Exit Interview: Ms. Erin Farmer

This article is part of a series of interviews of departing faculty conducted by Aude Marie Ackebo ‘ 18.

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Ms. Erin Farmer

When did you start working at Northwood and how long have you been here for?

I started working at Northwood in September 2010 and I came here right out college. I have been here for six years.

What different jobs have you done/ classes have you taught?

I’ve always taught Freshman English, but when I started the classes were much smaller so I only had two sections. I also had a few study halls in the beginning then I taught a gender studies class for a little while. A few years ago, Mrs Walker gave me the “ok” to develop the Art of Writing class. So recently, I’ve been teaching three sections of Freshman English and one section of Art of Writing. I have coached girls soccer, hockey and lacrosse in my time here. I think they should’ve had me in whitewater kayaking though..I’m joking haha.

Why did you decide to leave your Northwood job?

I am getting married and moving to Vermont this summer. My fiance and I are going to start the next chapter together in Vermont which is pretty exciting! I love Northwood so much though so hopefully I will be back. I don’t think this will be the last you’ll see of me.

Do you have a best story/fondest memory/funniest happening that you could tell?

I have two very distinct funny memories. A couple of years ago, when we were coming back from a tournament in Canada it was late and we still had a long way to go to reach the border. I remember a few of the girls really had to go to the bathroom and I wouldn’t stop because I was afraid I would lose Coach and I didn’t know where I was going. I couldn’t figure out a way to tell her that we needed to stop because our cell phones didn’t work in Canada. After forty to forty five minutes, we got to the border when Nicki Clover was crying because of how bad she needed to go, so I let her out. She went sprinting to the border patrol with her hands up in the air. The man at the border didn’t necessarily draw a gun at her but he was very alarmed. Then Nicki screamed “I’m American! I’m American! I  just have to pee!” Everyone in coach’s bus said that Coach freaked out because she could see Nicki running and she screamed “Noooooo” in slow motion. This moment could’ve been really bad because I let a kid run at the border patrol. Everyone still thought it was funny but thinking back on it, I probably shouldn’t have let her run like that. That’s a story neither I nor the kids will ever forget. My second story is of something that happened recently. We went to an advisee dinner Moe, Nikki, Aude-Marie and I. After dinner, two of the girls got milkshakes but Moe decided to get an ice cream cone with a cup of sprinkles on the side. While getting in the car, she spilled the sprinkles in my brand new car and I had to pick them up. Needless to say I was furious at the time but looking back on it, it was a small price to pay compared to the laughter and great memory I got with the girls in return.

Did you have a favorite year? Favorite part, class or team?

I don’t think so because every year and group is different. Therefore, every year was fresh, new and exciting. I would be very hard to pick a favorite but I spent a lot of time working with Nicki Clover, Jimmy Green was wonderful, the four year survivors from my first class ever were really special to me, Cailey Hutch… and there are so many people and groups that were dear to me so I can’t pick a favorite.

What did your years here teach you?

I learned poise and patience mostly. I am naturally very loud, outspoken and inpatient. I’m the kind of woman that sometimes does without always thinking and this experience gave me opportunity to learn by looking at Coach Kilbourne, Mr. Spear, Mellor, Reno, Ms. Fagan and other awesome veterans here. They taught me how to always be patient with kids and how to think more like an adult. I have grown a lot since my beginnings and I feel like I am a better teacher now than I was six years ago because of all these other faculty members that had patience with me. I am very appreciative and grateful for that. They made me better.

What are your future plans? Where are you going?

I am hoping to stay in the teaching profession because it is my first love. I would like to return to school to become a sort of head of school someday or maybe teach in college. Although I really enjoy the high school age, I have always thought it would be fun to teach some sort of literature course or college composition course.Those are very long term plans but as far as next year, I hope to still be a coach and teacher. Hopefully everyone here will still text me and I will definitely try to visit.

Dear Farmer,

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Ms. Farmer (left) with Nikki Kendrick ’18

These two years between us have gone by fast and I’m sure those six years you spent here at Northwood went by even faster. My first day, I walked into first period English class and thought to myself, “What did I get myself into?” Even in hockey, I asked myself the same question. I don’t think I’ll ever find anyone else with a voice as loud as yours.  However, as my first year went on, I recognized all the relationships you made with my older teammates, like Nicole Mensi.

My second year we grew closer as you brought me and your other advisees out to lunch and dinner multiple times. Remember when Moe spilled sprinkles in your brand new car after our advisee dinner? It was hilarious and a memory I will never forget. You were yelling at her, carefully picking up the sprinkles while Aude-Marie and I were dying of laughter in the backseat.  You have helped me throughout this whole year with classes, teammates, and my other personal problems.  You are the friend I go to for almost everything and I want to thank you for that. You should also know that you are going to be truly missed by everyone here.

– Nikki Kendrick ’18

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