24. Because Our Schoolteachers Are Such Prim Homebodies…

Photo: Holly Hosman (left) / Rachel Langosh (right)

Dvora Meyers
Age: 25
School: Village Temple religious school, Manhattan.
Subject: Sixth-grade Hebrew, Bible.
Other life: Break-dancer.
B-girl name: Tastic.
Best skills: Baby freezes, chair freeze, elbow freeze.
Goal: Mastering the windmill. “I just ripped some skin off my shoulder doing it.”
Religious dilemma: “I don’t go to Friday-night battles, but I really wanted to see the B-Boy Masters final jam. So I rationalized that the subway was like a Shabbat elevator.”
Beyond the hora: “For Purim, I had the kids enact the war between the Persians and the Jews as a break-dance battle. It was adorable.”

Photo: Courtesy of Janice Carter

Janice Carter
Age: Won’t say
School: Sheepshead Bay High School, Brooklyn.
Position: Assistant principal for security.
Which means: Zero-tolerance enforcement of discipline and safety.
Other life: Competitive middleweight natural bodybuilder (on hiatus owing to injuries).
Other other life: Commissioner of West 4th Street Women’s Basketball League.
Which means: Recruiting teams and enforcing rules (like a $60 fine if you throw the ball over the fence).
Who requires more discipline: “Schoolkids, for sure.”
Fear is powerful: “They see me work out in the weight room with the football team. That helps.”

Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Pressano

Thomas Pressano
Age: 43
School: DeWitt Clinton High School, the Bronx.
Subject: English (literary criticism), grades nine and eleven.
Other life: Portrays Gene Simmons, a.k.a. the Demon, in circa-1977 tribute band Kiss Alive!
Where: Private events, birthday parties, clubs like Dingbatz in Clifton, New Jersey (January 10).
Favorite number: “ ‘God of Thunder,’ where I get to spit blood and play with fire.”
Students’ reaction: “Oh, you’re letting your Jungian shadow out on the weekends.”
Wife’s reaction: “Watch out for the fire—your insurance doesn’t cover you, asshole.”

Photo: Courtesy of Katie Halper

Katie Halper
Age: 27
School:The Dalton School, Manhattan.
Subject: World History II (post ­French Revolution to 9/11), grade 10.
Other life: Political comedian.
Next gig: Laughing Liberally (Dec. 16) and Ha-Ha-Hannukah (Dec. 23) at The Tank.
Persona: Stephen Colbert crossed with Sarah Silverman. “I pretend to have outrageous and offensive opinions because I am mocking those opinions.”
For instance: “People who know me as a comic assume that I must teach at an alternative high school for homeless transgender amputees.”
Teaching funny: “When you’re talking about colonialism or imperialism or fascism, there is a lot of opportunity for humor. Not ‘A Nazi walked into a bar’ but …”

Photo: Courtesy of Joe Kremer (left)/ Don Fiero (right)

Joe Kremer
School: Brooklyn Friends School
Subject: Physics, grades 9, 11, and 12.
Other life: Frontman (guitar and vocals) for punk band Pterodactyl since2002
Where: Clubs, DIY shows, parties around Brooklyn.
Recent Gig: The Knitting Factory (Dec. 13)
Big Songs: “Polio,” “Esses.”
Applied Physics: “We use guitars to make odd sounds, and my understanding of the techniques is based in physics. I imagine I’d be able to make the sounds without the physics.”
Synergy: “I think I have more control over the outcome of the show when I’m doing music than when I’m teaching. If things don’t work, both performances can go horribly wrong.”

Photo: Michele La Rocca/Courtesy of Dangerous Mathemeticians

Karen Patwa
Age: 33
School: Friends Seminary, Manhattan.
Subject: Math and physics substitute, grades 9 to 11.
Other life: Designs clothing and lingerie for Dangerous Mathematicians, her Lower East Side boutique.
Style: A little rock and roll, a little European, a little S&M.
What this has to do with math: “Math is sexy.”
Sure, but what else: “One skirt incorporates a concave-down parabola. But mostly it’s about taking women’s intelligence and bringing it to fashion.”
School Uniform: “I like to wear my Princess dress, which has sexy lacing up the back. But I wear it with a jacket or sweater.”

24. Because Our Schoolteachers Are Such Prim Home […]