Dr. Richard Cushman is highly regarded amongst his students and other faculty. As well as teaching sophomore English II, he also teaches seminars for both juniors and seniors. In the classroom, he constantly engages his students in deep conversation when discussingeverything from Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” to Homer’s “The Iliad”. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Cushman brightens up the campus with an ever-present smile on his face.
In this interview, we discuss everything Cushman. James: What is your favorite color?
Cushman: That’s a tough question… Yellow.
Jeremy: What food best describes you as a person?
Cushman: Hmmmm…an apple. These are hard questions!
James: How many years have you been at CPS?
Cushman: Maybe 17-18 years altogether.
Jeremy: How has the school changed over the years?
Cushman: Another hard one. It hasn’t really changed very much. There are maybe slightly more students, way more buildings. I still teach the same way. The students are just as smart, if not even a hair brighter.
James: Favorite high school memory?
Cushman: These questions! 1000 years ago! Umm… Well there’s so many strange things that I enjoy remembering. So strange… One day in geometry class, we were told to solve some line in a geometrical figure. And the line wasn’t in the figure! And after we got up enough courage to ask the teacher, she replied, “Put it in where you think it ought to go!” I’ve taken great pleasure in remembering this over the years.
Jeremy: What is your favorite song?
Cushman: Tea for Two!!
James: Do you know who that’s by?
Cushman: No! Your grandparents will recognize it.
James: What made you interested in English? Cushman: Well I like words, and I like finding meaning in stories, and I like passing things on to younger people. So the three go together, I think. I’ve always liked words.
Jeremy: What do you like your students to call you, and what do they call you?
Cushman: Sometimes I’m called Cusho.
James and Jeremy: Cusho!!
Cushman: I don’t mind Cusho, its okay… These questions, they’re so bizarre.
James: What is your favorite place?
James: I’ve never been.
Cusho: You better go.
Jeremy: What is your favorite book?
Cushman: Well that’s not so hard. Either King Lear or The Brothers Karamazov. You know how to spell those things?
James: Do you have a favorite movie?
Cushman: I know so little about movies, I hardly ever see them. Ahhh, favorite movie! I never see anything, that’s my trouble. I liked that movie that was called, was it called “Midnight in Paris”? I don’t know if it was my favorite, but I liked it. I only see one or two movies a year at the most, I never go. You have to sit there in the dark…I don’t like that.
Jeremy: Did you have a role model growing up?
Cushman: Not consciously. No… I don’t think I did.
James: Ok, ok that’s good to know.
Cushman: Why is it good to know?
Jeremy: Who is your favorite student?
Cushman: The answer obviously is you! I mean, what other answer could there be?
James: No other answer.
Cushman: And that pertains to anyone who reads the answer.
James: Who is your least favorite student?
Cushman: You! Sorry. These questions are brutal.
Jeremy: If there were one simple thing that everyone could do to make the world a better place, what would it be?
Cushman: That’s not so hard. People should always be responsible for other people. That was easy. Is that it?
James and Jeremy: Thank you Dr. Cushman.
Cushman: Well, well, what a pleasure to be interviewed by the two of you.
As you read the interview, we hope you got the chance to see and learn about the Dr. Cushman that we have grown to know as both a teacher and person. Hopefully, our ever-so-extensive topics delved into both unknown and known areas of one of our school’s most beloved teachers.
Article written by Jeremy Y. and James B.