By Kleiton Macrohon
Mr. Wilgus, or nicknamed the Wilgubeast, taught the founding class – first English, then History. But he’ll have a new set of students starting next semester. From the corny corner (a wall of accidental puns that is guarded by a scarecrow by the name of Kernel Sanders) to the creation of the Wilgubuck, Mr. Wilgus has continued to entertain the juniors throughout the two years he has taught here. But what are his thoughts and opinions about teaching the founding class thus far? How does he feel about taking in next year’s juniors as his new baby ducklings?
Q: What was the most memorable experience you’ve had teaching English last year?
I don’t know if I could isolate it to a single event, but the experience that stands out the most is when I declined a grader at the beginning of the year, got the first batch of essays, spent two hours on Jeffrey Bernstein’s first submission, and got a little panicky. What also really stands out was the level of interest of reading books that you guys got to choose, and the clamor to do The Great Gatsby, which when I was in school was mandatory and we didn’t like it. You guys were like, “No, no, no, no, we need it, and we’re gonna theme a dance around it.” You guys are weird.
Q: What made you want to teach U.S. History for the Juniors?
I opened the doors to discussions of Trump last year, in English class…we talked about how to “level” text to find out the grade level, and it was like, “Oh Donald Trump’s speeches are at, like, a third grade level,” and then he became the Republican candidate for president! And teaching history, especially U.S. history, in an election year is easy, because there’s built-in interest and it’s in the news all the time. I also liked your class and thought it’d be cool to move up in order to better personalize.
Q: What was the most interesting PT you’ve ever graded?
I don’t know. It could be the argumentative essay last year by Omid Mahdavi, comparing me to a koala bear, in fact asserting that I was a koala bear. That was up there. Also up there is Jacob Fisher’s Recipe for War, where instead of making an actual culinary recipe, he made a recipe with two parts anger about taxation, and one part nationalism.
Q: How do you feel about teaching this year’s sophomores next year?
It’ll be more challenging to personalize, because I don’t know everybody as well. But I feel good about it. Also, a fresh group of kids means that I can reset a bunch of stuff that I can’t reset with a group of kids who have had me for more than a year.
Q: Funniest thing you’ve said that went on the Corny Corner?
Nothing. I don’t know. Like a lot of it is gone from last year. The funniest stuff up there isn’t by me at all; the funniest ones are the accidental ones that you guys do, that get captured and placed in that corner. I think every Zayn Malik joke – I’m proud of those.