Friday, April 11, 2008

Spotlight on Ms. Baresel

Karynna Ann Baresel

English Teacher

Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School

Karynna Ann Baresel

• College(s) and degrees(s):
Old Dominion University – M.A. - Humanities – Women’s Studies Certificate
Old Dominion University – B.A. - English – Journalism emphasis, Women’s Studies minor

• Work experience:
English Instructor (Adjunct) – Rutgers University, Rowan University, Old Dominion University, Tidewater Community College
Volunteer Coordinator – Help and Emergency Response (H.E.R. Shelter)
Editorial Assistant – Norfolk Southern Corporation, Public Relations

• Favorite books
o Fiction: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
o Nonfiction: Anything by David Sedaris

• Favorite television show:

• Last movie I loved:
Lylia 4-Ever (or at least the last movie that impacted me deeply)

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
Joshua Tree - U2

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Bono. I admire the fact that he’s used his fame to affect positive change in the world – not to mention he’s an amazing musician and performer.

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Walking through the streets of my hometown of Haddonfield.

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Cleaning the basement

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):
I’m an animal lover, but I have an affinity for bunnies.

Favorite sports team:

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
I love to travel and have visited more than 30 countries worldwide. I recently returned from my fantasy trip to SE Asia where I spent several months volunteering in Thailand as well as backpacking through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. For ’08, I have a few destinations picked out, including visiting a friend in China and volunteering in South Africa. To me, traveling some place new is always a fantasy and more than a “vacation” – it’s a repeated lesson on humbleness and gratitude.

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
In high school I had a teacher, Ms. Kalodi, who taught an elective on the Vietnam War. I've yet to experience a teacher more passionate about his/her subject matter. And through those spirited and meaningful lessons, she maintained one simple message: That no matter what side we came down on about the war, whether we believed it was justified or not, to give appreciation to those who fought in it, and if we were to meet a vet to just say "Thank you."

This winter when I was in Vietnam I met Peter, a vet returning to the country for the first time. We crossed paths several times, including a trip we took together the day after Christmas to My Lai. It was a humbling place, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to visit such sacred ground with Peter as well as to hear his stories and to learn more about Vietnam and about the war. When I finally could muster the emotional strength to say those two words "Thank you," I understood why Ms. Kalodi was so passionate about her message. When Peter puzzled at my initial appreciation, all I could muster was, "It's something I learned from a teacher."

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