Posted by: Staff | 11.12.2009

The Life of Mr. Lippman

GABBY GUTMAN ’11

If you have ever witnessed or been a part of one of Mr. Lippman’s English classes, you understand how he brings the room to life with his energy and excitement. There is never a dull moment while he is teaching, and I can always count on the class to raise my spirits. He frequently bursts out in song and regales us with anecdotes from his life.

What is your most embarrassing moment of your childhood?

Once, playing basketball, I tripped on a break-away, half court, over my own pigeon-toed feet, in front of over a 100 people. I stopped playing basketball after that, for awhile. Then I started again.

Where did you grow up?

In New York City and New Rochelle, NY.

Where is your favorite place to be?

Home.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Noise. I don’t like a lot of noise.

What is your favorite type of food?

Chicken Marsala.

What is your favorite and least favorite movie?

Reservoir Dogs.

Do you have any TV show addictions?

Fringe, that show about FBI agents who are hyper-weird and mysterious.

What is your favorite book that you have read?

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, is genius.

What do you admire most in your students?

I love their willingness to experiment. Oh yeah, and just to be young.

Why did you start teaching?

Because I was a poet before I was a teacher, and I did not know what to do besides be a poet. Then I figured out that I could be a poet and talk about language and life all day with young people who were young and liked to experiment with language, who were open-hearted and cool. It seemed like it a good idea at the time. It turns out to have been one of the best decisions of my life.

Who was your favorite teacher?

My European AP History Teacher. His name is Donald Morrison and he taught me to write. Everything. He taught

me how to write a critical essay, a poem, a recipe, a letter. He wore his beard very long and was somewhat

of an enigma. I loved that about him.

Do you have a favorite word?

My favorite word is “yes.” Also, “sagacious.”

How does beaver compare to the other schools you have taught at?

Teaching at Beaver has been the best professional experience of my life. There is a spirit here that fits beautifully with the spirit in me–open hearted, free, full of energy. Beaver promotes, in a most concrete way, a learning environment that takes into account mystery. Explore the mystery, it says. I like mystery, the abyss, and what can be found if you get inside that space and allow yourself to hum. There’s a lot of humming that happens here at Beaver and that can only be a good thing. It has been for me. For my students as well. At least, I hope so.

Do you have a tattoo?

No.

What sports did you play growing up?

Baseball and Ultimate Frisbee. I wanted to be an inside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I learned pretty

quickly that I was not big enough for that kind of activity.

Any other interesting facts that have not been covered in these questions?

I love pluots. (For those of you unfamiliar with a pluots it’s a fruit which combines apricots and plums into one. )

If you have yet to take a class with Mr. Lippman, I highly suggest it. He will take you along on an amazing adventure in each class.

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