Meet the History Department

The History Department – who are they? Described by Mr. Martin as similar to SAMCRO from Sons of Anarchy, welcome to this snapshot-look at the core of our very own corps of historians.

Mr. Murphy: intelligent, funny, Canadian.

When asked how Mr. Murphy became an American history teacher at St. Luke’s – teaching regular, honors and AP classes – he replied that he began teaching eighth grade Civics, which evolved into ninth grade history and finally resulted in his domination of the high school American history contingent of the school, along with Mr. Haynes.  On a musical note, Mr. Murphy mostly enjoys classic rock. Regarding the “Imagine” sticker on his laptop, he has confirmed that it references the Beatles’ song and it has been commented that Murphy’s every day visionary pansophy equates him to a modern-day Lennon. In fact, the sticker was a gift from his talented saxophonist daughter, Emily, for Christmas. Mr. Murphy’s most recent favorite is unsurprisingly Lincoln, whereas his all-time favorite is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Mr. Parsons, Mr. Martin, Mr. Haynes, and Mr. Mitchell: taking on the world, one textbook at a time.

Mr. Parsons, Mr. Martin, Mr. Haynes, and Mr. Mitchell: taking on the world, one textbook at a time.

Mr. Haynes: ineffable, profound, and, what’s more, an animal-lover.

Mr. Haynes teaches United States History and AP Government, leaving his students in raptures. When asked what first got Mr. Haynes interested in history, he sagaciously replied “Good teachers.” Statistically, students being taught by Haynes have the most epiphanies out of all other students in the tri-state area. Reportedly, he once espoused Rousseau’s infamous quote, “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains,” organically and to the admiration of his class. Predictably, being a modern day philosophe himself, one of the great ancient thinkers was included in Haynes’ guest list for an imaginary holiday dinner. If Mr. Haynes had the chance he would entertain Socrates, John Brown, and Giambattista Vico at his holiday dinner table to get to know more about them. His reasoning stems from the fact that they are, “historical figures about whom [his] understanding is incomplete.” On a less metaphysical note, Haynes owns two dogs named Henry and Clarabelle. Finally, Mr. Haynes leaves these words of wisdom for the wide base of Sentinel readership: “Be nice to people.”

Mr. Lord: kind, commanding, bearded. 

Lord enchants World History I students on the daily, and his favorite historical period to teach is the present. Many have speculated that Lord’s incredible teaching talent could be considered a superpower, and in fact, Lord’s own favorite superhero is an ordinary man: Batman. Why? “Because he’s a real guy without any superpowers other than an extremely large checking account.” When Mr. Lord was asked what Olympic sport he would most like to compete in and what sport he would least like to compete in, he answered, “First choice: Badminton because it was always my favorite activity during middle school PE. Last choice: Weightlifting. Save that for Mr. Havens.” Fair enough. As well as being intelligent, witty and athletic, Lord is additionally charming… When questioned about his favorite memory, he amiably replied, “This interview.”

Mr. Martin: the man, the myth, the legend.

Described by Sebastian Bates as a person who everybody thinks it a privilege to converse with, Mr. Martin has quickly become beloved by the St. Luke’s community. Self-proclaimed to, “live for conversation,” one may wonder why Mr. Martin, who has such a passion for speech, has yet to deliver a meditation. Hold your breath, St. Luke’s, because in fact Mr. Martin has two possible ideas for meditations. “One that takes its inspiration from the Aristotelian concept of “eudaimonia” (or flourishing), and another reflecting on why words have such power.” Unsurprisingly, when asked what historical event he would have most liked to observe, Martin chose a speech. The World History II and AP European History teacher would have loved to witness Jean Paul Sartre’s “famous lecture, “Existentialism is a Humanism,” in the autumn of 1945.” As Mr. Martin puts it, “…he drew a line from mortality to absurdity, and from there to freedom, responsibility, and ultimately the imperative of action… This was a watershed moment in the history of ideas.” A favorite TV show of Martin’s is the widely popular Sons of Anarchy. Interestingly, one of the principal characters, Jax, has astoundingly similar facial hair to Martin. Ultimately, the question on everyone’s mind is if given the choice between shaven and bearded, which would Martin choose? The answer? “A little scruff. A good three-day beard might just be the sweet spot.”

Mr. Parsons: sporty, intellectual, basketball player.

Mr. Parsons is a notorious Walking Dead fan. Before this interview, I hadn’t even realized there was a Walking Dead comic, but Parsons thankfully enlightened me. His favorite TV show character is Michonne “(love that sword)” whereas his favorite comic book character is Tyreese, who “stepped up as co-leader with Rick after Shane’s death.” But Parson’s knowledge doesn’t just encompass World History and zombies, it was recently evaluated that he also possesses knowledge of all basketball plays known to man. This winter, Mr. Parsons became the new girls varsity basketball coach to critical acclaim. He has “always loved to play [basketball] but it was only after college when [he] realized [he] wanted to coach it.” Despite his interest in basketball, Parsons’ favorite sport growing up was soccer, and many have been the beneficiaries of his soccer coaching magic here at St. Luke’s. Parsons may just be the gift GVB is looking for. If Parsons could meet any historical figure, he would choose Otto van Bismarck, “even though,” Parsons admits, “he would be tough to talk to as I can’t speak German.” As wise as he is talented, Parsons amazes in and outside of the classroom.

— Megan Evershed, World News Editor

Posted by on January 31, 2014. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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