Masks, music, and more

the hobbies of Shorewood's teachers

Riley Smith

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As much as students love their teachers, they sometimes forget that teachers are just as human as themselves. Perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but even so, it’s nice to once and a while try to get to know them better as people and not just instructors.

This is why the Kolus has decided to try and highlight some of Shorewood’s teachers who have interesting hobbies.

Art teacher Lori Chase is one of such teachers.

“I really collect a lot of things,” Chase said, and gestured around her room, which is cluttered with decorative, interesting, and art-related objects. “Can you tell?” she said, laughing.

One distinctive feature of Chase’s art room is the variety of masks lined on the walls. She said she likes collecting all masks, but has a particular penchant for ones of African origin.

On why she likes the masks so much, Chase said “I like that they are so stylized, and that they are so old. But I only collect real ones that were worn because I kinda like the mojo that’s in them. I just really think they’re beautifully modern even though they’re antique.”

She said she’d like to collect more Native American masks, particularly from the Pacific Northwest, but they are more expensive and harder to find, because in a wet climate such as ours, antique masks are “real survivors.”

Ms. Chase has a variety of other collections. “I collect tacky postcards” she said. “I really especially love them when I get them in the mail.” The criteria for such a postcard, as Chase described, is one where an observer consciously asks, “Why’d you make that into a postcard?”

Characteristic of an art teacher, Chase describes herself as “kind of a museum junkie.” She especially appreciates expressionist and post-expressionist artists, such as Gauguin, Van Gough, and Picasso.

Chase also has a musical side. She said one of her favorite collections is “ticket stubs from concerts- I like that one… it’s interesting to look at those…I think my first Jimmy Buffet one was 1980 something and it was $7.50 to go to the Paramount- so things have changed a bit!” she said, with a laugh.

Though she has a room full of interesting collections, Chase looks beyond all the masks, postcards, and ticket studs, and focuses instead on the individuals who occupy her classroom art tables. “I collect good students”, she said.

Another teacher with an interesting hobby is band teacher David Johnson. Though he teaches multiple band classes per day, Johnson spends time outside of his work playing electric guitar in a classic rock band.

“It’s called Sea of Green,” Johnson said, “though I play for other guys too… Usually we play at Ste. Michelle Winery, pubs, and other adult entertainment [venues] in Snohomish area.”

Johnson’s band, which has been active in it’s current formation for about four years, primarily plays covers of classic rock songs. He said they play “Zeppelin all the way through Eric Clapton and you name it- anything that’s classic.”

As a man who spends a lot of time in school band rooms, Johnson smiled at the irony when he said that he began playing guitar when he “started sneaking into the band room in high school.”

Chase and Johnson affirm the truth that teachers can lead very interesting lives- inside the classroom and out. There are likely many more teachers with interesting hobbies at Shorewood; with a few simple questions, one can learn all about them.

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Masks, music, and more