I had Mr. Jardini freshman year for geometry and now junior year for statistics, and I can confidently say that he has consistently been one of my favorite teachers all throughout high school. Stats is by far my hardest (and most painful) class and I contemplate daily why I took it. But Mr. Jardini makes it bearable. His unmatched down-to-earthness is what resonates with most students, it being part of his courageous charm. He’s nerdy, but in a good way. And even though we’ve been online, his comforting energy never fails to radiate through the screen.
How has in-person been so far? Do you like it more than remote? What’s something you look forward to when you go to school everyday?
“Every day I look forward to seeing my students in-person. It doesn’t sound like much, but seeing and talking to a physical person is very important to me. I was a big proponent for remote learning earlier in the school year because I believed it was necessary for safety, but I really hate it. I still feel like I don’t know anything about many of my remote students, and that’s been hard for me because I want to know who they are as a person so that I can teach in the best way for their needs. So anyway, in-person is a billion times better for me, and I say that as a math teacher, so you know I’ve done the calculation. However, I don’t mean any offense to my remote students. I still believe that they should have the right to learn in the way that feels safest to them.” However, learning the ins and outs of remote teaching hasn’t been the worst thing to overcome, Mr. Jardini saying, “I am in my fourth year of teaching. I like to joke that I’m a senior in high school. Surprisingly, teaching online has NOT been the biggest obstacle of my career.”
When asked about his biggest struggles this year, Mr. Jardini candidly responded, “My biggest struggle has been my mental health. Staying home all the time is not good for my self-esteem nor my personal happiness. I am not even someone who likes to be out and about a lot, but I am someone who does a lot better working with other people (just look at my answer to the previous question lol). It got so bad for me that I met with a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with OCPD and started medication for it. I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten past it, since mental illness is something that stays with you for your whole life, but I do feel much better in general, so that is good.”
It’s safe to say everyone has struggled physically and mentally during this unforeseen lockdown. No one knows what to do with themselves, leaving too much time to overthink and inevitably becoming disassociated. We genuinely took talking and being around others for granted, but how could we have possibly known that? The only way to ward off this feeling of emptiness is to fill it with things that make us happy.
Have you been going out more? What have you been doing lately?
“My wife and I have been trying to get out to the Sweetwater Wetlands on the west side a lot. It’s a nice place for a leisurely walk and it’s well known in the local birdwatching community. There are a lot of fancy ducks there, and this time of year it also has red-winged blackbirds, which have a lovely call. We also have gone camping a few times this school year. During covid times, outdoor activities are a must!”
Now some rapid fire questions…
Something trivial that makes you happy?
“Something trivial that I enjoy are memes online. The stupider the better. Currently this video is giving me incredible amounts of joy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G76nKGWRLPU
Favorite movie or show?
“My favorite movie is The Return of the King (I know, I’m a big nerd). My favorite show of all time might be Community. Maybe.”
“My most fun hobby is to cook. I’m the one who does most of the cooking at home. Recently I’ve been perfecting a recipe for salsa de chile Colorado.”
But unfortunately, we won’t have him with us much longer. “I am excited because over the summer I will be moving! I grew up in California and I’m going to be closer to my family there. It’s sad that I won’t be at Sahuaro next year but that’s how life goes.” I’m glad I got to have Mr. Jardini twice because he made my least favorite subject, math, just a little more enjoyable. Even though we’re sad, we’re extremely happy for him and wish him nothing but the absolute best. Thank you for everything!