Thompson: back & better than ever

When the proposal for an interview with Tryon Thompson came up during our Wolf brainstorming process, it was an easy decision to take it and run. Thompson, a multifaceted teacher, has been working at Tualatin High since December of 1999. After a traumatic accident struck him that year, Thompson found himself moving close to TuHS, where he was hired with two weeks of student teaching left.

Known for his openness and humor, Thompson works mostly with upperclassmen in the history department.

“The irony is I’m a history teacher and I’m not very good with dates,” he said, hinting at what the rest of the interview would look like: splendidly fun and reminiscent of what a conversation looks like with a close friend.

JAY: What about Tualatin High School keeps you interested?

THOMPSON: I work with family members. Malone, McManamon, O’Donnell, we’re all very close… And I get to come to work to play around with you guys…. You’re at an age where you’re just starting to figure out, “Okay, I’m an adult. What does that mean?” This will sound cliché, but there’s just so much potential in that.

J: What do you think it is that has made your students so drawn to your classes and to you as a person?

T: What I try to do is treat you guys like adults with everything that means. I ask you guys to treat me like the semi-adult I am. I’m pretty open about who I am. That way we can have a decent relationship…. I feel like the last few years have been some of the nicest groups of people I’ve ever worked with.

J: So you teach a few different courses branching from IB History to History of War, Government and Economics. Of those, which do you most enjoy sharing with students and which do you think is the most well-received?

T: I try not to think of perceptions…. History of War is the most fun because I’m so drawn to it, and with IB I always feel pressured to prepare for a test that I don’t really like…. I love the creative aspects of teaching. Being creative is taxing, but when you pull together a cool activity or simulation it can be a lot of fun. Half the time I’m doing things because they make me giggle.

J: So, since I’m the entertainment editor, I’ve a few funny questions…. What’s your favorite film?

T: For me, it’s either Blade Runner or The Shawshank Redemption. [On The Shawshank Redemption,]

It’s kind of weird to say you like it. It’s kind of like saying, “I really like puppies!” Blade Runner, though, it’s got great lines in it and I love science fiction. It’s a great movie, the old one. It’s got one of the best lines….

J: This is for the feature section, and I know forecasting has begun. Would you like to add a little self-promo for the elective course you teach or the IB route of history?

T: I think taking any class where the teacher is having a lot of fun would be more fun. So, if you take History of War with me, I will try to have some fun. And, if you aren’t having fun, it’s your own fault.