Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Laubscher

Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Laubscher

Valentina Franco, Angelica Capote, News Editor

Humble, intelligent, and geeky are apparently the three best qualities a High School English teacher can have. Mr. Laubscher, a second year AICE General Papers, English Language, and English Literature teacher, has been uberly involved in WHS activities such as Quidditch and Academic game and is on his way to make his mark on Wolverine territory.

V: How has high school changed since you were here?
L: “I think in a lot of cases the students, especially in the last few years, are expected to make pretty significant jumps, as far as what they learn and what they’re supposed to demonstrate that they understand. I think that’s one of the big things is higher expectations for students in a very short amount of time.”

V: What is coaching the Quidditch team like, and what was the inspiration to sponsor it?
L: “My inspiration was a group of girls that I had in my General Papers class and they sat right by my desk, and they were just talking about creating the club. It was Emilie Sal and Isa Toragroso and Sammy Torres, and they needed sponsors, they asked me and i said ‘sure.’, They were really passionate about it, and I think that that was really infectious. They were super excited about Quidditch, and that passion thrives. Coaching is fun, it’s cool to run out onto the field with all of these foam brooms that everybody made, run around, and get all these different looks from people that think, ‘what are they doing?’ It’s cool because we try to referee, and we yell these really ridiculous things like “put your broom back between your legs!” and stuff like that. You have to be serious about it because it’s in the context of the game, so overall, it’s kind of this unreal experience that I get to look forward to on some days of the week.

V: Griffydore, slytherine, hufflepuff, or ravenclaw?
L: “Gryffindore.”

V: What is coaching the Academic team like, and what was the inspiration for that?
L: “The academic team is awesome, it really attracts the really, really bright kids that kind of have a passion for trivia, which I’ve always been into cause I’m kind of a nerd and useless knowledge is something that appeals to me, I don’t know why. It’s fun. I like that there is a competitive aspect to something that I’m interested in that isn’t a sport. And it allows students who don’t necessarily participate in a whole lot of sports, they can, but it’s a different type of competition, it allows people to shine in an intellectual way, and I don’t think that is something that’s often highlighted in our society, [Our society] really doesn’t kind of give accolades to those who shine in that kind of light.”

V: Tell us about your published works
L: “The last thing that I published was a short story, called “Fireflies”, and it’s about this couple who the only thing that they know is how to be showy and a little ostentatious, where they’re kind of an affluent couple, but they’re really in love with each other and how they would react to the end of the world? And it was just a very flash-fiction piece, I think [it was] less than 500 words that I wrote. It was just, what would they do in the end of the world if the only thing they know is be flashy. The firefly thing ends up being a metaphor on the kind of people they are. The firefly doesn’t know how to do anything but flash and that’s kind of what happens to these people.”

V: English majors usually get a bad reputation, but as a published author, employed right away at a young age, what did you do differently, or did you not do anything differently and think that the stereotype is completely wrong?
L: “I dont want to give the impression that I’ve published a lot, because I haven’t. I’ve only got like 3 short stories that I sent out and some professional stuff I did for technical writing and stuff like that. So I don’t want people to think I’m a huge accomplished author, because I’m not, I’m just someone that likes to write. But the jobs I got writing were technical based. I think that English majors can be a little selfish, as far as “ well, I wanna write, and I don’t care if it’s practical or not’ because honestly, when you stack it up next to getting a degree in Business Administration or something like that, it’s not very practical. There is very little you can do with an English degree if you don’t end up being successful as a writer, which statistically not a lot of people are. When you get into journalism it’s a little bit easier, but it’s still a very competitive field and there are a lot of opportunities in technical writing. I had to look at it, especially in my last years of college, as ‘what’s the most practical course and the easiest thing that’s gonna get me in the door and help me get the experience. Because in college, you’re writing with very specific purposes, and with my degree, creative writing, it doesn’t have a lot of real world application; and I felt like I needed to build that up and do something practical, and that’s how I got into technical writing. Writing tour brochures and editing surveillance reports for this risk management company that I worked at in Orlando was, I guess, real life grabbing me by my shoulders and saying ‘alright I’m here now, what are you going to do?’ and me freaking out about it, trying to find something that could work out of necessity. And that’s how I ended up teaching, because I didn’t like, [that job], it was a weird job, as far as the nature of the job.
I wanted to share my passions with my students and that’s why I started teaching.

V: House Stark, Lannister, Tyrell, or Targaryen?
L: “Ohh– Stark.”

V: Since 90s nostalgia is pretty big right now, and most of the seniors share that nostalgia with your generation, what do you remember the most about the 90s?
L: “Big pants. Back in the day when I was in middle school and starting off high school, the thing to have were these jeans called Jencos, and they were like these huge pipe pants. Just big jeans and big-big pants.”

V: What surprised you or did you not expect when you became a teacher?
L: “How difficult it is– and this may speak more for me because I know a lot of teachers don’t have a problem with this or are really, really good with this and I’m still trying to figure it out– to impact lives and always try to make it be a positive thing. I think that’s one of the cores of teaching, is that you know you kind of have this hope that students are going to remember you over the years. When I first started out, I thought it was going to be ‘well, I’m a teacher, so I’m obviously going to have an impact just because I’m a teacher.’ And that wasn’t the case […] that you have a lot of responsibility in doing the right thing and handling the situations in the best way you can. It was a lot more difficult, especially starting out, to accomplish that, than I had anticipated.”