Rabb, Sophia


B.A. Brown University,
M.S.Ed. University of Pennsylvania

After growing up a blonde in a family of brunettes in Massachusetts, I moved to Providence, Rhode Island to go to Brown University. There, I pursued my degree in English Nonfiction, lived as an R.A. for three years, performed in many dramatic productions, and rode on the Equestrian team. I intended to pursue a career in theater or advertising, but one of my friends suggested I put myself out there as a teacher, too, and I thought it couldn't hurt. Little did I know that this one conversation would lead me to The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, where I taught English and completed my master's degree in Education through the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Residency Master's in Teaching program. While at Loomis, I worked on three school productions as an assistant director, lived in a dorm, and advised SPECTRUM, the schools LGBTQ+ affinity group. Now, I have come to Dublin, where I will teach English!

What book has made you think the most? Though this question is unanswerable, the last book to keep me up all night was "Annihilation," by Jeff Van Der Meer, the last book to leave me with conflicting feelings of devastation and hope was "Purple Hibiscus," by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and the last book to make me snort-laugh aloud was "Bossypants," by Tina Fey.

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? My junior English teacher, Ms. Eng, was a soft-spoken, thoughtful, accidentally comical teacher who saw the best in all of us, though we were sometimes a rambunctious crowd. I struggled mightily in high school, but Ms. Eng saw and accepted me for who I was and helped me produce some of my better writing. She was also a fully fledged intellectual who loved and promoted the exploration of the abstract and the human condition, and she believed we, though young, could do the same. In short, she believed that we could, and so we did. 

On a more humorous note, my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Lauten, taught us all about Medieval Europe and ancient Greece. Sometimes, he would reach up to the top shelf of the classroom supply closet (he was very tall) and retrieve a multicolored, Fisher Price telephone that we all knew as "The History Phone." While we wriggled with delighted suspense in our seats, waiting anxiously for it to ring, Mr. Lauten would go about class as usual. At some point, the phone would ring, and on the other end would be some important figure from history like Charlemagne or Joan of Arc. We were permitted to ask this historical person questions and our medium, Mr. Lauten, would relay their 'responses' with his typical dry humor. The fact that I love Greek mythology so much may be his responsibility!

How would your friends describe you in three words? “She probably forgot.”

What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college? I took a Nonfiction course called "Lyricism and Lucidity" my junior year of college. On the surface, it appeared to be a survey elective that introduced the more literary, lyrical, poetic corners of the nonfiction genre. Did you know that poetry and graphic novels can be nonfiction? They can and are! The catch was that we were required to read every single daily assignment and major assignment aloud to the whole class. I felt nervous about doing so at first because there were many talented writers taking the course, even the university newspaper editors and students who were already published authors! But through the practice of sharing not only the good, but also the bad, the rushed, and the unfinished, I got to see not only how those talented writers thought and worked, but also that they, too, struggled sometimes to produce work they felt proud of. It can be so easy to look at a friend or classmate we admire and say "I could never do what they do," but the truth is that those admirable friends and classmates work diligently and sometimes even unsuccessfully to achieve the wonderful things they do.

I am most happy when... I am taking a walk, riding a horse at full gallop, traveling, or singing in the car.

If I had a free afternoon I would... Take a walk, watch Netflix, play the guitar, go on an adventure, hang out with friends, listen to an audiobook while lying on my couch or cleaning my apartment, or do a seasonally appropriate outdoor activity.

What is your favorite outdoor activity? Walking, horseback riding, snowboarding, and hiking are all favorites!