Teacher of the Month

Jennifer Catherine Doerry, 09/26/2017, Eagle River Highschool

For this 1st edition of the monthly teacher highlight series, Frau (also known as Mrs. Doerry) kindly consented to be The  Howl’s debut Teacher of the Month. The Howl’s Sina Schmid asked her 20 questions and here is what she answered. Because Frau is as authentic as it gets, these answers are uncut and unedited:

1.Frau, why do people like you?                                                                                      “Oh gosh. First of all, that’s very flattering. I do like people. I mean, I like people and I really like kids and I think that kids know when someone likes them or has their best interest in mind or wants the very best for them probably?”

2. What’s your favorite food?                                                                                         “Favorite Food? That’s so hard. Um, oh my, um it’s probably on a, oh gosh, so, there’s a million foods I can’t eat anymore so my favorite food is probably a food I can’t have, but of all the foods I can have, it’s probably a really exotic sort of salad, with like artichoke hearts and seeds and some kind of like you know, fancy cheese, something like that.”

3. What is your favorite book?                                                                                        “Mhm, probably the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It’s a memoir. Yeah, my favorite book.”

4. Favorite song at the moment?                                                                                             “Mhm, it’s a German song. Uhm, gosh let me look it up the name anyway. Uhm, Damit ihr Hoffnung habt (So you have hope). It’s a song about our society continuing to have hope in the midst of things that are hard.”

5. What’s your favorite sport?                                                                                       “Ugh, so okay, team sport definitely cross country running. Uhm my own thing that I like to do now, you can call it a sport, hiking.”

6. Do you have favorites when it comes to students?                                                “I think there are kids who are easier to teach, but that doesn’t make them a favorite, it makes them easier and it means that you might be able to enjoy your time with them a little bit more, but I think it would be wrong to say that they are a favorite, because uhm I think part of the job, parenting and teaching is to try and find the strengths in the kid and bring them out.”

7. What’s your favorite thing about Alaska?                                                                         “Oh gosh, well, if I were to answer like a general answer it would be the nature, but a very specific answer would be any sunny summer day above 70 degrees, hiking on a mountain ridge or mountaintop, I just don’t know anything better than that. Yeah.”

8. What’s your least favorite thing about Alaska?                                                      “The dark of the winters.”

9. What did you want to be when you were younger?                                                “This is funny, I either wanted to be a teacher or an astronaut.”

10. What is your favorite movie?                                                                                    “That is easy. Cold Mountain with Nicole Kidman and Jude Law.”

11. What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?                                                   “That one I can’t answer in a school paper.”

12. Favorite place in the world?                                                                                    “Oh my. Wow. So it depends. Like I said, either a sunny, over 70 degrees mountaintop in Alaska, you can’t beat that, or a warm sunny day in a German village where people want to talk and you get into a great conversation and you enjoy German culture, German language, and German food.”

13. What is your biggest fear?                                                                                        “Oh gosh, water. Oh my gosh, either water, earthquakes or bears. Definitely.”

14. What is something that bothers you the most, that is going on in the world right now?                                                                                                                        “What bothers me the most? (long pause) Probably, an overall lack of perspective. Like if people forget important things or forget to see complexities in situations. Or if people have kneed jerk unreflective user reactions to things. To me that all kind of falls under just a lack of perspective which I think is somewhat remedied by travel or by language learning and by education.”

15. What’s the weirdest thing about you?                                                                    “Ha! Weirdest? That’s a long list. Probably a lack of decorum when it comes to being excited to be with people and see people-”

16. Name 3 items you would take on a lonely island:                                                  “Uhm, a solar power generator, a water-collection-purification-system, and a very extremely sturdy, sharp knife.”

17. What’s your favorite German word?                                                                        “Oh boy, ugh, probably the German word that isn’t really 1 word but 2 words combined that describe a perfect time of day: Kaffee-Kuchen.”

18. If you could have dinner with any 3 people, dead or alive, who would it be with?  “Oh boy. Dead or alive? If I’m going to have dinner with them I’ll ask them very important questions. Definitely Albert Einstein, definitely Abraham Lincoln. It depends on how heated the conversation would be, but probably Adolf Hitler. Oh my gosh, everybody on that list is male. That’s so not right. Still, I have a lot of questions and I have a lot of possible debates and with those 3 people it would be just so cool.”

19. Where’s Waldo?                                                                                                         “Hmhmhm, Waldo is a figurative dude, he is really not somewhere exactly, we just like to think of him somewhere, and place him in pictures. Hate to break it to you but..”

20. End this sentence: If I woke up as a cow, I would…:                                            “Wow, okay. If I woke up as a cow, hm, I mean, I would really enjoy my warm bed of hay, just sit in the barn or whatever and just enjoy an easy morning without going to work.”

Frau seems to be the perfect person to represent our first teacher of the month. Not only does she always excel in anything she does, for example with the German students that were here last month, but she also has time for every student that needs somebody to talk to, even if they are not in any of Frau’s classes. She’s always up for a small (or long) chat, and even though she is very funny and has a great humor, she is always respectful. Eagle River Highschool can be proud to be able to say that they have Frau as a Staff-Member. Way to go Frau!

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