Hotseat With Teachers – Wingin’ It Episode 1

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ALLIE WANG: Hello and welcome to Wingin’ It! On today’s episode, we will be playing Hot Seat with two of our amazing Oak Park High School Staff members. My name is Allie Wang and I will be your host for this episode. We will be playing Hot Seat today with Ms. Miller —

LESLIE MILLER: Hello, I’m Ms. Miller and I teach English here at the high school and also am the adviser for the Oak Park High School literary arts club.

WANG: And physics and engineering teacher, Mr. Lippincott —

AUSTIN LIPPINCOTT: Alright, I am Mr. Lippincott as my students know me or Austin Lippincott; that’s my full name. I am a physics and engineering teacher, and it’s my very first year being a teacher, and it’s been quite the wild, fun, and  bumpy ride.

WANG: Each teacher will be asked 20 random questions by our interviewer, Shoshana. They will have to respond as fast as they can to those questions. The goal is to think about your answer as little as possible. Let’s get started!

SHOSHANA MEDVED: OK: super hot or super cold weather?

MILLER: Super hot.

LIPPINCOTT: Super cold.

MEDVED: What superpower would you want if you could have any and why?

MILLER: The ability to forgive endlessly.

LIPPINCOTT: I don’t know …  let’s say the ability to stop time and revert time [or] go back in time — the power over time. That’s my choice.

MEDVED: Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?

MILLER: Because of the material and [indicates] they are brand new, and that’s just part of it, and the fuzz goes away as they’re worn out.

LIPPINCOTT: Because when you hold the tennis ball after you are done with your tennis match, it feels good in your hand.

MEDVED: Would you rather be able to detect any lie told to you or get away with it any lie you tell.

MILLER: Detection [of lies].

LIPPINCOTT: I’d rather be able to detect any lie.

MEDVED: Would you rather be able to speak to whales or babies?

MILLER: Babies.

LIPPINCOTT: I don’t want to speak to babies — whales.

MEDVED: What were you like as a child?

MILLER: I was the baby in the family, happy-go-lucky, I slept like a baby, [and] I was kind of the family clown. [I was the] typical baby: happy.

LIPPINCOTT: I was a — that’s a good question — looking back at it, I was probably a horrible child that got into a lot of trouble.

MEDVED: What’s something you lied to your parents about as a kid?
MILLER: Ooh, that’s a good one — probably sneaking out a couple times, [which] is not a verbal lie, but an act of lying: sneaking out and running the streets of Oak Park.

LIPPINCOTT: I don’t know — I probably broke something and blamed it on my brother.

MEDVED: If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be doing?

MILLER: Ooh, that’s a good question — I would be living in Italy part of the time, studying the language [and] maybe teaching English over there, and I would have some sort of business of my own — running my own business.

LIPPINCOTT: I’d be a farmer or a gardener or something like that.

MEDVED: Do you think you would survive in a zombie apocalypse? Why or why not?

MILLER: Probably not, because when Woolsey [Fire] came to Oak Park two years ago, I was one of the first people who wanted to fly, like fight or flight, and I was scared to death … I learned from Woolsey [Fire] that I’m a scaredy-cat, so I probably wouldn’t make it.

LIPPINCOTT: I do, because I feel like I know a bunch of cool physics things that relate to survival. I also know gardening, so I’d just find a nice patch of land and just create my own little biosphere of food, and no one else is allowed in, so pfft —

MEDVED: If your life was a movie, what would it be called?

MILLER: Hm … “The Loving Life.”

LIPPINCOTT: Hm … “How Not To Live Your Life” — no, I’m just joking: “The Wonderful Adventure of Mr. Lippincott.” Sure, we’ll go with that.

MEDVED: If you had to choose one act[or/ress] to play your life, who would it be and why?

MILLER: Oh, that’s so easy: Audrey Hepburn [because] she’s my favorite [actress], she’s the image of grace and dignity and beauty and sweetness, and she’s also overcome a lot of adversity.

