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Poolside with Sophia Sherline

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Although+cats+are+her+first+choice+in+pet%2C+Ms+Sherline+spends+some+quality+bonding+time+with+Reptile+Club+president+Sabri+Amrani-Khaldi%27s+leopard+gecko+during+the+club%27s+informational+show-and-tell+session+during+lunch+in+the+main+hallway+on+Sept.+10.
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Poolside with Sophia Sherline

Although cats are her first choice in pet, Ms Sherline spends some quality bonding time with Reptile Club president Sabri Amrani-Khaldi's leopard gecko during the club's informational show-and-tell session during lunch in the main hallway on Sept. 10.

Although cats are her first choice in pet, Ms Sherline spends some quality bonding time with Reptile Club president Sabri Amrani-Khaldi's leopard gecko during the club's informational show-and-tell session during lunch in the main hallway on Sept. 10.

Elisha Scott.

Although cats are her first choice in pet, Ms Sherline spends some quality bonding time with Reptile Club president Sabri Amrani-Khaldi's leopard gecko during the club's informational show-and-tell session during lunch in the main hallway on Sept. 10.

Elisha Scott.

Elisha Scott.

Although cats are her first choice in pet, Ms Sherline spends some quality bonding time with Reptile Club president Sabri Amrani-Khaldi's leopard gecko during the club's informational show-and-tell session during lunch in the main hallway on Sept. 10.

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The Shield: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sophia Sherline: Perfect happiness… sunshine, water, beach and pool, my kitty cats, books. I like going to the pool a lot because there’s a pool in my complex. I think for me it’s just water, I need water. Ideally I think of a hammock on the beach kinda thing reading a book, and I guess my kitty cats are just roaming around, but realistically it’s just my pool, which is just as good.

TS: Do you ever take your cats to the pool?

SS: They come out and follow me, I call myself the “Pied Piper.” I have my little orange kitties, and they follow me when I go check my mail and stuff like that. I don’t bring them to the pool, but they come to the pool because they can go through the fence and stuff. All the neighbors love my kittycats. They just follow me around, they’re so funny and so cute. I just turn around and they’re like a trail of little orange kitties following me around.

TS: What is your greatest fear?

SS: Again, water, like drowning. That’s my greatest fear: drowning to death. Also, my greatest fear is I guess my parents dying.

I never wanted to be a teacher. I saw two of my friends were going to be teachers, that was what they were going to do after we graduated from college, and I thought ‘I could do that’ because there were really no other realistic job prospects in my mind. I figured that I could do it too, and that’s what I did.”

— Sophia Sherline

TS: What trait do you most deplore in others?

SS: I don’t know if its ignorance or stupidity, but it’s really hard to deal with people who ‘know better.’

TS: Who is a living person that you most look up to?

SS: My mom. My mom’s amazing. She’s from England and she came to this country in her twenties and met my dad and had six kids, I’m the oldest of six, so she and my dad were able to take care of all of us and keep it all together and created the best childhood for me, and adulthood. I think my mom is really amazing for however it was that she figured out how to keep everything together.

TS: Where did you grow up?

SS: I went to middle school and high school in Houston. I was born in California and we moved to Texas when I was four. We kind of just moved around Texas until we settled in Houston in sixth grade.

TS: On what occasion do you lie?

SS:I feel like I play devil’s advocate more than I’m a liar, even if it’s not something I believe or whatever, I may present an alternate view just to see what other people would say. Kind of lying, but I’m not trying to present that is my point of view, just as a different one.

TS: What character trait do you most value in a coworker?

SS: I guess wanting to make things better. Like finding issues and trying to find solutions, and making solutions better.

TS: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

SS: Maybe, ‘Hello Maculty,’ I got that from Mr Winter. When I send out emails, that’s the start. I wonder if I maybe say ‘good job’ too often, to where it’s not as meaningful.

TS: What has been the greatest moment you’ve had while being at McCallum?

SS: I really like working with teachers and figuring out ways to help them, so every time I’m able to help a teacher with something, even if it’s just like getting school supplies or setting up their printer or making copies for them, that makes me feel good, even though that’s not necessarily my description as assistant principal. One thing that I do remember from I think my first year teaching Mr. Dennings first performance of Beauty and the Beast, and I thought that was so amazing. It was probably the best performance I had ever seen and it was really well done and I just felt really good about being here just because of the quality of that performance.

TS: Have you always wanted to work in education?

SS: Nope. Never. My parents, nicely, years later told me that there was no way they could have ever though I would have been a teacher because I didn’t have the patience. I had to work on it and I have a lot more of it, but I still think that I could work on it some more. I never wanted to be a teacher. I saw two of my friends were going to be teachers, that was what they were going to do after we graduated from college, and I thought ‘I could do that’ because there were really no other realistic job prospects in my mind. I figured that I could do it too, and that’s what I did.

I would come back as a domestic cat. I would come back as somebody’s pet, I feel like that is the life. Somebody feeds you, they pet you, you have a house to live in, and you’re the boss, cats are the boss.”

— Sophia Sherline

TS: Have you always been teaching?

