By Sayoh Mansaray
Education: BA and NA in English at Middlebury College
Year started at Blair: 1988.
Previous jobs: Capitol Hill speech writer, lobbyist,
freelance writer, co-founder of a Quaker Elementary
school in P.G. county.
Hobbies: Flower arranging, wreath making, gardening,
Extracurricular: Past sponsor of Silver Quill
A river in Vermont is at flood stage. Water rushes rapidly, pushing a woman into a fallen tree. Her friends watch in terror as the woman is helplessly
trapped, pinned between the tree and her kayak. But suddenly, she is able to save herself.
The kayaker explains how she escaped. "[I felt] a huge adrenaline rush. I reached up onto the tree and pulled my body up."
That kayaker is English teacher Lisa Cannon. Years ago, she enjoyed white water kayaking, but does not anymore. After her narrow survival that day, Cannon admits that "[being out on a flooded river] was a dumb, kinda foolish thing to do."
Nowadays Cannon doesn't participate in such risky activities. Instead, she does yoga, and says she loves gardening. "I'm the plant lady in the office.
I take care of all the plants," she says smiling.
Hiking is another of Cannon's past hobbies. She used to enjoy backpacking. "Now I prefer to stay in buildings," she laughs.
Traveling is one of Cannon's loves. She would like to go to India as well as
Europe. She's already been to Russia three times. She enjoyed her trips and was especially struck by how interesting Russian life is. "It's just such a very different and fascinating culture," she says.
By the time she was in 10th grade, Cannon says that she had attended 16 different schools, because she moved around a lot. As a child, school was a
sanctuary for Cannon, who loved to read. "Books were a big part of my world," she says.
Her constant reading probably increased her desire to become a teacher, according to Cannon. However, it was not the main reason. Cannon says that she was mainly motivated by her feeling that teaching is the best work a person can do. "I always wanted to be a teacher, [ever] since I was little girl," she adds.
As a teacher, Cannon has experienced some interesting moments. She thinks about one embarrassing story as she taps her nails on her mug. She recounts how once, while she was teaching an 11th grade Honors class, she had to deal with awkward material. For a poetry assignment, one of her funny, talented kids acted as Alan Ginsberg, whose poems contain curse words, and "disgusting imagery."
That class included Cannon's new student teacher. She says he sat in the back of the classroom watching as the boy recited the curse word-filled poem. "It was embarrassing," she says.
The student teacher thought the imitation was hilarious, according to Cannon. For her, the events of that class were a unique occurrence. "That was quite a memorable [experience]," Cannon says. "The filth in that poem was just incredible."
Teaching English has been fun for Cannon. She has experienced many interesting and memorable events, and it is obvious that there are many more to come for her.