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Teacher’s High School and College Experiences

Ms. Barnes’ Experience


Ms. Barnes High School & College Experience

1. Teachers Name & What grade they teach?

My name is Linda Barnes and I teach 9th grade English and independent reading, which is both 9th and 10th grade.


2. What high school did she attend?

Okay so it has a long name, I went to “Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development”, BBACD.


3. What college or university did she attend?

Ashley: Before the interview you told me that you attended both a college and a University right? 


Ms. Barnes: Yeah, so I went to Baruch first for accounting, and then I went to Brooklyn College for finance, and then I went to LIU for education.


4. What are some hobbies she had during high school? 

Mmm.. Mmm.. Oh yes. I did play 2 sports but they kicked me off the team so I don’t know if that counts. So I played volleyball, but I was afraid to hit the ball so they took me off, and I played softball and I kept missing the ball so they took me off. I might have been in some dance or cheer team and then I quit.


Ashley: Why did you quit? 


Ms. Barnes: I didn’t want to do it anymore.


5. What are some hobbies she had during college/university?

*nods head no* 


Ashley: Nothing, You weren’t in any clubs? Any out of school hobbies?


Ms. Barnes: No no, I was working. I was leaving the school as soon as class ended 


Ashley: Working in what? 


Ms. Barnes: At the bank, in Chase. As a bank teller- Actually actually, no, I’m sorry, I did join the business club but I missed a lot of the meetings, but I joined and I’m mad I missed the meetings because most of my friends when they graduated, got hired at these nice big accounting firms and I was still stuck at chase, getting paid only $10 an hour. 


6. What encouraged her to go to that high school?

My first choice was actually Midwood so was Murry Bergtraum. Mmm, I didn’t get accepted to any of the high schools, like something happened when I did the application, that all my applications got rejected, umm and then this school was recommended to me so I just applied last minute and I actually found out that my best friend at the time, the same thing happened to her and she was going to this school too so we went together to Banneker. 


7. What encouraged her to go to that college/university?

I knew in high school that I wanted to major in accounting. I was in a lot of honors, math honors classes. Math was my favorite subject, so I already knew I was gonna do accounting and they told me that Baruch is the best CUNY school for business so that’s why I went there. I went to Brooklyn because it had a better environment. Baruch made me depressed. I liked Brooklyns campus. I got to take swimming classes and like other classes that I enjoyed. 


Ashley:  Why did Baruch make you depressed? 


Ms. Barnes: because I was looking for a college experience since I didn’t go away for school and Baruch is only one building so all my classes were in one building and I was missing the college experience. Like I wanted to sit out on the grass, I wanted to walk across the lawn, I wanted to feel more like I was in college and Baruch made me feel more like I was in high school. And then I went to LIU because the teaching program that I started, chose that school for me. And I didn’t really have much of a choice. 


Ashley: And how was your experience at LIU?


Ms. Barnes: Oh I loved LIU.


Ashley: Okayyy, was that your favorite? 


Ms. Barnes: ummm, yes, I loved LIU. The campus is downtown so it’s accessible. They have great resources. The professors are really- I think out of all my college experiences, cause I know it’s usually hard to make relationships with your professors, but these professors were really friendly, and very understanding.


8. Any highlights or favorite moments from high school?

Mmm, I think maybe I’ll say our senior trip. Yeah, our senior trip was fun. And when we did the yearbook photos because our yearbooks we designed it like a magazine. So we did actual photo shoots and went to different locations, we bought our own props, umm got dressed and did hair and stuff. And everybody had a different theme for their photo shoots, so that was fun. 


Ashley: Interesting, what was your theme for your photo shoot? 


Ms. Barnes: I forgot what theme I did. I did it with two others- I did group photos, I did it with two of my best friends at the time. 


9. Any highlights or favorite moments from college/university?

Ashley: Since you went to many colleges, do you want to give one specific or individual ones from each college? 


