Co-Captain Catherine here with a life update: I am going back to school! I will be pursuing my Masters in Teaching in elementary education with an endorsement in Theater at Boise State University. I plan to graduate in Fall 2022. You will likely be hearing from me less over the next year, Cuties, as I focus more of my time and energy on pursuing my degree and professional teaching career. But even as I sail into my own waters of discovery, I will remain your Co-Captain, continuing the voyage I began with Captain Tiffany a few short months ago.
Catherine, 4th Grade
Catherine, Senior Year of High School
(Entering the new millenium in style.)
My goal in teaching is to bring a little of the magic that was present in my own educational journey to other students. When I was little, I never dreamed I would grow up to be a schoolteacher. When I was five, my mom took me to my first play: a Boise Little Theater production of A Little Princess. At this age I was horribly concerned that magic might not be real, that it was only something that lived in fairytales and the realm of the imagination. But sitting in that plush chair, watching the story unfold in front of my eyes, I cried with joy to realize that magic was real. The characters I usually had to imagine were flesh and blood, living the story right before my eyes; it was imagination incarnate. Magic was real and was something I could make. As the story swept me along, I came to understand that I wanted to help other children experience that magic for themselves, to make imagination real.
In the 25 years since that epiphany, I have been exploring how I can practice making that magic. I became a theater kid and took theater classes all over the Treasure Valley. I thought I was learning how to become a professional actor, how to be someone on stage acting out the magic. I went on to attain a college degree in theater; I acted in independent films and studied improv in Chicago and I’ve taught theater at the institutions where I once was a student.
It was when I was writing my thesis that I realized that the most potent magic was not what I created on stage. The biggest, most impressive, and most meaningful magic was in my learning. My teachers and directors were really alchemists. They took my raw material—my curiosity, my passions, my talents—and, in the alchemical laboratory of a classroom filled with respect, imagination, and patience, wrought a magic deep and lasting. I remembered feeling that learning-magic in my public elementary school classrooms as well. I had teachers who used their alchemist skills to make learning a process of the imagination.
Now I want to learn more fully the secret of these everyday alchemists and help children find the magic within themselves. I spent the year before the pandemic working as a substitute teacher and as a teacher for local theater companies; I realized I could bring some of the magic from the rehearsal room to the public-school classroom.
Cuties, we all have magic within us; we all have the ability to transform the world. I encourage you to go on your own journey of self-discovery, find and embrace your magic, and share it with the world.
Stay creative, Cuties.