Teacher Recommendations

Sara Cao, A&E Editor

Dr. Smith

Book: I read a lot of fiction for my job, so I gravitate towards non-fiction when I get the chance to read for pleasure. Douglas Hofstadter’s quest to understand human consciousness, I am a Strange Loop, has stayed with me for a long time, as has Kurt Vonnegut’s semi-autobiographical tale about World War II and time traveling aliens, Slaughterhouse Five.

Movie: Before the pandemic, we would often go to the movies. Buttery, salty popcorn allows me to tolerate the Marvel Universe, but I lean toward No Country for Old Men, Usual Suspects, Notting Hill, and Grosse Pointe Blank, the last of which should be required viewing for high school students.

Music: I live thirty minutes from Burroughs on a good day, so a wide variety of music keeps me company on the commute. One artist, however, brings joy no matter the medium: David Byrne wrote How Music Works and Spike Lee just released a film version of, objectively speaking, the best concert ever, Byrne’s American Utopia.


Mrs. Randall

Book: My current favorite book is Black is the Body by Emily Bernard. My favorite book changes depending on when you ask me, and several books have held that title throughout my life. My experience reading Black is the Body was the first time I read an entire book that spoke to my experience as a black woman in America in complexity, depth, and meaning.

Movie: I am a big movie fan, and it will be difficult to pick just one, but I will go with Good Will Hunting or The Usual Suspects. Of course, I could have gone with the Shawshank Redemption, Bourne Trilogy, Godfather Trilogy, and let’s not forget Lion King.

Album: I have a wide taste in music. I think music is the amazing artistic form through which everyone can communicate to the world about their experience if they just listen. This one is hard to narrow down, and I could go with Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue or John Coltrane’s Blue Train if we are talking jazz, but I will go with Purple Rain by Prince—I believe that he was an artistic genius.


Ms. Thorpe

Book: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I have vivid memories of reading these joyful, heartfelt, and silly poems with my mom and dad many nights before going to bed. While I love the book, I also cherish the time when my parents read it to me at bedtime.

Movie: Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino. Never have I seen a more outrageous and clever film. Vivid in color and language, each scene is so captivating and constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Album: Purple Rain by Prince. Now mind you, I have this album as a record—yes, that’s right, a record! The entire album is amazing; it manages to touch every possible human emotion with each track. I cry, I laugh, I dance like a maniac in my kitchen. I never grow tired of this album. And who doesn’t love Prince?