Ms. Barnes:  *Laughs* umm any highlights from college? Ummm, there was some nice parties *giggles* 


Ashley: Any interesting things at these parties? 


Ms. Barnes: Nope just regular parties. I actually became friends with a lot of sororities and fraternities. But I did not pledge, they would try to get me to join but I would never join a sorority, it’s not for me. 


10. Any difficult moments in high school? Why?

Ms. Barnes: UMMMM, UHHH


Ashley It doesn’t really have to be school related, it can be about boys or about friends drama.


Ms. Barnes: Uhhh No we’re not going to talk about the boy drama. Ummm; okay, difficult moment? Uhhh, there’s not much. I actually had a good high school experience. The only difficult moment was that they were going to expel me. 


Ashley: Ouuu girl


Ms. Barnes: uh but it was a misunderstanding. So I was going to get expelled and then my mom came up to the school on my behalf to stop them from expelling me, because I was suspended like 4 times. So this next time they said they were going to expel me. But it was like, for, stupid stuff. You know I was suspended because I cursed at a teacher and I got suspended this other time because they said I pushed the school safety, and then I got suspended the other time for, wow, for cutting. I actually only got suspended 3 times, not 4. And the third time was when I pushed the school safety officer and threatened her, and then they said they were going to expel me. But it was a complete misunderstanding, I promise you. I didn’t push her. I did threaten her but I did not push her.  And I want that to be on the record. I only said that I was going to punch her in her face if she didn’t get out my way 

Ashley: Ouuu girl

Ms. Barnes: Yeah but that was back then when I was young, now I change my mind. I wasn’t violent in high school, it was that one school safety. She harassed us. She used to follow us around, and she was following me around. I told her I was going to punch her in her face. My mom was on my side.


11. Most difficult moment in college/university? Why?

Okay, difficult moments in college. In Baruch, when I first started working at Chase, I was more focused on working then going to school, and also the way I had my schedule set up, which was a mistake. I put all my classes only on Tuesday and Thursday, so I was in class all day. So science has never been one of the subjects I’m good at and I had to take physics and I was failing, like no matter what I did I was failing. And then I ended up getting academic probation, and they said if I failed this class then they were going to kick me off and I definitely failed. And they kicked me out of Baruch, and then I had to do a whole appeal about how I am going to change my life and start to do better, but I just lied and told them that I was going through hard things, and that somebody died and that’s why I failed, and they  took me back. BUT this was years ago, but honestly I was really going through hard things and i’m not even gonna lie. So they accepted me back. I had a devious education. Don’t follow anything I did.

12. Her favorite teacher from high school? Why? 

OMG, my favorite teacher. I had two, but one I like more than the other. Ummm her name is Nicole Moore, and i’m still in contact with her. She taught 10th grade earth science. And when I was taking her class, I did not like her at all. We Fought everyday, I probably even threatened her too, I don’t know but we fought everyday. But after the class, of course I realized that she was just pushing me to be the best me. And we’ve been friends since then. I even told her that I was teaching and she wanted me to go back to Banneker to teach, and I told her I would never. And I would go visit her and everything. Then my other favorite teacher was Mr. Turner, Lincoln Turner, that was 11th grade English, and he’s my favorite teacher because um, I’ve always been like an advent reader and he chose really amazing books for us to read. It really opened me up as far as literature goes, and to different genres and when we graduated his signature in our yearbook was like a reading list of the top 50 books we should read, and I’m still trying to tackle the list down. He’s amazing. 


Ashley: Did you ever have any nice memories with him? 


Ms. Barnes: Yeah he did barbecues for us and stuff like after we graduated, we kept in contact. 


