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Ms. Sol and Her Knack for Cats

Apr 23, 2024
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Every school day, Ms. Sol enters the classroom to teach English and Literature, interacting with ninth and twelfth-grade students throughout the day.

As one of her students, I quickly got to know Ms. Sol’s character. Her passions were clear from the beginning: cats, literature, and chunky shoes. These details became apparent within the first week of school. Her classroom was practically a shrine to feline aesthetics, adorned with cat figurines, photographs, and more. She had a cat-related item for almost everything you could think of. Along with these decorations, classic works such as “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Odyssey” also adorned the walls, reflecting her fun personality.

She emphasizes the importance of English education, stressing that reading and writing skills are necessary in the real world, going beyond the boundaries of the classroom. “No matter what job you have, you must be able to read and understand what you are reading,” Ms. Sol explains. She further explains how critical thinking, a skill developed in her class, is relevant across disciplines, such as math and science. Reading beyond the surface is essential for a thorough understanding of all subjects and fields.

Sol had a dream of becoming a museum curator. She had a sarcastic and humorous personality and loved the idea of building exhibits, putting together narratives, and writing about them. However, the lack of museums in Miami made it difficult for Sol to pursue her dream career. With only a limited selection of museums in the city, becoming a museum curator seemed like an improbable job for her. Despite the limited options in Miami, her love for museums remained strong. She has expanded her horizons over time and visited museums in other places as well.

When not in the classroom or surrounded by her abundance of felines back at home, Ms. Sol is likely traveling. She frequents New York, noting its complete contrast to Miami in overall atmosphere. In her words, New York museums are “top class.”  Despite how fond she is of the city, she remains rooted in Florida and plans on staying there for the long haul. The cold weather keeps her from permanently moving, as she prefers warmth, much as cats.

Ms. Sol shares several traits with her favorite animal, the cat. She sees herself metaphorically as a cat, being introverted and having a disdain for dogs and excessive human interaction. She cherishes cats for their lack of odor and relatively low maintenance, as well as their nonchalant and quiet companionship. She loves cats so much that she feeds a total of fifteen of them, with three residing indoors – Kimchi, Betsie, and Mimi – while the others frequent her backyard and front lawn. Although she didn’t grow up with cats, she spent her teenage years partaking in the latest 2000s trends and was “emo” as a millennial, growing up with bands like Fall Out Boy and even seeing them in concert once.

According to her, being emo is not just a phase, it’s a lifestyle. She remains loyal to the subculture by still rocking a side bang and keeping her music taste unchanged since college, with no plans to change it anytime soon. She elaborates, “Your music taste freezes in college. Like whatever you listened to your whole life, up till’ college; that’s where you stop.” However, she admits that Bad Bunny and Olivia Rodrigo have somehow made their way into her playlist, despite being modern artists.

Ms. Sol is a vibrant and engaging teacher who is a pleasure to be around. Her expressive nature, love for cats, and literature, all contribute to her unique charm. She defies the stereotype of the stern English teacher just by being herself, and that is a beautiful thing. With her lively demeanor and interests, it’s safe to say that Ms. Sol leaves an indelible mark on all her students.

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