Every Monday morning, The Ensworth Grind will jump start your day by introducing you to an Ensworth Faculty member! To start things off meet Ms. Evie Coates (Red Gables art teacher of grades 2,3 and 5)
Q: What’s your favorite place in the world you have ever been?
A: that would have to be a toss-up between two quite different spots. My motherland, Sweden and the tiny town of Big Sur, California (surrounding areas included)
Sweden: My great-grandfather emigrated from Northern Sweden. We and our family members and have remained in contact and have visited one another many times. I lived there for several months after college, when winter was turning to spring, and got to see and do many things I will never, ever forget. Seeing the Northern Lights dance in the sky from a mountaintop bed made of pine boughs, making traditional Swedish flatbread in a wood-burning oven that’s been used for centuries, snowmobiling and ice-fishing, making coffee out of melted snow over a fire, visiting the national museum and seeing the works of some of my favorite Swedish artists (Carl Larsson, Elsa Beskow, among others), many adventurous dining experiences, plein air painting in the countryside, traveling to Norway and sticking my hand in the icy waters of the actual harbor from which my ancestor sailed. It was, as you see, a memorable time for me.
Big Sur: One of the most heavenly, pure, primeval and breathtaking places I’ve seen in our United States. I passed through this summer, many thanks to Ensworth. All of the most dramatic and beautiful types of terrain seem to converge in this tiny speck of a town on the Northern California coast — stately mountains, crashing ocean, jagged cliffs, cold rivers and streams, tall, tall trees towering overhead. The colors appear more vivid there, the air is rich with a pine aroma, the sun is intense, even flavors seemed heightened. I could have stayed.
Q: If you could be a fly on the wall in one of the Ensworth classrooms which one would it be?
A: I’d like to be a fly on the wall in Miss Earhart’s classroom while they’re in the midst of their songwriting unit. I come from a musical family, have always been a singer, I even love to write. I am, nonetheless, befuddled by the songwriting process and how words and melodies are strung together in such unique, diverse ways. Watching pieces of music get born is an invaluable experience for our fourth graders, and every year I hear news of how much fun they have. I also sure do love it when Brazilbilly comes to Frist Hall!
A: Anything involving peanuts or peanut butter. Payday, Mr. Goodbar, Mary Janes, Reese’s cups, those orange and black wrapped pieces of peanut butter taffy that no one ever seems to like — I love those. My favorite Halloween confection, though? Nostalgia takes over and all I really crave are popcorn balls and caramel apples (made with Granny Smith, preferably). I make them every year.
Q: What was one of your favorite subjects from your school days that has nothing to do with art?
A: Does lunch count?… English. I love words. What many may not know is that I am a grammar and spelling rock star. I even beat a sixth grader when I was in fifth grade at the regional spelling bee. My English teacher during my senior year of high school looked at me and said “You’re a writer.” I’ve loved writing ever since.
Q: What’s the best Ensworth activity or day you look forward to every year?
A: There’s a certain excitement and a tingle in the air when the First Grade Pet Show rolls around. It’s like Autumn has officially arrived when all the dogs are in their neckties, the early morning sun glows in the shifty eyes of nervous cats and rabbits, I get my cup of coffee and take the tour — there’s really nothing else like it.
Q: What faculty member from EHS would you like to see profiled next?
A: I’d like to see Mr. Matt Plumb profiled. He’s got a wit and a spark that some folks don’t get to benefit from because he’s such a quiet fellow. Maybe he likes it that way?….