by Erica Hartmann
Name: Lansing Freeman
Department: World Studies
Education: UDE - finance, JHU – education
Years teaching: 3 years
Year started at MBHS: 2000
Previous job: sports marketing and management
NSL and Peace Studies teacher Lansing Freeman has trouble walking through the halls at Blair. Going from class to class takes a long time; students constantly stop him to say hello.
Freeman is very popular with his students, some of whom call him the nicest guy ever and one of the best teachers at Blair. Perhaps the reason for his popularity can be found in the words of junior Audrey Tornblom, who calls him "absolutely hilarious… the biggest goofball I've ever met."
Freeman was born at George Washington University Hospital. He has lived in the District since 1982, but he has also resided in New Jersey, and California.
The reason he has moved around so much is because of his father, whom Freeman describes as a "big business bigwig," who also tried to give his family a wide view of current events. Freeman's mother is a retired librarian who, among other things, is on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood and is a hospice volunteer.
His older half-brother works at the State Department. His twin sister works for the International Finance Corporation, a part of the World Bank Group, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Freeman also has a younger sister, who is a Fellow in pediatric infectious disease at Northwest. All three of his siblings speak to Freeman's students.
Freeman prefers his career choice over those of his family members. "I like my job more than they like theirs," Freeman explains. "No one enjoys their job as much as me."
Freeman's students also enjoy his class. According to junior Ben Silsbee, "[Freeman is] the best NSL teacher. Period." Silsbee explains that, "even though it seems like his class is just a lot of fun and hanging out, I realized at the end of the year that I learned a lot without even knowing it."
This January will be Freeman's third anniversary of teaching NSL to sophomore Communication Arts Program (CAP) students. When he was interviewed for the job, he had never heard of the program. Freeman spoke to CAP coordinator Dolores D'Angelo and Cherie McGinn, head of the Social Studies department. Freeman was offered a job later that day, which he soon accepted. "We had a great talk," he remembers.
While he did not plan a teaching job, he is pleased with how it has turned out. "I can't imagine having a better time teaching anything else because I teach people who care about the world," he says.
Before becoming a teacher, Freeman earned a degree in finance from the University of Delaware and later worked in sports marketing and management, which he did not enjoy. Freeman was nearly 30 when he decided to earn his degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University to become a teacher.
Freeman's philosophy of life requires two things: a reason to wake up in the morning and one to bring you home at night. "Teaching allows me to get up before my alarm," he says.
Freeman's two cats, Josie and Tallie, are why he returns from school each day. He would also like a human companion, so he "interviews spousal candidates" when he is not teaching, but so far he has only found temporaries.
At some point he would like to settle down, however he does not plan another career change. "If something presents itself, then I would leave," he says, "but I frankly cannot imagine what that would be."
Along with teaching NSL, Freeman tries to impress upon his students how important it is to like one's life. "Guys, do incredible things with your lives, but whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy doing what I do," he tells his students.