Throwback Thursday:Teacher Edition-Corinne Thomason
October 29, 2015
This week’s Throwback Thursday is over Mrs. Thomason. If you ever took Pre-AP Freshman English, Literary Genres A/B, or Creative Writing, you might have had her as one of your teachers. She is our resident crazy chicken lady and brilliant mastermind.
What was school life like for you?
“I was always the youngest, shortest, nerdiest, almost totally out of touch with my ‘cool’ peers, over-achieving, and talkative, annoying, really cute and very opinionated kid on campus. That goes for college as well as high school. Does that give you a good idea of what my life was like?!”
Why did you decide to be a teacher?
“I didn’t really start off thinking about being a teacher; I was actually going into Biology/Medicine. I had a hiccup in my career plans when my mom became seriously ill and needed me at home. Change of plans… My college advisor suggested getting certified ‘just in case’. I did my student teaching at my own high school with some of the best teachers I have known, and really enjoyed the experience. I am a ‘people person’ and have always liked helping others expand their horizons. After graduation, I went to work as a biologist until I married and started having children. Then it was ‘stay at home mom time’. However, it seemed like my whole life I had been teaching something to someone, whether it was with Girl Scouts as a leader/trainer/camp director, or as a tutor, or pre-school Sunday School teacher, as an educator at a zoo, an instructor of continuing education Nature Studies Summer Programs at UTA or finally, a substitute at my daughter’s schools. Well, after subbing for a couple of years I was offered a full time position, and I am still at it! Boy, am I glad I took that turn in my life path. I can honestly say that teaching is one of the most rewarding things I have done.”
What kind of student would you have described yourself as?
“I was the ‘follow the rules’ kind of kid. Very serious about my academics and though I wasn’t always as successful grade-wise as I would have liked, I really enjoyed learning. I was a voracious reader and found solace in books. I wasn’t one of the ‘in-crowd’; more like the ‘outside-looking-in-happy-to-be-me-wondering-what-was-so-great-about-being-in-crowd’. OK…I admit I guess I was (and still am) a nerd. I always wanted to be the first at whatever I did. Yes, I was bullied because I liked science and math and I did know how to use a slide-rule! OK, my clothes were hand-made and I loved hanging out in the school library. I memorized chunks of Shakespeare just to irritate my peers. I loved learning and was constantly digging through piles of books. I was THE TEACHER’S PET/PEST depending on the teacher. I lived to ask questions (teachers had a real LOVE/HATE relationship with that characteristic), and on most days I looked forward to finding unique ways of impressing my peers with tidbits of trivia. In retrospect, I am sure I was the annoying child that both students and teachers wanted to stuff into a locker!”
What kind of things did you do in high school and college?
“In high school I was President of the Library Club, enjoyed going to the football games, and just hanging out with my friends. Though I was a leader in my own circle, I didn’t always feel like I fit in and sometimes I was a bit of a loner. I was also working so there wasn’t always a lot of down time.
In college I was a member/officer in an academic fraternal organization (not a social sorority). I enjoyed my classes and after seven years of school, graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in English. And…work, work, work.”
What were your hobbies while you were in school and why did you participate in them?
“I loved to read anything and everything, and I was a fan of all things scientific. I was known for staying up all night reading. I also enjoyed all types of sports from swimming to horseback riding, softball, golf, gymnastics, martial arts, bowling…you name it. I also liked doing crafts of any sort. I sewed most of my own clothes (fun and frugal, but not always fashion forward). I was President of the Arlington Memorial Junior Volunteer Auxiliary (loved hanging out at the hospital). It seemed like I was always on the go, full speed… a multi-tasking maniac. Way too much energy!”
Do you have any tips for students?
“READ-READ-READ. Learn as much as you can about as much as you can. Be open to new challenges and have a positive attitude. Things will always work out for the best, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. Value yourself for your uniqueness; you are the ONLY YOU in the whole world. And…LAUGH!”
Is there anything you would change about your school days?
“I started college at 17 years old. As with high school, I always felt disconnected from most of my peers. Maybe being more ‘normal’ would have been nice. Sometimes I think it might have been easier if I had not had to struggle with finances and time management. Maybe being like all the other kids instead of like me could have made me happier. OH, WAIT… all those experiences went into making me who I am today, and I like me. SOOOOO-never mind.”
Did you have a job while you were a teenager? If so, what was it?
“I started working at a very young age. I had part time jobs all throughout school. Got to pay those bills! I did everything from working for a florist, a dry-cleaners, a candy store, an office supply/Hallmark store, working with a professional interior design firm, babysitting, being a nanny for five years, cleaning houses, helping my dad at his jobs (running a golf driving range), being a Director of a Church pre-School program, assisting the genetics professor (counting fruit flies at midnight after working all day and taking classes), working as a Biologist while in college and finishing my degrees, etc.”
As many students are wondering, what is the story behind your rubber chickens?
“ ‘I am the Queen and Empress Over-Lord of Planet Poultry, disguised as a lowly English teacher, having come to Earth with my rubber chicken minions to take control of all earthlings………POWER TO THE POULTRY!!!’ OK, you know I teach Creative Writing/Science Fiction… Real story, I had a pet chicken named Gertrude as a child. As a teacher, years ago, one of my classes gave me a rubber chicken who became quite the celebrity at my campus. It started out as a joke, but over the years the rubber chicken thing has taken on a life of its own and blossomed into the Chicken Obsession that will someday require some serious therapy for me (and possibly my students)!”
Is there anything you would like to add or share?
“That’s really a tough question. I would like to add more time to my day, and share- research.org. Check it out.”