Getting To Know You Better
This month, we cast the “Getting To Know You Better” spotlight on Kerrie Kawasaki-Hull!
Q-1: When did you first start with Ohlone College?
I was hired full-time in 1992, so it’s been 29 years. Well, it’s been 30 years total at Ohlone because I was an adjunct for a year before I got the full-time position.
Q-2: What subject/s do you teach or have you taught at Ohlone?
I have taught all of the Composition and Reading classes, from 151A to 101C, and the 162 and 163 courses. I have also taught a couple of literature elective classes including Multicultural and American Literature. The Mystery Novel is another elective course that I co-created and taught with one of my former colleagues. We enjoyed putting that class together, getting it approved, and co-teaching it.
Q-3: Can you please share with everyone how you got into teaching?
I knew from the time that I was a little kid that I wanted to be a teacher. The idea solidified in the 4th grade when I had a wonderful Japanese American teacher who became a role model for me. Where I grew up, I didn’t see many people who looked like me. She was also a teacher who made learning interesting—she was always finding creative ways to help us learn. When I was in her class, I thought what she was doing would be fun, and from that point on, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. But originally I wanted to be an elementary school teacher!
Q-4: Students clearly know about you from in-class engagement, but is there something else that students do not know about you or might be interested to know about you?
I’m a boring person! But what most students might not know about me is that I am a huge [ice] hockey fan. Looking at me, you might not think so, but I have been a hockey fan for a long time. The 1980s Olympics, when the US won the gold medal, really sparked my interest in hockey. I’ve been a huge [San Jose] Sharks fan since their beginning in 1991. I love the team and hockey in general. I made my kids hockey fans whether they wanted to be or not! Seriously though, it’s an activity and sport that we all love and bond over.
Q-5: Do you have any other interests, hobbies, and/or or pursuits outside of teaching you would like to share?
Well, you know I’m a big hockey fan, but I also like going on long walks with my dog. My dog is the baby in the family and is completely spoiled! I also like scrapbooking. That’s my creative outlet, my “artsy-craftsy” thing to do. And of course, I like to read.
Q-6: Who are some of your role models?
My parents are my role models, for sure. Both sides of my family didn’t come from very much. They came from farming families, and neither side had a lot of money. Because of that, my mom didn’t even go to college but went to a trade school. My dad, however, has a Master’s Degree in Chemistry. They both emphasized the importance of education and the pursuit of something you are interested in. They both valued hard work and instilled that in me.
My other role model, as I mentioned earlier, is my 4th grade teacher. She is my career role model because of her enthusiasm for and creativity in teaching. Plus, being able to keep a roomful of 4th graders interested was inspiring!
Q-7: What kind of music and/or film do you enjoy listening to/watching?
I haven’t gone to the movies in a long time—even before Covid, I rarely went to the movie theater, so I can’t say much about movies. My kids watch movies all of the time, so I get my movie info from them. But as for music, I listen to just about anything. Jazz and country are two of my favorites.
Q-8: Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for people, such as a good book to read, a nice place to visit, an interesting restaurant to try out, a movie everyone should see? Can you also tell us why do you recommend this?
A book, a novella, actually, I recommend is A River Runs Through It. The movie is pretty good, but the book is better. People might wonder what’s so interesting about fly fishing, and I get that, but it’s really a story about family. It centers around fly-fishing, yes, but the author Norman Maclean is very lyrical and poetical in the way he writes the book. [The novella] is about 100 pages, but the author says a lot in those few pages.
Also, the Broadway musical Hamilton is incredible. Its imagination, its creativity—it’s absolutely amazing!
Q-9: Do you have any parting words for those reading this “Getting To Know You Better” bio about you?
For life in general, I would say keep learning—always find something new to learn about. The minute you stop learning is like giving up on things, on life.
Thank you very much for the interview, Kerrie!
Be sure to meet and speak with Kerrie if you wish to get to know her better!