Teacher’s Corner: Ms. Eenkhoorn’s Advice to Her Former Self

Reflecting on my former self, if I were to give myself one piece of advice, it would be not to resist trying new things so much. Some of my favourite experiences through university came from courses that I was dreading. I remember being outside in the rain measuring the width of a river for an Ecology lab and realizing that I was having way more fun than my Biochemistry course, which is what I thought I would like.

I was a quiet student in high school. I didn’t like to participate in class, or get involved in school events. I tried to be a ‘good student’, so I did all my homework on time, and spent my lunch hours studying in the library.

My favourite subject to teach is Life Sciences 11. It’s such a broad course and covers everything from virus and bacteria to mammals, but because of this you’re able to see the characteristics and patterns that connect everything. I think it really helps you to appreciate the unity and incredible diversity found in life.

Back in high school I considered pursuing a career as a doctor or as a nurse, but never very seriously. I went to university for sciences because chemistry was my favourite course in high school, but I didn’t really ever want to be anything. Thinking about it now, it’s a really unfair question, because people aren’t just one thing, and we definitely aren’t the sum of whatever career or job we happen to be doing. I think that everyone is the sum of so many different things, and those things can change daily. Why do we ask people what they want to be when they’re 17, 18, 19 years old? That’s so much pressure when you really haven’t experienced much of anything on your own yet. That being said, having goals is important because it’s hard to motivate yourself or feel fulfilled if you’re not working towards something. If I were to think about what my long-term goals were back in high school, I’d probably say that I didn’t have any, because I was too concerned with trying to decide what I wanted to be.

Outside of work I enjoy camping, hiking/backpacking, indoor bouldering, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and working my car. Maybe some of these are surprising, but if you’ve been my student in the past you’ve probably heard about at least a few of them.

If money was no object, I’d probably go on lots of road trips around North America to different hikes, travel the Mediterranean, build a house, and volunteer at a cat shelter.