"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."
Alumni and Faculty Profiles
Bringing about a World that Ought to Be
At Friends Seminary, our mission is to "prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be." Each month, Friends will profile an alum or faculty member (current and former) who lets their life speak. Together these profiles tell the story of Friends Seminary's mission in action through the individuals who have spent time here.
My first impressions of Friends were during my interview in 1994. I was attending the Middle School Meeting for Worship on a warm spring day. Upon entering the Meeting House, I can remember the sweet smell of wood emanating from the benches and floor. Back then, we did not have any cushions and the students were expected to sit in silence for 10-15 minutes. I recall being impressed by how still the middle school students were during worship and looked around to see if anyone was as fidgety as I was. I was sitting directly across from Pam Wood, the Head of the Middle School at that time. She was the one in charge of my interview. I felt more antsy than any of the students. Dressed in a suit on a warm day in the Meeting House did not help calm my nerves as my forehand began to bead up with sweat. I did not have anything to wipe off my perspiration, and I kept wondering if Pam was taking note of this. Fortunately, I did get the job and have been at Friends ever since.
Who is your favorite teacher of all time?
This is a difficult question for me to answer. I have had many wonderful teachers throughout my education, but I would say that the one teacher who truly ignited my interest in learning and teaching Spanish was my middle school Spanish teacher, Señora Amdur. She was an interesting mix of dramatic, demanding, and quirky, but commanded tremendous respect from her students. She often spoke to us about the importance of knowing another language and traveling to other cultures outside the United States in order to develop a better understanding of one another. Later in life, I came across a quote by Mark Twain about how traveling can combat intolerance and racism,* and I often wondered if she was inspired by his quote or if it was her personal experience of traveling that lead her to a similar conclusion.