(Janis L)

Janis L

Long Talk: Ms. Friedman

December 2, 2019

The Long Talk offers a chance to sit down with the various personalities in the ISB community and get to know them a little bit better.  Ms. Friedman, a new math teacher in the High School. She is from Russia and has moved here from Brazil earlier this semester. She sat down with PantherNation to share a bit about herself.


  • How’s your first semester of ISB going?


While I find ISB to be a nice place that provides me a good environment to teach math, I also find it challenging to balance my personal life, my work life, and the events that occupy my calendar. I wish I could gain experience or learn from students and colleagues who have been here longer than me about skills to use my time effectively with a good sense of balance.


  • What made you become a teacher?


My work career started with working in hotel management. Although I was paid well, I felt this wasn’t the right place for me because there were contacts with too many people who I was not familiar with. After I quit working in hotels, I decided to become an accountant and started getting a degree, but then I saw too many numbers and missed the human connection. So then, I quit my job again and this time, as I was looking for a perfect combination of people and numbers, my thoughts suggested becoming a teacher. This way, I could interact with both numbers and people (who probably would matter in my life more than hotel guests). Now, I feel happy with my decision to become a teacher.


  • Who are your favorite authors?


During my teenage years, I liked “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. Now as an adult I find it too romantic, but It’s one of my top recommendations for teenagers. I have also liked murder mysteries since my high school days, in particular, works by Agatha Christie. Now I read literature (particularly murder mysteries) from all around the world including Scandinavian, Korean, Japanese, etc.


  • If you could go back to your High School self, what advice would you give?


I would tell myself to think about things in perspective and realize that all the things that make you stressed or overwhelmed when you’re in High School are sometimes not as important as you might think, while the things that actually matter tend to be overlooked and not be given enough importance. It is so regrettable that I did not value friendships as I should have. Although they were good friends, I drifted away from most of my high school friends because we did not keep in touch for a long time. On the other hand, I focused on my academic achievements too much. I was so ambitious to be the best in the class that I was always ready to drop my classes whenever I couldn’t become the best in the class. Instead of trying to be the first, I should have focused on being myself.

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