For this week’s edition of Teacher’s Corner, intrepid reporter Michal Cohen is joined by fellow seniors Jacob Rosmarin and David Gilinski to find out the answer to the question on everyone’s mind: just who is history teacher Mr. Buck Curley, and how did he get here?
Michal Cohen: How did you find us?
Mr. Curley: They found me. The hiring process for private schools is very corporate. You go to a big ballroom with this company that sends your resume to hundreds of schools. If they like you, they reach out to you, and I wanted to be in south Florida, and they asked me to come meet with them. I knew nothing about them. I met with Mr. Matla and Dr. Lieber.
MC: Why did you grow out your hair?
Mr.C: I always enjoyed having long hair. I would have long hair and a disgusting beard at all times if it was acceptable.
MC: What were you like in high school?
Mr.C: What was I like in high school?
Jacob Rosmarin: He was the coolest cat in town.
Mr.C: Unfortunately, I was probably more like these two goobers over here (pointing to Jacob Rosmarin and David Gilinski).
David Gilinski: What?!
JR: If we are not cool, who is?
Mr.C: I never said you were uncool, I just think goober too.
JR: David, I understand, is a goober.
Mr.C: I was doing a little bit of everything. I played lots of sports.
MC: What sports?
Mr.C: Football, lacrosse, swimming, we had a competitive, state championship ultimate frisbee team. I did that. I did a play or two. I was at a really different school. It was an almost militaristic, disciplined all boys high school.
MC: So you have an AP art history class with just one student. What is it like teaching one student?
Mr.C: You have to ask her, I think. I am okay with it. It is kind of nice, because it is more of a dialogue. It doesn’t bother me. I have had small classes before. She might be the better one to ask.
MC: You teach different types of history (US History, World History, and Art History). Which one do you like teaching and why?
Mr.C: I mean, I got both my degrees in Art History, so that is my passion.
MC: So you lived in Tennessee, what was it like living there?
Mr.C: I loved it in a way. I left at 18 and I probably would never go back. I love it. It is important to me because that is my past and my history, but it was a little too provincial and a little too backwards. I felt there was nothing left for me to prove there. Anything I had left would have been the same thing that everyone did.
MC: It seems like you are into music, what type are you into?
Mr.C: A little bit of everything. It changes, it comes in waves. I will listen to anything. I don’t love country music. Most of the time indie rock, old rock. I love pop music too, hip-hop, whatever. It doesn’t really matter to me.
MC: Since you lived in Tennessee, did you play any instruments?
JR: What? What does Tennessee have to do with playing instruments?
Mr.C: The Tennessee thing has to do with it. When I was younger, I did play the banjo. My grandfather made me a banjo from part scratch, and taught me how to play. I played for a while, but I was not any good, and I gave it up.
MC: After Tennessee, or I don’t know if you lived anywhere else, what drove you to come to Florida?
Mr.C: After Tennessee, I moved to Missouri for college, and then Spain for a few months. I lived in Indonesia for over a year for teaching, and then Memphis for grad school, and then California for two years, and now I am here. I always got “itchy feet” after two years, as soon as something gets normal, I want to load up and start over. The weather brought me to Florida, and I wanted to settle. I wanted to try settling, I have never tried doing that. I really like it here, and I think I am going to try and stay for a long long time.
MC: Why did you move so many times and different places?
Mr.C: I always chased anything that was new and exciting. I don’t have a concept of home as a place so much. Whatever was going to be the next thing, I went with it.
MC: I feel like the school is very different in its culture, what is it like working with Jewish kids? I don’t know if you worked before as a teacher, but what is different with working with Jewish kids?
Mr.C: I would argue that there is really not. I have been teaching for seven or so years in various things, in community college, college. Teenagers are teenagers everywhere. The religious aspect is interesting. I get to be a part of, and learn about a different culture, which I enjoy that aspect of it. I don’t think that being a Jewish school makes it different than any other high school.
MC: What is your favorite thing about Hebrew Academy?
Mr.C: That’s tough.
MC: There are so many things.
Mr.C: I know. I feel like it allows me to have a lot of balance in my life. The classes aren’t too big, the days aren’t too long, the breaks are great. I feel very fulfilled and happy at work and I love that. And when I leave, I get to have my own life as well. That might be where the Jewish thing comes into play, I don’t have to worry to get an email on Saturday. Which I love not getting an email on Saturday and things like that, or that I am not going to run into students on Friday night or anything like that, I really enjoy that.
MC: So the last question- do you think water is wet?
Mr.C: Of course it is.
MC: That’s the wrong answer, but okay.
Mr.C: Wait, was it Zoolander? Water the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty? I can’t really remember. Have you seen that movie?
MC: I have not.
Mr.C: You should watch it, it’s a great movie.
DG: Who has not seen Zoolander?
MC: I haven’t.
DG: Classic Michal.
By: Michal Cohen (12th Grade)
Two Cool Cats: Mr. Curley and Jacob Rosmarin