SS: That’s all I’ve done. Since college I went back and got my teaching certificate and started teaching at Travis High school, and I was there for 11 years, and then I went to Pierce Middle School for two years as an Assistant Principal and then I’ve been here at McCallum for I guess seventh year. I’ve never wanted to ‘Be’ anything. Just happy, I guess, is what I’ve wanted to be.

TS: If you weren’t in education, what would you be doing right now?

SS: I have no idea. One summer, after my first year of teaching I was a lifeguard at Stacey pool which was fun because it was right across the street from Travis High School so I got to see some of my students and I also got to work with Bowie high school students, like they were my manager because they had lifeguarded the year before, so it was really fun being 27 years old and a 16 year old was my manager. It was also really helpful for me to be able to work with teenagers as my peers, and it really made subsequent school years of teaching so much better because I was able to remember how to relate instead of just being the boss in the classroom as the teacher. But I really have no idea what I would be, maybe a cat sanctuary owner or maybe an organization consultant. My office is a wreck, it always is, but I can organize other people’s stuff really well. Haha!

TS: What would you consider your greatest achievement?

SS: Buying a house. Getting out of debt, paying off student loans. I didn’t really have a lot of but it felt like a lot, and I can’t even imagine what kids are feeling now. Even just one semester [now] was probably what I spent in five years of college. Being able to pay my debt and have a house that’s mine and be able to afford it and support myself.

TS: Where did you go to college?

SS: I went to UT. I moved from Houston, came to Austin for UT and never left. Austin is the place that sucks you in, you love it and then you get stuck by the time you don’t like it anymore. I’m kind of worried about the state of Austin right now because of all of the gentrification and things like that, it’s really happening in my neighborhood.

TS: How would you like to die?

SS: I think like most people, right, like peacefully in their sleep. Not drowning, absolutely not drowning, no stress or worry, and I would like to die before I’m just so old that i’m frail and not well.

TS: If you were to die and come back as any person or thing, what would it be?

SS: Oh yeah, I’ve thought about this and I think about it all the time. I would come back as a domestic cat. I would come back as somebody’s pet, I feel like that is the life. Somebody feeds you, they pet you, you have a house to live in, and you’re the boss, cats are the boss. Sure, you have an ‘owner’ but you are basically the one that tells the owner whats up. Everytime I scoop my cats litter box I’m just like, what kind of weird world are we in where I’m a slave to my cats! Like, ‘yes I will scoop your poop and feed you food and pet you and brush you,’ yeah, they’ve got the life.

TS: What is your greatest regret?

SS: Not living anywhere else, maybe? Not having tried to go anywhere else to live, which is still not over. I can still do it and I still plan to, but I feel like not having had additional experiences living in other places kind of makes my viewpoints limited.

TS: Where would you most like to live?

SS: Costa Rica. I went to Costa Rica in college and studied tropical rainforest ecology and I want to go back. They have an Expat agreement where if you go there with a certain amount of money they’ll let you live there in Costa Rica as an expatriate, but you can’ work because they don’t allow immigrants to go there. I’ve already picked out the place, Tamarindo, Costa Rica, its North West, it’s on the beach, this is where the beach comes in, its got the most amount of sun and the least amount of rain, with the right temperatures, always above 70 degrees, it gets into the hundreds but i love the heat so it’s perfect for me. That is my idea of paradise and that’s my plan to move there at least at like 55, but sooner if I can.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Poolside with Sophia Sherline”

  1. Marina Butki on January 18th, 2019 2:20 pm

    i really like this because i feel like it really helps us as students understand and learn more about are teachers and maybe discover that we have something in commen with are teachers so we have something we can talk about besides just school work and this can help us build a better student teacher relationship

  2. Jennifer Wood on March 8th, 2019 8:39 pm

    I loved reading this! What a “feline” our Mrs. Sherline is! I, myself, have an orange cat named Junebug Mrs. Sherline would love (she can have her, hah!). Junebug also loves water- like in the sink and tub and in cups and bowls- but she also fears it! Craziness. Now I can witness to how generous Mrs. Sherline is with the teachers- I feel like I can ask her for anything, and I do all the time. She gets me tape when I run out, helps my students when we can’t figure out Blend stuff (which is more and more rare because I’m getting much better at problem solving). She helps me probably once a day. Seriously. I feel like she knows how much I care, so she does too. That’s pretty special. I now having a permanent image of Mrs. Sherline walking to the pool with a trail of orange cats in tow.

  3. Mrs. Wood on March 8th, 2019 8:39 pm

    I loved reading this! What a “feline” our Mrs. Sherline is! I, myself, have an orange cat named Junebug Mrs. Sherline would love (she can have her, hah!). Junebug also loves water- like in the sink and tub and in cups and bowls- but she also fears it! Craziness. Now I can witness to how generous Mrs. Sherline is with the teachers- I feel like I can ask her for anything, and I do all the time. She gets me tape when I run out, helps my students when we can’t figure out Blend stuff (which is more and more rare because I’m getting much better at problem solving). She helps me probably once a day. Seriously. I feel like she knows how much I care, so she does too. That’s pretty special. I now having a permanent image of Mrs. Sherline walking to the pool with a trail of orange cats in tow.

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