Written by: Nabila Esmail – Grade 12
“You don’t ever want to wake up and dread Monday’s because Monday is the first day of the rest of the best week in your life!” ~Ms. Lloyd
Ms. Lloyd is an English teacher who is also dedicated to the IB Programme. She is philosophical, funny, insightful, sweet, caring and is extra supportive. I had the pleasure to it down with her and talk to her about her! I found nothing but humility mixed with humour and honesty! 🙂
Why did you become a teacher?
“Truthfully I almost didn’t. I actually didn’t really want to become a teacher. My mom, my grandmother, my aunt, and my father are all teachers, so it seemed a little bit like genetics that I was going to become a teacher but I wanted to do something else. I originally wanted to become a writer. I went to University and studied English Literature and Drama and History.
I went to the University of Alberta in Edmonton and I got my Arts degree there and I ended up, after graduation, struggling to find a good job. For a while I worked as a newspaper reporter and I also was finding that I was paying the bills working in afterschool childcare and I thought, “Well if I’m working in afternoon childcare as a reason to pay rent, might as well go back and become a teacher!” So I did. I’ve truthfully always loved learning.”
Finish the statement: When I grow up I want to be a…
Nabila: “You also already answered my next question. But did you know right away that you wanted to become a writer?”
Ms. Lloyd: “Ironically I really loved playing school when I was a kid.”
Nabila: “Was it because of your parents and them being teachers?”
Ms. Lloyd: “Well that and also I had a pretty good imagination and I liked to boss my brother around let’s be honest!”
Nabila: “Do you only have one brother?”
Ms. Lloyd: “Yeah I have one younger brother and I could boss him around. I played school when I was little and we just spent a lot of time playing outside, using our imaginations.”
What is a quote you live by and why is it so significant?
“Well as someone who loves English and Literature, I don’t really have a favourite quote. I think it’s changed a lot over time and there are lots of quotes that I like. But I think if it’s okay I can narrow it down to two? (Of course Ms. Lloyd!) The first one would be William Shakespeare’s immortal words in Hamlet “To thine own self be true” and the second would be the Latin “carpe diem” meaning “seize the day”. Why those are so important to me is because I think in this world you need to be an authentic person, true to who you are, and you should never ever regret not taking every opportunity for something.”
Nabila: “Did you have anything to add?”
Ms. Lloyd: *laughs* No, there are so many quotes!
What is your favourite book and why? I know that it is a challenging question and so you can narrow it down to a couple or an author or a specific genre.
“I don’t know if that’s helping! *laughs* Truthfully right now one of my favourite books is Looking for Alaska by John Green. I really love the philosophical exploration and the human journey in it. Traditionally I’m a fan of historical fiction. I like to read about Kings and Queens in England and Europe and Scotland and I really like historical fiction. It’s kind of hard to find a book I don’t like!
Other favourite authors would include Philippa Gregory who wrote “The Other Boleyn Girl” and she writes about the Tudor time period. I also really like Diana Gabaldon who wrote the Outlander series about Scotland, and I really like Deborah Harkness’s books such as A Discovery of Witches because they’re all a really good read. They have vampires and witches and demons and time travel and history and they’re just the coolest, smartest books. I was grown up almost before the first Harry Potter book came out but if I had to pick a classic fantasy series from my childhood it would be C.S Lewis The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe series.”
Question: What do you love most about writing and English and words?
“I think what drives me is the fact that literature, as a body of work, speaks to who we are as human beings and it helps us to understand and to navigate our way in the world from our historical past to what we hope for in the future. But it also is what connects us. Stories are what bind the world together, and without stories we are just floating in a vacuum and that’s what I think is powerful about literature. And I think the paradox of words and writing is that we use them every day to communicate and we can minimize them to a 140 character Tweets, but we overlook their power and their beauty and we don’t take the time to savour them.”
What would be your ideal day if you had an entire day to do whatever you wanted to?
“My ideal day… well, I probably wouldn’t be in Calgary. Where would I be? I would be in my little piece of paradise which is on the West Coast of British Columbia, on the Sunshine Coast. We have in our family ancestral property there and its waterfront, right on the beach (lucky!!). I was born in Edmonton but it’s been in my family for generations and there is something so calming for me about being near the ocean. I would want to be there and I would definitely want a stack of books and some good coffee, but I probably wouldn’t read all day because one of the beauties of being out in nature is the chance to just slow down, breathe, be present and enjoy the world. I would read, take a step back, read, take a step back, and journal too.”
Tell us about the Creative Writing Club
“We’re running Creative Writing Club and it’s called “Write Here Right Now”. It will be on every second and fourth Tuesday of every month at lunch in room 2130. All members are welcome, and any genre of writing! Last year was its first year so it started off slow, with probably a core membership of 3 of 4. More is good, because you need an audience. We did a lot of talking last year and it became a sort of forum for people to talk about what they wanted, but I’m hoping that if people come again this year they’ll actually come willing to write because you can’t be a writer unless you put your pen to your paper, otherwise you’re just talking about it.”
Any last words?
“I think I am like the most boring person in the world! *laughing* (Not true!) But I just think people should read, people should wonder, and you don’t ever want to wake up and dread Monday’s because Monday is the first day of the rest of the best week in your life!”
Thank you Ms. Lloyd!