Soft Starts: Nobles Teacher Edition

Eva Yu, Staff Writer

October 20, 2023

After the implementation of soft starts, many Nobles teachers got more creative with those awkward five (or seven…) minutes while students shuffle in. Some teachers asking questions of the day, while others prefer playing games like the New York Times’ Wordle or Spelling Bee. Each teacher has their own way to keep students entertained. However, there are some teachers that The Nobleman staff believes could get extra creative for their soft starts.

Starting with The Nobleman’s Faculty Advisor Michael Polebaum: many community members are aware of his deep love for his orange cat, Albert. What better time to promote and flaunt his dear cat to a classroom full of tired history students than soft starts? Extra bonus points if you own an orange cat and can bond with him over this shared love.

Also, in the History and Social Science Department, Oris Bryant takes a top position on this list. Known for not always being the timeliest teacher, he’s been spotted on multiple occasions getting grapes from the Castle instead of showing up at the beginning of class. If you think you’re pushing the boundaries of soft starts, just know that Bryant is right there with you. Occasionally, you will see him engaged in a battle against the printers, a good way to predict that a poor US History class is about to take a quiz.

While not everyone’s had the privilege to take an art class with Art Faculty Betsy VanOot, those who have know that soft starts are not new in her classes. If you’re puzzling whether or not you’re in the right classroom because no one has shown up ten minutes into the period, you probably are in the right one! VanOot is famously relaxed about starting class because Vanoot herself is often missing! If you spot her running from the middle school art wing to Henderson with a laptop and a cup, there is probably a poor painting class that started 15 minutes ago.

Next up is Modern Language Faculty Amadou Seck. Anyone who’s been in his class knows that while he loves French, his favorite conversation topics in class are actually Model UN and his blazing passion for soccer. Walking into his class early usually means discussing a topic revolving around one of these topics. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who happen to be in his class after quitting Model UN or soccer… good luck.

Last but not least, we have beloved Class III Dean and Mathematics Faculty Jane Strudwick. Strudwick once stated that class doesn’t start unless she’s there, so it’s not rare to see her math class sitting awkwardly in a classroom waiting for her to come to class. If you think that’s the end of it, it only gets worse when Strudwick forgets her keys in the math office! The only thing more awkward than a bunch of tired math students sitting inside a classroom is a bunch of tired math students sitting outside a classroom! 

While soft starts are still very new, Nobles teachers are not daunted by the challenge of coming up with new and improved (or in some cases… old and improved) ways to keep their students entertained.

(Photo Credit: Zack Mittelstadt)

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