As a self-described “extrovert,” Mary Olszewski, more commonly known as Coach/Ms. O, is happy to be back.
As for many of us, Coach O’s summer was a little abnormal. She said that she “didn’t really have a summer,” because she couldn’t travel at all and she hasn’t seen her family in a long time. She told me that this was probably the longest she’s gone without seeing them. For Ms. O, the return to school has offered a nice distraction from missing the traveling and family visits that summer normally brings.
There was something else that was quite different for her. “The thing is I normally don't watch any TV, until quarantine hit, and then all of a sudden over quarantine I'm watching all these new TV shows.” One of the shows she has been binge watching is a show called You on Netflix. While she “loves” the show, she noted that the first season was better than the second.
Because Coach O is an extrovert, she was overjoyed when she heard the news that school would be back in session. When Coach O was younger, she always loved to imagine she was a teacher and she played around with “teaching” her peers and stuffed animals alike. Once she got into high school, she had a few other ideas of what she wanted to do in the future, but in college she decided to go towards education. After she graduated, she worked in college athletics, and at the time she never thought that she would be teaching middle school until she heard from Lovett.
Of course, now she is the Director of Executive Functioning in the middle school, an Upper School Cross Country coach, and a Varsity Track Coach. She told me that she really enjoys her job because she likes working with middle and high school students.
Earlier that week, Coach O attended the Cross Country meet and was proud of her runners, with the girls placing 5th and the boys playing 4th. She told me that it was so fun to see the kids compete again and to be back in the racing environment. She also thought the team handled the COVID and social distancing protocols really well, especially compared to the other schools.
After our virtual interview meeting, Ms. O had another meeting, and she said she would be spending the next few hours of her afternoon replying to emails and scheduling meetings with other kids.
She anticipates that this year will be very memorable, and she imagines we will all be telling our kids and our grandkids about this crazy, and, hopefully, once in a lifetime experience.