Jasper Bull | email@example.com | May 31, 2019
As some of you may know, beloved math teacher Matthew Cooley and his wife Julie VanderMeer recently had a baby. A young and healthy girl, they named her Elizabeth Grace Cooley. Not a lot of information is known about this new addition to the Cooley/VanderMeer family, nor is much known about how this has affected their lives. In lieu of an official statement by Cooley himself, I’m here to deliver to you all of those juicy details which I’m sure you’ve so desired.
Cooley began his paternity leave on the sixth of March, the same day Elizabeth was born, a week and a half before the March Intersession. Four weeks later, Cooley returned with a new member in his family. However, he did not return with a good amount of sleep.
“It’s kind of a haze, the first couple of weeks. I felt almost sick at times,” said Cooley. “There were nights when I was getting ten hours of sleep, but that was in chunks of two to two-and-a-half hours.” VanderMeer added that the baby’s initial sleep cycle made it more tiring and difficult the first few weeks. “When she was first born, [her] days and nights [were] flipped, so she wanted to sleep more during the day and be awake more at night,” said VanderMeer. This sort of erratic sleep schedule definitely affected Cooley’s professional life.
“He constantly complains about never getting sleep,” said senior Jacob Floro, who is in Cooley’s Computer Science class. “He was tired but he was also happy.” And indeed, despite the fatigue of taking care of a baby, Cooley’s child has definitely brought him a lot of joy.
“She’s cute, and sometimes she smiles, and that’s worth a lot,” explained Cooley. VanderMeer also has had her spirits lifted by her daughter’s happiness. “The best part now is that whenever I go to wake her up in the morning or after a long nap, she is full of big smiles… [She’ll] make little happy noises instead of just crying.”
Cooley’s fascination over his newborn has made its way into the lives of some of his students. Floro detailed how Cooley has told him all about his child. “He’s really proud of her, so he’ll just, like, show videos to me sometimes…She’s really cute.”
So how will Cooley having a baby affect how he teaches his classes? US History teacher Wade Wilgus, an acquaintance of Cooley, shared how he thinks having a child will affect Cooley in the long term. “I imagine it’ll make him a more empathetic teacher when he has a class size of one at home…[and] I think it’ll make him more patient,” said Wilgus. Cooley himself thought the whole experience has made him calmer. “It puts things in perspective a little bit, and I’m just like I have more important responsibilities at home,” said Cooley. Floro, however, thought the opposite. “As any person would be, [he was] a bit more irritable, because he would have to go home and get very minimal sleep…and go to a school where kids are being annoying and not listening to him.”
Regardless of how Cooley’s new baby will affect his school life, having a kid has definitely been a positive thing to him. It may be a lot of work, but to Cooley, the joy that his child brings with her is unmatched.