The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

Victoria Perez’s pop culture recommendations

Victoria+Perezs+pop+culture+recommendations

Victoria Perez is a new history teacher who teaches AT US History. It was a joy to discuss her alma mater and my hometown college of UCSC, Latin American history and reggae music.

Who was your favorite of your teachers when you were a student? What impact did they have on you?

His name was Professor David Sweet at UC Santa Cruz and he became my mentor. He just made history so exciting, so interesting, and fascinating. I was already fascinated by [history], and I got to work for him as a research assistant. He focused on Latin American history, which was my focus, but also world history.The breadth of things that I got exposed to through him. I would have the greatest time at the library, copying articles and finding things for him then writing annotations on life histories of Mexican women. That was like a passion that he kind of helped me grow, the history of everyday people. He was really impactful.

What books are on your nightstand and/or coffee table right now?

I have Angela Davis, Freedom is a Constant Struggle. She is someone that I look up to a lot. I was first introduced to her around her work with the prison industrial complex. She became a professor at UCSC while I was there. I never went to talk to her, but I dreamed of it. I was too shy.

Rest is Resistance, which is a really great one. Tricia Hershey, is the author’s name. It’s looking at how rest is in fact resistance in a system that looks to exploit us for our labor or our productivity and is looking to produce constantly. Rest is an important manner of resisting that.

What is the most impactful interaction you’ve had with a student?

A series of interactions with a student that I had last year who was going through a really hard time in her life personally and trying to make sense of challenging family situations and social situations. This was an eighth grader, so everything was kind of coming to a head for her. She had identified me as a trusted adult and came and talked to me about things and she allowed me into her space. We had conversations and she said it was helpful for her to hear perspectives that she hadn’t considered before. It was impactful for both of us.

What is a “fan-favorite” part of your teaching style? In other words, what is it about your classes that students love?

I do some kind of fun check in like a “would you rather,” “how’s your day” with different images, “what do you feel like today,” or teen talk questions. Some kind of just break for a second before we delve in.

When you were a little kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a flight attendant because I wanted to travel widely.

What is your favorite piece of media and why? What impact did it have on you?

I’ll go with Bob Marley. I started listening to [his music] a lot in high school. I love the music itself, reggae music, and then but he really influenced me as far as thinking politically and spiritually.

What is one thing you are obsessed with right now?

Watching Jane the Virgin with my daughter any chance that I get.


This story is part of the series “Q&Avery” by Counterpoint on new teachers around the circle this school year.

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About the Contributor
Avery Neuner, Editor of Opinions
Avery Neuner ‘24 is the Editor of Opinions for Counterpoint. She has been writing for Counterpoint for three  years and has been a writer her whole life. In addition to journalism, she is a published author in short story and poetry.

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