Ahrens joins teaching staff

Story by Karlee Post, staff writer

Tiger Times: What made you join the staff?

A: The simplest answer was that I was asked to look into. The position came open, and I was told by several people I should apply. I didn’t really ever consider teaching even though I have several educators in my family. I spent about a week letting it roll around in my head before I made the decision to apply for it. Coming from the technology department, I already had built some professional relationships with many of the staff and administrators. That helped make the decision easier because I knew I would get straight answers instead of the canned ones that are sometimes thrown around.  All in all, everything has worked out well, and I’m getting a little more adjusted each day.


TT: What exactly is computer science?

A: Computer science is just like any other science field, just with computers. There are things that scientists are learning every single that enhances computing power and storage. Think of it like when chemistry and biology started to really help our understanding of human physiology. There were huge strides that lead to better medicines, product manufacturing, and a much deeper understanding of how the world works. These have led to longer life spans, better production and transportation systems, and books that explain how and who we are. Computer Science has given people the ability to literally store and reconcile a whole world of this information. I find it fascinating because we have essentially taken purified sand and copper and turned it into something that we cannot go without using on a day-to-day basis. Computer Science also allows anyone with an interest to make substantial changes in everyday life, too. Some examples would be Bill Gates, IBM, Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs.


TT: Do you consider yourself as a computer geek?

A: No, I don’t actually. When I think of geek I usually have images of Big Bang Theory pop up. The reason I don’t is because I’m always learning something technical from someone else. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t know everything, but I know I can find someone who does. I guess if you think about it, everyone is a geek because everyone uses technology so much.


TT: Do you have a certain limit on how much you use technology a day?  

A: I do actually. There’s a couple of different reasons why, too. First, I have to spend time everyday allowing my mind to rest. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to design the next big app, or discovering the next Twitter or Google, or even trying to figure out my phone. There is so much technology to look at that you can literally spend every waking hour going over it and not accomplish anything. The extent of my usage is generally limited email, what I use in class, and books and magazines about technology (reading helps makes sense of technology). My one caveat to that is that I do spend a lot of this time on Twitter checking out the newest technology coming out and being produced. As long as you’re not following a bunch of drama, Twitter is an excellent resource to keeping up with these trends, which brings me to my second point. I also limit my use because there’s a good chance tomorrow that particular technology will become obsolete.


TT: Are you pretty laid back in class?

A: You would have to ask my students that to get an accurate answer. I think I am for the most part. One thing everyone should learn to do is to pick which battle to fight. Not everything is worth being right over. I like discussion to be a part of my lessons because my perspective isn’t the one I’m looking for. If I’m always uptight or too stringent, how will I ever know if my lessons are connecting?


TT: If you could relive high school what would you do differently?

A: Honestly, I wouldn’t go back. One thing about my school was that our entire school district was smaller than THS. There was not many options, and I didn’t ever like seven periods a day either. I graduated with 100 people, and I was the one that started the non-honor roll students. I was 45th. But really, school didn’t really do much for me. I wanted to get out and start making something of myself. It wasn’t that school was awful. I just had things I wanted to accomplish, and I had to graduate in order to get started on them.


TT: What do you expect out of your students?

A: Attentiveness. I understand that the subjects I’m teaching aren’t going to be for everyone. If students will pay attention in class, they will find out pretty quickly if my subjects are something they want to continue learning in the following years.


TT: How do you feel about pep rallies?

A: It’s a good chance to unwind going into the weekend and watch people act crazy. It’s pretty entertaining.