13. Favorite professor from college/university? Why? 

In LIU it was Kahleen, who I’m also still in contact with. Kahleen helped me so much because that masters degree was- it was difficult, and once again I fell behind. I can admit that I procrastinate a lot, it’s been a bad habit of mine. I still procrastinate so I definitely fell behind in work and Kahleen will always give me extensions, I was her favorite. I actually just talked to her. I like that she can read the room and like maybe see that like today was not a day for us to discuss or do like work, so she would just talk to us about what was going on, because while you are getting your masters you are teaching and we used to come from a full day of work and have to go to class and I guess sometimes she would like pick up that it was not a good day, so I love that about her. That was my only favorite professor. I don’t care about the others.


14. Did she stay in a dorm during college/university? If yes, how was the dorm life?

No and I regret it. Once again because it wasn’t like a real college experience and I went to visit my friends who went away and stayed in dorms and there was like a completely different environment. Like the- I don’t know, feeling like an adult, having adult responsibilities, self management, like all the skills that living alone will force you to work on, because I was still at home with my mom, taking the train to Baruch, to Brooklyn, then to LIU. 


15. How did she pay for college/university?

I did not pay. I am debt free. I did not graduate with any type of debt. Yeah so with Baruch that was FAFSA 


Ashley: FAFSA? What’s that? 


Ms. Barnes: So based on your parents taxes, how much money they make, they will decide how much money they’re gonna give you to cover your college. So because my mom made like no money, shout out to my mom for being broke, I love her. They paid for everything, I got like full coverage. I even got money back, which was good. That was for Baruch and Brooklyn. Financial aid basically paid for it. Then for LIU the teaching program paid for my masters. So yeah I graduated with no debt. 


16. Any advice for leaders students? 

What I would say is learn to balance the social and the academics, a lot of the time as a teacher, and i’m even thinking about when I was in high school right. There’s a lot of focus on social life, drama, like boyfriend and girlfriend, and making friends, that your academics starts to struggle or you get so caught up in your relationships and creating relationships. I don’t know, it’s weird to describe it but like you get so caught up that you also miss opportunities or you become withdrawn, like your whole life is about this relationship. You gotta learn to balance. I would also say to once again take advantage of the things that are being offered like I went to high school years ago and we did not have 75 or 80 percent of the things that are going on now. Like it’s a lot of the things that I see now and I am just like damn I wish we had a guitar club so that I could learn to play instruments because I’ve always wanted to learn how to play instruments or like this cooking club like right now im struggling, I wish that we had those type of things happening. But yeah take advantage of all the things that are being offered, like the clubs, the programs. Step into the leadership role and create something. Just become a more well rounded person. It’s not even about your resume at this point, but it also does look good for college applications. I didn’t realize that now its really competitive and were looking at the brag sheets for these kids and they have nothing on their brag sheets because they went through high school doing nothing so definitely build yourself, build your resume, take risks, put yourself out there, break out of your clicks, like explore new friendships and connections. And last but not least DON’T GET SUSPENDED OR EXPELLED.


17. Any advice for the seniors, to make them more prepared for the future?

Okay my first piece of advice, and this is a mistake that I made that is still till this day haunting me. You need to net work your ass off.  I didn’t understand the importance of networking, so all those clubs that I was attending, all of those business clubs that I was attending and I didn’t bother to stay. I missed out on crucial opportunities because all of the kids who networked were able to get internships and all these other things that led them into these companies. Like when I was going for accounting, I had this friend that was in Morgan Stanley, even my friend who interned got a job with apple and he was with them for like 10 years, that’s why he packed up his stuff and moved to Colombia because he had saved his money. You have to network because you make a lot of connections and people that can vouch for you. And when you graduate they will offer you positions. I would also say to be more active, I was so busy focusing on work that I didn’t really stop and take the time to enjoy what it is or what it means to be in college. Like definitely go to the parties. Like college is the next part of your life, so definitely meet new people, branch out and move out of your comfort zone, join the clubs, take new classes. I think that for me I really loved Brooklyn college because I already knew how to swim. It was something I enjoyed but I took a class and then became a better swimmer. Don’t be in a rush to graduate.


This was Ms. Barnes' experience. 


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