Starbucks with Sam: Ms. Lorber-Crittenden

Samantha Cohen One of they key aspects that makes Latin such a special place is the amazing relationships it fosters between faculty and students. Whereas at other schools teachers and administrators are sometimes seen as cold authoritative figures who feed off of the anxiety of high school students and revel in pop quizzes (ie. Ms. Trunchbull in Matilda), most students at Latin regard their teachers as mentors, friends, and advocates (a la Miss Honey in Matilda). I am lucky to have gotten to know many of the wonderful people who work in the building and make it the warm place that it is, but there are still many that I haven’t had the chance to interact with. This semester is my last at Latin, and, before I go, I really want to get to know as many people as I can. For this issue I decided to grab midday coffee with a fabulous new English teacher with a complicated last name so I could get to know another person who makes Latin a great place. After I emailed Ms. Lorber-Crittenden asking her to meet up she agreed to meet me across the street during F block. Because she is a new teacher this year, I started out by asking her about her adjustment to Latin. She responded with lots of enthusiasm, stating that she loves Latin and is thrilled to be coming back next year. She added that she is in great company in the english department and is surrounded by coworkers who support and inspire her. “It is also nice that they are clearly adored and respected by their students,” she added of her colleagues. Ms. LC, as she is referred to by her students, will be leading a Project Week to Santa Fe with fellow english teacher Mr. Windus. She lived in Santa Fe for a while and considers it one of her favorite places in the world. When I asked her how she and Windus decided to team up she responded, “Windus wanted to take a trip out west on a train. I told him about my plans to go to Santa Fe and I loved the idea of taking a train out west so it just worked out well.” Ms. LC teaches four sections of English 9 and is currently teaching the senior elective Utopia and Dystopia. Her favorite book that she has taught this year is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. We share a love of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Ms. LC enjoys 19th century literature and believes it to be one of the most beautifully written works of all time. I squealed awkwardly in my chair as she said this because I couldn’t agree more. She looked at me quizzically. Ms. LC also suggests The People of Paper, a book that plays with construction and storytelling that she reads every year. She would tell you more but she doesn’t want to spoil it. Despite her admirable zest for literature and her occupation, there is a lot more to Ms. LC than books. She grew up in Skokie, IL (neighbors!) and went to Niles North high school. Although English was her favorite subject throughout high school and college, she loves learning anything culture-related. She was an American Studies major in college and loved all of her classes about history and art. “I just like learning about people and the way they experience life,” she eloquently put it. In addition to being a scholar, Ms. LC is also an athlete! She explained that being active plays a huge role in her life. She works out as much as she can. Not only does she weightlift, play softball, and volleyball, but she also boxes! “I was training to box for a while and I had my first fight last year,” she added. Though she hasn’t had much time to box this year she hopes to resume fighting in the future. Ms. LC also tries to hear live music as much as possible. She is a huge jazz and blues fan and has fond memories of her father taking her to the Jazz Showcase in high school. She also loves hip hop and atmosphere and describes her overall taste in music as “eclectic.” Ms. LC’s favorite meal would probably be some form of mexican cuisine — tamales, and enchiladas are some of her most beloved meals. “I just love food,” she said. It was that moment when I realized how much Ms. LC and I truly had in common. I decided to spruce things up a bit and challenged Ms. LC to write an impromptu haiku about her summer, which describes her studying and graduating from her masters program. Her Haiku: long days studying forgetful evenings playing somehow a success I really enjoyed getting to know Ms. LC and love being able to call another person at Latin my friend! She is truly an awesome lady who everyone should get to know. She may be new to Latin, but she shares the same openness, kindness, zest, and passion for learning as everyone else in the Latin community. So next time you see her pumping iron in the gym or in line for one of our cafeteria’s amazing sweet potato enchiladas introduce yourself. I am sure you will be just as happy you did as I am. Happy February, and look out for next issue’s Valentine’s Special! P.S. If you do not understand my Matilda references, please watch Matilda ft. Danny Devito or read the Roald Dahl classic.]]>