LIPPINCOTT: So this kind of came up recently: my students said I look a lot like — he’s a writer called J.D. Vance, and he just wrote — actually, there’s a Netflix movie called “Hillbilly Elegy.” Apparently I look just like J.D. Vance, so if you Google that, you’ll be like ‘Hey, that’s Mr. Lippincott.’ So, sure, that dude, because he looks like me.

MEDVED: What’s one example of where breaking the law is justified.

MILLER: Ooh, that’s a good one, because I’m a rule-follower and I think you should never break the law. Um, maybe if you had a woman who was about to deliver a baby in the backseat of your car, you can go a little bit above the speed limit.

LIPPINCOTT: Let’s say — I don’t know — it depends how much you value your family over other people, so if one of my family members needed a kidney or something, maybe I’d steal a kidney from someone. That’s kind of morbid, but sure.

MEDVED: What was the scariest thing you have ever encountered?

MILLER: Woolsey [Fire], hands down.

LIPPINCOTT: Scariest thing I’ve ever encountered? I think one time for Halloween, I went to Knott’s Scary Farm. It’s where they convert the whole amusement park into some scary murder clown scene, and that was pretty terrifying.

MEDVED: What was the last book you read?

MILLER: Oh, that’s easy. I just reread “Farewell to Manzanar,” and I’m reading a book from Francis Mayes in my personal time about Italy.

LIPPINCOTT: Technically, probably a physics textbook, but in terms of [an] actual good-reading book, I read “The Kingkiller Chronicle,” so I fully support the reading of that book. It’s very good. “The Name of the Wind — that’s where you should start.

MEDVED: If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

MILLER: Spaghetti [or] pasta.

LIPPINCOTT: Now I have a problem with this question, because my wife knows that I hate eating the same thing multiple times, close together, [so] probably something really bland like rice.

MEDVED: If you could live in any fictional world, what would it be?

MILLER: Somewhere in Italy, somewhere in a Tuscan villa — a countryside.

LIPPINCOTT: I might say “Harry Potter,” but if I was a Muggle, that would suck. I would almost say “Lord of the Rings,” but I probably would get killed. I don’t know — let’s just say I’m a wizard in “Harry Potter.”

MEDVED: You rub a lamp and get one wish from a genie. What is it?

MILLER: Ooh, I just censored myself there … patience and kindness for the people that I live with.

LIPPINCOTT: Am I allowed to wish for more wishes?


LIPPINCOTT: I wish that everyone in the world got along. Aw.

MEDVED: If you could be any cookie, what would it be and why?

MILLER: Any cookie? Oh, a Diddy Riese cookie, and Diddy Riese is a very famous cookie shop down by UCLA, and we used to eat them every week, and you could put ice cream in between them, and they’re only 25 cents, and they are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. So if you go to UCLA, check out Diddy Riese.

LIPPINCOTT: I’d be a gingerbread cookie, because then I’d have arms and legs that could run around and escape being eaten.

MEDVED: What is the worst-smelling place you’ve ever been in.

MILLER: My sophomore English class.

LIPPINCOTT: OK, my very first job was working at a miniature donkey farm, and those are not the best-smelling animals, and so that would probably be the worst-smelling thing that I’ve had to encounter is — yeah, you can fill in the blanks.

MEDVED: OK, this one is the hardest question: if you had to name your child after a student, what would you name it?

MILLER: Oh, that’s easy for me: Reece Christensen. I would change Jean Luca’s (her son) name to Reece, because Reece was the embodiment of joy and happiness and peace and love.

LIPPINCOTT: After a student? Goodness gracious. I feel like I’d avoid naming my kid after any of my students, but I kind of like the name Forest [Siewert], but that’s not because of the student Forrest. It’s because I like trees, so that’s why I’d name my child Forest.

WANG: That’s all we’ve got for this week. Thank you to Ms. Miller and Mr. Lippincott for the interview and to Shoshana, Charlie, Oliver and Amanda, our wonderful reporters and producers.