By Ethan Lachman ’21 and Allie Landecker ’21
In an effort to gauge a better understanding of our community, we will be creating an article every issue that compares the daily lives of three different people with similar roles at the Middle School. Throughout Volume 25, each “Day in the Life” column will strive to represent different day-to-day lives of people within the school in order to uncover the mystery behind the many peoples’ lives who are integral to the school because we believe it is very important to try to develop empathy for all of our companions.
Let’s start off with teachers, who play an essential part in the school community. Without teachers learning would not be possible. Teachers’ daily lives can consist of teaching up to five classes along with their other activities and hobbies aside from teaching. Aside from teaching different subjects and grade levels, teachers’ schedules are very diverse and do not follow any particular pattern. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
As soon as the clock hits 6 a.m., history teacher Ian Ulmer dives straight into his morning routine so he can leave the house by 6:30 to get his daughter to school. Instead of teaching five classes like many instructors at school, Ulmer teaches four because he is a part of the Teaching and Innovation Learning team, which focuses on helping teachers use technology effectively in their courses.
Although all students have an assigned lunch period, Ulmer does not have one, and he said that the time at which he eats really depends on his day-to-day frees. Additionally, Ulmer is a middle school cross country coach, and he does not leave campus until 5:30 p.m. to pick up his daughter. Ulmer then greets his normal hour and a half drive home by listening to many different podcasts.
“I listen to a lot of podcasts in the car. There are a couple of great ones. There’s the BBC Radio ‘For in Our Time,’ and I listened to all of Dan Carlin’s ‘Hardcore History,’ Ulmer said.
“ I get home sometime around 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and then it’s dinner, get [his daughter] to bed, and maybe play with my baby. And then I work; I work somewhere from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., or 10 p.m. to midnight, and that means preparing for the next day,” Ulmer said.
Even though the weekend is often an outlet for other doing activities that get lost during the busy school week, school plays a big part in his free time.
“I always have work if it’s a school day…there is always grading; there’s always prep. And anytime that I am doing my personal reading, there is a purpose behind it for school,” Ulmer said.
At 6 a.m., English teacher and field hockey program head Erin Creznic wakes up to take her two children to school. The younger of the two, a preschooler, gets dropped off around 6:30, and her eldest gets dropped off at elementary school soon after. Then, she drives to the Upper School to attend a daily hour-and-a-half long athletics huddle meeting. Afterwards, she drives back to the Middle School to teach English class.
Creznic teaches three eighth grade English courses during third, fourth and fifth periods. Following her classes, she drives back to the Upper School to coach field hockey from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on normal practice days, though the times of games and practices are different depending on the day of the week.
Depending on whether or not the varsity field hockey team has a game, she gets home at a different time every night.
“We have late nights a lot. So basically, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are later days for us, because Tuesdays we usually have an away game in Orange County, Wednesday night practices are late night practices so we don’t end until 7:30, and then Thursdays are home games, but varsity games are at 5 and JV is at 6:30.” Creznic said.
Often, when field hockey is in season, her wife will pick up their two sons from school.
Creznic said she does not get a lot of sleep often, as she has a young baby at home, who requires nursing at night. On the weekends, she tries to balance her workload throughout all three days, as Creznic wants to spend as much time possible with her children.
When comparing science teacher David Fromme’s morning routine to Ulmer’s and Creznic’s, Fromme gets 45 more minutes of sleep than both of them because he lives significantly closer to the Middle School. Usually, it takes Fromme twenty to thirty minutes to get to school because the traffic can be unpredictable. Fromme tends to arrive at school at around 8 a.m. because he either drops his daughter off at school or gets her ready.
During the second half of the school day, Fromme has a schedule packed with classes. He teaches five periods of science, and he consistently eats lunch at seventh period. Although the school day ends at 3:05 p.m., Fromme often does not leave till a bit later.
“I try to leave no later than 4 p.m. because I have a little bit of time to do work so that’s nice… Then I go back to Santa Monica to pick her up [my daughter], and then we spend some time at her school, and then I usually get home anytime between 5 and 5:30 p.m.,” Fromme said.
Even though Mr. Fromme is very busy during the day, he must be very engaged in the evening as well.
“I cook dinner, and then we eat dinner, we play a little bit, I get my daughter ready for bed. Usually I am free again around 8:30 p.m., do dishes, and then if I have homework, I have to do my homework,” Fromme said.
Fromme also grades and plans for classes the next day when he gets home. However, he must do this late at night starting at night because of his lack of freetime during the day.