricken. I hope it comes back to their written it down swallow my pencil here but whatever what is in your opinion what is the future of schooling teaching what is how are we going to adapt to these smartphones. How're like really quick. I think the way that it's going to go to school and not so much about learning facts are demonstrating that you know facts because Google Kapadia for so. That's the biggest difference I no longer. I'm no longer delivering facts. I'm helping in kids. Learn where to find them. Okay so yes I know. I know you found the answer. Tell me the answer. It's more explain your thinking about then. This is the right or wrong answer and I think that school is going to be more about like socialization and like learning how to participate as part of a society. Yes exactly conformity so that's that's what you think it's going to be. How this is kind of ties into my next question. But how would you approach the whole phone thing like how would you adopt up those they might as well figure out a way to adopt them into the system and so I think the hardest thing is trying to find a balance between what the kids expect what the parents expect active what will work best at school. It's not to their benefit to have them all the time they lose that interaction they lose that social element that you were talking about the ability to converse and interact has diminished over how so just don't want to work work in groups. They don't want to have that conversation. No one wants to put their voice out in the room but they'll submit something on Google classroom that answers the question an and does so beautifully but they don't never do you like wow what are Zuma's into Zimmer's Jen's ears the ones that are saying yeah baby boomer agencies Zuma's term yeah they're really. They're more isolated than I think. They realized that they are the communication. That's the biggest hurdle for me. Even with Henry like I went to my niece's fourteen and I have to say to my niece and nephew afew and he's almost seventeen user words gives you use your words. Don't snapchat me. Could you just tell me when you're volleyball game. It's like yeah. It's just that they a lot of interaction with one another. What are they into like. What culturally interested like what's the what TV shows music? I couldn't tell you really because they're not having having the conversations they would. Somebody was talking about something the other day I looked at her and I I understand some of those words separately that I don't understand what you just said and she was talking about a billet brother which I don't know who lives in your home as your sibling blink but who only lives in your home to play sports in your area Oh. I didn't know that was the thing I didn't either but apparently it's like really common in some like sports family set but I was like I know that was last year. Someone came in and like Mrs Ferguson. I needed to take top. Do you know how to hit the wall trainee. They need to slow down. I know tick tock explain all of those little pieces. I've heard of some of those things but they just it's just not as much like floating around the room or in conversation here at launch even as much as you did because they just as easily send each other attacks exterior chatter whatever the lives in cyberspace. That's always been there for them. I always wonder what the hell my life would have been like the Internet. I the Internet sort of in became a thing as I was growing older it me and the Internet sort of grew up together the millennials I I don't know how it would have been if it had been around already had already been established if smartphones and then come out until I was almost done with college you know thank God because I didn't didn't have access. There wasn't a computer lab Adrian until my senior year and Major. I remember I remember being like I had Mrs Johnson for for computer lab and I remember thinking like why the Hell Am. I learning this never going to use this study where I took typing on the typewriter. Wow that's like typing typing on the typewriter her they decided that the class of ninety four was the first class that had to have a technology credit and they wouldn't grandfather's into it so they replaced the typewriters the typewriter layup with electric processors that I came out and made all the seniors they pulled us out of classes to go for day to take take the typing class but on a word processor and that's got the little tech certification on a high school diploma so it's literally changing as we're going through it. You know it makes me wonder Mike. How's it going. What's going to be different in the next couple of years. I say thank God. It wasn't around. Maybe Zuma's will say when they're my age and another. I mean that's not that long anyway another fifteen years. There's there'll be like thank God it was around for me from school the other day and he said mom today we had time on our chromebooks and we use soft headphones on our chromebooks Krumbach. May trump doesn't have a touch screen tablets. I couldn't watch Netflix well. He's five yeah. That's the thing they know more about it than they do like it just basic human interaction. You know like you were saying so. It's GonNa be interesting but I'm Marie rapid fire questions as the timelines down here future What would you change about the if you could change one thing? I'll afraid of this. If you could change one thing about the school system or the way that teachers are expected to teach what would you change get off. My ass get very scripted curriculum. We have a very scripted pacing. We have a very scripted and there are times where I something is missing but the next assessments coming coming up the next test is coming up. I have to hit this next pacing benchmark. I need to and I miss having like when you were in school when I can be like okay so we're reading this but people just aren't getting this so now. Let's go you know we'll change. The course. We'll go do something different. I can't even recommend a book to a kid personal. My God that sucks yeah. That sucks sucks all the fun out of it for you so get off your ass. It's so funny every teacher. I've talked to you not even on the podcast just in general conversation. That's what they say. It's let me teach that's what they say no matter what state they're in either. I know a girl who teaches in South Carolina. It's Ben's friends aerial. Don Katie remember yeah. She's a teacher now and that was what I mean so there's somebody who's you know ten years younger than you hell. Jim Jim's ten years so next question what has surprised you about teaching the most in since you've been doing it. I honestly never thought a million years that I would go on vacation and with former students go I don't. I I do have a couple of teachers that I still exchange Christmas business cards or we'll get together for lunch every once in a while but I did not expect to have the relationships that I do like being Jeff's wedding and people being like Oh. How do you now Jeff Stephon Jared and Jeff Eighth Grade English teacher. Jan Mahaffy's leading is in a couple of weeks. I would've ever thought when I started that that that the thing that would happen and now that you're doing the drama again. It's totally possible that start that cycle all over again ten years ago. I mean you'd be surprised if you make an impression. You know like these kids will be like you know hey. I want Miss Ferguson come on Friday. We decided to walk home so he could come. Hang out with you airline. Yes see yeah. That's good to know you still got it right because when you're twenty three it's a little bit easier to relate to the people that are at ten years. I I hope I hope I'm not that you know that much of an adult now who is. I guess you answered this earlier on. But who is your favorite teacher. When you were growing up well. It's the styling elementary hands down and then secondary my English. He traded the same English teacher for a couple of years because she taught like the college prep classes that there was only like the one core group of us that took those classes 'cause graduating class was so small and I still her name's Georgia Chad Nice still talk to her and her husband. Mel was typing teacher and then my physics and chemistry professor actually Babysat for his kids to all right well. Stephanie were top of the hour so thank you so much this flown by. It's been a great conversation on yeah well. Thank you again for the wine diner last ship here. I'm going to have to drink wine every time I do this now yeah but so thanks again for coming in and next week. I will be back Jeremiah. The host of daily Detroit will be joining me Jeremiad my podcasts for a living so this is going to be really interesting to talk to him seventy thousand followers that he has and I'm sure he's going to teach me to tell me what I'm doing wrong with mine. How how would I want him to yeah it is he's actually I've talked to him. Before I met him about a month ago now and and he's already kind of given me he said Oh oh yeah listen to your show and give you some some pointers and he's already given me some some valuable information but I'm really looking to find out more about him as a person his show so he'll be back. He'll be next next week and looking forward to doing that so everybody. I will talk to you then have a great week Stephanie. Thank you again for coming in and this has been American winer PODCAST DETROIT DOT COM.