Meet Ms. Grossman

Brianna Yang Ms. Grossman is obsessed with sharks. That’s the first thing I learned about her when I poked around for information about the new biology teacher. Ms. Grossman was hired to take over Mr. Kim’s classes after he left on a medical leave of absence, and it’s no surprise that she already fits in well in the Latin community. I recently got the chance to interview Ms. Grossman about everything from her time at Latin to fun facts about herself. Here’s what she had to say: So, you came to Latin from Parker.  Well, I originally came from the East Coast. I moved out here to be with my husband a little over a year ago, and I taught at Parker last year. Then, I wasn’t teaching at all in the fall because it was a one year job at Parker. But, I’m so happy to be here, happy to be back teaching. The next, necessary question is, how much better is Latin than Parker? Well, I think the science department says it all. But, it’s been great. The kids have been so great, and I already feel comfortable. The faculty, the science department have all been so welcoming. And, the food is awesome. What drew you to Latin in the first place? Well, I had applied here last year for the chemistry position, and you guys hired Dr. Amankona. So, I didn’t get the position, but I had spent a full day here, and I knew that Latin was a wonderful school and any chance I have to work here, even if it is part-time, I’m excited about. What were you doing this fall, when you weren’t teaching? I was working in retail. Not my passion. Are you following Mr.Kim’s curriculum or are you starting from scratch? Yeah, I’m not starting from scratch. I’m working with Mrs. Schmadeke on keeping the honors biology classes covering the same things, so that those three classes are paired up. And then in the anatomy and physiology class, [Mr. Kim] has taught the class for so long that there are materials, but also doing a little bit on my own as well–more or less following the book and the units, but trying to get some impact from the kids about what they like and move forward that way. Do you know how long you’re staying? I don’t. I’m definitely staying until December 19. At least until then. Can you tell me about yourself–your background, where you came from? I’m originally from Baltimore, Maryland, and I grew up there, went to school on the East Coast, majored in environmental science, got my graduate degree, and taught at an all-boy’s school for most of my career before I moved out to Chicago. I taught freshmen to seniors; it just depended on the course I was teaching–biology or AP environmental science, and I coached every season there, from squash to badminton. Personally, some of my hobbies are wakeboarding and water-skiing and golfing. I’ve heard from some of your students that you really like sharks. Can you tell me where that obsession came from? Well, it started as a fear when I was a little kid. I was fearful of sharks, but sometimes your fears become your fascinations. So, then I just wanted to learn as much as I could about the “enemy,” so to speak. The more you learn, you just realize that they’re such an incredible species; they’re the apex predators of the sea. And then, the more I learned, I realized that we are killing about 100 million sharks per year. Thin crust or deep dish? It depends if I’m getting up to work out the next morning. I love the deep dish. I really do. And, you know, my favorite is Pizano’s, so not even one of the more-well-known ones. Do you have a fun fact about yourself? Well, one fact I shared with my anatomy class, which seemed relevant because I was teaching anatomy and physiology, was that I only have one lung. I had the other lung removed when I was a baby. What else? I think it’s pretty fun that I love sharks…I went to Africa for my honeymoon; I went to Tanzania, and just absolutely fell in love. I saw the great migration, and that was just a dream come true. So, those are some of my fun facts.]]>