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#KnowYourPelicans: Tim Flannery
Posted 06/02/2017 03:33PM

Know Your Pelicans - Tim Flannery

#KnowYourPelicans: Tim Flannery

Latin Teacher

What do you look forward to the most in retirement?

Mostly I look forward to having more time to be able to do the things I already love to do: to read, run, kayak, swim, cook, garden, laugh, love. I'd like to explore possibilities to do some translating as well as some writing. I'd also very much like to brush up on my Italian and to revive my very rusty ancient Greek. Learning piano is not out of the question. That's something I've always wanted to pursue. Being a lifelong learner by nature, I want to follow in the footsteps of Solon of ancient Athens, who said he grew older learning something in addition every day.

What will you miss most?

I will miss my students, the classroom experience, the opportunity to have daily exchanges with teenagers. I will miss being part of this vibrant, intellectual and creative community. And, while I may not miss city life per se — at first, anyway! — I will definitely miss having such easy access to museums, live theater and other cultural aspects here in NYC.

Describe a favorite or memorable moment in your classroom at Packer.

There are just too many to list! These range, however, between the serious and, occasionally, the silly. I love those golden moments when, now and then, I get to witness a student make a real breakthrough, almost discernibly hoisting her/himself another rung higher in their level of understanding or ability. On the flip side, I have fond memories of many zany moments. These frequently involve students making me laugh, often helping me to not take myself quite so seriously. For instance, there was the time when, during a formal observation by former Head of School Geoff Pierson, the students played an April Fool's Day joke on me by replacing all the chalk nubs in the trough with white Good & Plenty candies — with which I tried desperately to write on the chalkboard. Some of my most memorable moments occurred when taking students abroad, making Italy our classroom. The joy and pride I felt watching each student take ownership of their site report will remain with me always.

Know Your Pelicans - Tim Flannery

Name a book/artwork/piece of music that changed your life and explain how.

It wasn't so much one particular book but the fact that for as long I can remember my mother kept the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that took up one entire wall in our living room stocked with the most amazing array of literature. Every genre, it seemed, was represented there. She herself was a voracious reader. I don't remember my mother ever actually coaxing me to read. All those books just were, and on their own they beckoned. The day that I, of my own accord, curiously took one down from the shelf (a retired history textbook dealing with the European explorers of the world) was the beginning of a lifelong pleasure, an escape, a refuge even.

What is something that most Packer people wouldn't know about you?

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania with a family that loved animals, I have experienced a rare and eclectic list of pets over the years. Multiple dogs and cats [yawn], tropical fish, chameleon, rabbit, white mice, gerbils, cockatiel, African grey parrot, myna bird (which my brother taught to swear like a sailor), squirrel monkey (named King Kong, naturally)... all these, well, sure; big deal.

Then, because we lived on a farm: three horses, several goats, a few sheep, chicken, and ducks. But also a few less-than-usual pets: a raccoon, a screech owl, a red fox and (briefly) a possum.

I've always had an affinity for animals — as they for me, it seems. Nowadays, however, I tend to enjoy them in their own setting. This includes a 50-pound snapping turtle which, after I freed him a few years ago from a near-fatal snag on someone's tangled fishing line, has befriended me like Androcles' lion. Often when I drift in my kayak, relaxing and reading a book in the middle of the lake, Omol (my name for him) comes to visit me, alternately circling my boat and gently bumping its sides, or simply gazing endlessly and lovingly up into my eyes.

Know Your Pelicans - Tim Flannery

Previous Pelicans:

Kindergarten Teacher Anne Montero

Upper School Science Teacher Alice Lurain

World Languages Teacher Su-Ling Huang

Upper School Art Teacher Eric Baylin

Preschool Teacher Lynnette Arthur

Middle School English Teacher Todd Johnson

Physical Education Teacher and Coach Rich Domanico

Food Services Member Ann Martinez

Lower School Librarian Chris Rush

Upper School Computer Science Teacher Louis Minsky '09

Upper School History Teacher Monika Johnston

First Grade Teacher Irene Turner

Interim Chair of the Arts Department Ali Boag

Middle School Dean of Student Life and Health Teacher Bessie Oster

Fourth Grade Teacher Tim Jensen

Middle School Math Teacher Ashley Greene

Upper School Choral Director Esther Liu Harris

Upper School English Teacher Eric Weisberg

Facilities Staff Member Luciean Seaforth

Director of Global Outreach, Service, and Sustainability Tené Adero Howard '91

Administrative Assistant for Student Services, College Counseling Lydia Monzio

Lower School Associate Teacher Annabelle Baylin

Middle School Administrative Assistant César Ayala

Instrumental Music Coordinator Paul Riggio

Second Grade Teacher Sara Baumrin

The Development Office

Pre and Lower School Music Teacher Fran Onne-Fong

Physical Education and Health Teacher Dorothy Gurreri

The Packer Collegiate Institute
170 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 250-0200
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