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Objects on teachers’ desks hold unique origins

Photo by Cory Wyman ’16 | Oct. 8, Mr. Burke sets up for class in the morning. His desk is filled with a variety of trinkets that give it unique character.

By William Joseph Borders IV ’16

From classroom to classroom, teachers possess many items on their desks that students don’t know the origins of.

Whether sentimental, practical or comical, objects on a teacher’s desk can reveal a little about his or her personality and interests.

Mr. Kevin Burke has a six-inch pink eraser labeled “For BIG Mistakes” that he has had for 10 years.

“It is there to remind people to take their time and to think twice before they act or write,” Mr. Burke said. He said that when he was working at a different school he noticed that the eraser had gone missing more than once.

“It’s gone missing a couple of times. Certain students, not here, but in another institution of middle learning, had absconded with it more than a number of times,” he said.

Mr. Burke jokingly said that he would probably be buried with it.

Mr. Matthew Hooten is an AP history teacher as well as the JV basketball head coach.

On his desk he has a signed basketball from his 2011-2012 JV basketball team, which has been signed and enclosed in a glass box.

Mr. Hooten said that the team went undefeated despite being comprised of only sophomores.

“The ball itself is signed by all 12 players, I keep it as a reminder to me of that group of young men and what they accomplished working together,” Mr. Hooten said.

Mr. Hooten is proud to have coached the first JV basketball team in Brophy’s history to go undefeated.

“I’ll have it until I’m no longer here anymore I guess, so when the retirement age hits,” Mr. Hooten said.

Ms. Jessica Mason, a math teacher as well as head Mock Trial coach, has two items she has collected from two trips to Japan: a Mt. Fuji walking stick and a Totoro desk calendar.

“Totoro is an iconic character of Studio Ghibli; think Disney for Japan, but better,” Ms. Mason said. “I love the Studio Ghibli films, and bought the desk calendar when I visited the museum.”

Her other item, a walking stick, has lived in her classroom since her trip.

“I have a walking stick from hiking up Mt. Fuji on my second backpacking trip to Japan,” Mason said. “I starting hiking around 7 p.m. and hiked all through the night so I could see sunrise from the top.”

Ms. Mason said she has taken two trips that have ranged from three to four weeks to Japan. The last time she went the summer of 2012.

“Mt. Fuji is an iconic symbol of Japan and hiking it is a traditional activity that many Japanese take part in each year,” Ms. Mason said. “It’s wild to be near the top, look down and see a train of head lamps weave down the mountain.”