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Community Profile: Mark Gosztyla

Community Profile: Mark Gosztyla

What was your background prior to coming to Choate?
Prior to Choate, I was a lecturer in the English Department at Tufts University where I taught poetry writing workshops for seven years.

What drew you to Choate?
As a teacher, I loved that within the curriculum there was such an emphasis on the teaching of writing along with so much freedom to design courses that catered to my student’s interests and abilities. 

What stands out to you about the Choate community?
One of the things that I love is best illustrated by the collaborative nature of the project my students recently undertook in the School Archives: two former department heads, Ellen Devine and Amy Foster, began the research in the Archives, which then evolved thanks to the expertise of the School Archivist Ms. Gold and Dr. Feldman, the Director of the i.d.Lab. Without all of us working together, the students would certainly not have had such a meaningful experience. 

Can you elaborate on what prompted this project and reflect further on the experience? 
The goal for this assignment was to use Jelani Cobb’s visit to campus this fall to help the students see the ways that they go to school, and more broadly live, in a moment in history. Students frequently talk about the “Choate bubble,” and I think that this project, of researching other notable guest lecturers that have visited the school over the years, was meant to be an opportunity for students to see the limits of looking at their time on campus in that way. At the end of the term, many students remarked that this experience had been their first visit to the School Archives and what stood out most to them were not the impressive accomplishments of the guest lecturers but the pictures and stories of other Choate students that they stumbled upon while doing their research.  

What is your favorite spot on campus? 
My favorite spot on campus is the “outer field” of the cross country course, especially on a mid-October afternoon when the light is slipping away and the shadows are taking over after cross country practice has wrapped for the day.  

What music/playlist are you listening to most these days?
The five albums that I’ve listened to most recently are Lindsay Lou’s Ionia, Sleater Kinney’s All Hands on the Bad One, The Black Keys' Magic Potion, Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color; and Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain