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The 90’s With Catherine Karp

By: Peyton McNorton

Catherine Karp is an Algebra and Probability & Statistics teacher at Waynesboro High School from Pau, France. Karp has been working with Waynesboro Public Schools for three years. During her time at WHS, Karp has also taught Geometry, AFADA, and Algebra Foundations. Karp graduated high school in 1990 and she earned her bachelor’s degree in Pau, France. After moving to the U.S., Karp went to graduate school at University Of Miami for her Master’s degree. Both of her degrees are in mathematics. Karp’s family consists of her husband, two teenage boys, and a dog.

Q: What was your favorite type of fashion clothing you wore that was trending?

A: “Levi Jeans were big time in France.”

Q: What was your first concert you went to?

A: “My first concert was called Noir Desir and they played rock music.”

Q: What was your favorite high school memory?

A: “So in France, you have a two hour lunch break. So my best memory was lunch time, because you were allowed to leave school and my high school was located in the city. My friends and I would just walk into this big park or just walked around the city. That was the best part of high school for me, so I can have some independence and have some freedom like this, because the school day was so long and after school we had no time for anything.”

Q: What did you do in your free time? Work? Sports? Hobbies?

A: “I did a lot of skiing, because I grew up around big mountains. I also loved getting together with my friends and I love to read as well. But skiing can take a lot of my time, because I used to do competition skiing.”

Q: What was your favorite TV show you watched in high school?

A: “The old version of Hawaii Five-O. Anything that came from the U.S. was pretty big in France.”

Q: What type of social group were you part of in high school?

A: “I was a considered a nerd. In France, you had to pick a major, so my major was math and physics. So all of the nerdy kids were considered to go into that major because we did a lot of math and physics which was the harder subjects. But I couldn’t care less. I always loved math and still do, but I don’t like physics.”

Q: What was the sneakiest thing you and your friends did?

A: “I used to love to ski. So, in senior year in high school, you had this huge exam to graduate, so you get tested in every subject over the last three years and it was a big deal in France. In April, there was a big snowstorm and so I asked my parents if I could go ski and both of them didn’t allow me to go because they wanted me to study for my exams. Both of my parents were teachers, so they were strict. So I asked my friend if I could sleepover at her house and I told my parents that my friend and I were gonna go study. But I actually did ski instead of studying. But I crashed really hard and I had to end up in the hospital. It was the worst thing I’ve ever done.”

Q: What was the most embarrassing moment in high school?

A: “I’m the youngest of three daughters and so my older sister messed up in high school big time. So when my sister and I had to go to school, we would have to go where our father taught. My father’s friend was my physics teacher and one day, I got a bad grade in that class and so my teacher said, ‘your father was gonna be very upset with you’ in front of the whole class. To me, it was very embarrassing, because who wants to be pointed out like this. So everybody knew I had a bad grade in that class.”

Q: What was your first job in high school?

A: “You’re not allowed to work as a student in France. You were only allowed to work over the summer and you had to do farm work over the summer. Like you pick corn by hand or you cut grapes to make wine, and this is all done by hand because the farms were much smaller.”

Q: What was your favorite sport you watched or participated in?

A: “So I did of a lot of skiing outside of school and did competition ski. My Dad was a huge soccer fan, so my Dad always brought me to all of the soccer games. So that was probably the most watched sport and soccer is huge in France.”   

                            Karp writes out a math equation for her algebra class.

                                               Photo by: Peyton McNorton



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