Meet Mr. Pauloski!
Language Arts 6, Logic
6th Grade Co-Coordinator
Date of Interview: October 2017
What led you to your current role at The Hudson School? What were you doing before you came here?
Serendipity led me here. I just so happened to be on the ropes at Seton Hall, where I was teaching beforehand. I was an adjunct, which meant that it wasn’t the stablest of professions to begin with, but the real reason I wanted out had to do with the sense of alienation I felt. It’s hard to pinpoint the origin of the feeling, but for the longest time I felt that I didn’t belong, that I somehow didn’t earn the vaunted status of “professor” (adjunct that I was). Looking back it’s funny to me that I felt that way. And then, as if my old friend Timing and I finally synced up for once, I got an email from someone who at this point I can’t even recall. The subject line said “teaching job” in all lowercase. After that I sort of just followed my feet. Tellingly, here at Hudson I work harder at a much more difficult and rewarding job. And I’m way happier. So there’s something too.
What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work — not so much the goals that are in your job description, but the goals you hold personally?
Every day that I wake up and have the freedom to write for a few hours makes me giddy in the way many children are giddy on Christmas morning. All I can think about is shredding the wrappings of my mind to find out what’s there, and being pleasantly surprised at what I find. But alas, like any other sane adult, I have to make coffee first. I consider writing fiction part of my work—if you wouldn’t label it work, go ahead and write for three hours without pause… then ask yourself how you feel—because if for nothing else, it gets the students hyped up about writing their own stuff. And in the end, all I truly care about is that they walk out of my class at the end of the year, thinking that writing and reading are fun and challenging and cool, because they are. So however implicit or explicit in my job description the transmission of passion is, I don’t know. But I suppose that’s my biggest goal then, sort of “Jedi mind tricking” students into thinking books are cool by waving my hand in the air and telling them just that: Books are cool. You are going to read one today.
What’s your ideal morning?
[Cracks knuckles.] I wake up at 5 a.m. and the first thing I do is start a pot of coffee. Keurigs and K-cups are philistine filth. Half the pleasure of coffee is hearing the soft plops and smelling the aroma. Once the coffee starts noising away, I make my bed. I then place my thesaurus, my stress ball, a pen, a notebook, and whatsoever I happen to be reading on said bed. (It kind of doubles as a desk, and you’ll hear why in a second.) Right at the foot of my bed resides perhaps the greatest chair in the history of chairs—a platonic ideal. It’s brown, leather, reclines and swivels, and has an ottoman. All of these things are tremendously important. But I don’t sit in my chair just yet. I wait. Sure, I glance at it a few times before sitting, but I have to wait for my coffee anyway, so we play coquettish games with each other, the chair and I. Next comes music. I put on something instrumental to get the brain juices flowing (I highly recommend the jazzified, cafe version of Studio Ghibli’s music on YouTube). I then make a smoothie: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, an Oikos flavored yogurt, almond milk, and honey. By the time I drink it my coffee’s done, so I fill my “Early Bird” mug and re-enter my room. After taking my first sip, I open up my laptop and get to writing, and that’s when the fun begins.