by Jolijt T '11 by Stephanie A '11

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Jennifer Dikes

If you were to be on a stranded island with one BSGE teacher who would it be and why?
Virge because Virge would keep me alive. Because if I was stranded with Ms. You or Adam, we’d collectively starve to death.
It sounds like you have experience with that.
With Virge keeping me alive. Yeah, absolutely.

If you were stuck in a room for 48 hours and you had to bring two movies but you had to watch them over and over again, what two movies would you bring?
That is a good question. Two movies to watch over and over… Ferris Bueller’s Day Off because it would make me laugh over and over again. And then something really complicated that each time I’d watch it I’d get something out of it. Probably Momento because I’ve only seen that once.

When you were really little, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be an astronomer and then I wanted to be a spelunker, which is a person that explores caves, and then I wanted to be an astronaut. And then I discovered that all of those things involve math.
So you were an adventure child?
Yup, yup.
And then you became a teacher.
Teaching is an adventure everyday.
Yes, you may have this plan of what’s going to happen and half the time it doesn’t happen the way you plan or it goes the way you wanted to go but you couldn’t really fully visualize what the actual end result was going to be. So everyday is different.

If you had to give advice to a teacher what would it be?
To a new teacher?
To be super patient with yourself because you’re going to feel like an idiot everyday for the first two or three years. Because you’re doing stuff and you kind of don’t know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. You think you know why and then you get through it and you get to the other side and it’s like “that just didn’t work, that was just dumb.” In my first year I was just like “Oh yeah, go read a chapter of Norton as a homework assignment.”
And that just didn’t work?
You’ve read Norton. A chapter of Norton, you gotta be joking me. But you don’t figure that out until you do it.

What do you really not like that students do?
Fall asleep. Routinely. Everybody has the day where they stayed up to late to get stuff done  and whatever. But on a routine basis, fall asleep, not respond, be completely disinterested. That’s beyond annoying. Because not everything’s super interesting to everybody but I think there’s something in history.

What do you waste your time doing?
I waste most Sundays, between September and February watching Football.
So are you a Giants fan or Jets fan?
I am not from New York. I’m a Redskins fan.
Can I publish that?
Oh absolutely. Absolutely. You can publish the fact that I loathe just about all New York teams. I love New York. I loathe New York teams.
Did you ever play football?
Touch football…badly.
Yea I’m not good at playing sports.
Did you grow up watching football?
With your family?
Yup with my mom. Who I discovered… sometime during college I was home over break and she asked me this question that made me realize she had no idea the actual rules of football. Football is just popular in DC, the Redskins are really popular, when I was a kid they were really good and so we just watched the Redskins game every week. And she had no idea what the rules of the game really were. The good guys won or the bad guys lost and whatever.

What was growing up in DC like?
I grew up in Maryland in the suburbs. So suburbia… blah… kind of boring place to be as a teenager. Where you hang out is the mall and Denny’s was open all night… you could hang out there… hang out in somebody’s basement… the parking lot of the mall. Not much to do. But it was fine.
The seniors all hang out here so clearly there’s not that much to do here either.
Well it’s funny because I was in the mall at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. I was there on Monday and I was just killing time waiting for a friend of mine and so it was four o’clock and I was in the Borders and there was a bunch of kids hanging out there. In New York City… on a cold day… where do you hang out? Starbucks was full, that’s why I was in the mall…I’m hanging out in the mall with teenagers!

If you had to choose between licking a homeless man’s foot and eating freshly spit gum off the sidewalk, which one and why?
Freshly spit gum everyday, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because I don’t touch strangers. Period. Doesn’t matter whose foot.
But you don’t know whose gum that is and what was on the ground where it fell.
Yea I know but I’m not that stressed about germs.
So what about a homeless man’s foot… is it just that fact that he’s a stranger?
It’s the foot.
So you wouldn’t lick my foot even though I’m not a stranger?
Even if I just washed it?
That’s weird. You would pick up the gum over licking my just washed foot?
Mmm hmm.
That’s so weird!
I didn’t say I wasn’t.
I feel a little self-conscious about my foot now.
You shouldn’t.
I guess it’s everyone’s foot. Would you lick your foot instead of the gum?
Sure because I’d be proud of myself for being able to lick my foot. Which I can’t do. So if I could I’d lick my foot everyday over any other options. Then I’d be flexible again.


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