Ms. Lynn Oliva has had a very successful career at both Rowland Hall and other schools. When teaching at Rowland Hall, it is good to have a strong connection between teacher and student. This helps students have more confidence when talking to teachers and helps students feel more at home. Ms. Oliva first taught at a school in southern California called Sage Hill School, teaching middle school. After that, she moved to Utah and started work at McGillis; she taught 6 and 7th grade there. Eventually, she wanted to teach high school kids. She was looking around and found a job opportunity here. This spot was open because Christine Thomas, the old high school Spanish teacher, was leaving Rowland Hall because she was retiring after her many years working here. I was curious what was different about her previous schools compared to Rowland Hall. Ms. Oliva said that students at Rowland Hall are “more interested in academics” and “polite. And respectful.” School is not all serious though, as she has a funny experience with a student when she was still teaching in California. She was subbing for a friend of hers who taught kindergarten (she is not too fond of teaching little children). The kids were all at different stations while working that day, and one of the students ran up to her saying that “Lupus said sh*t.” Lupus is one of the kids that she was working with. Unfortunately, Lupus did know what this word meant, and Ms. Oliva had to have a little chat with him about that. She said it was “hilarious… and Oh no.”
Contrary to popular belief, Ms. Olivia does not spend all of her time at school and does a lot of physical activity and watches movies. Her activities of choice are mountain biking and nordic skiing. Some of her favorite places to bike are pretty dependent on her mood. She likes to visit Solitude because “there are not many people there... Kinda lives up it its name,” suggesting that Solitude has great views and hard descents. She also enjoys Flying Dog, Park City, and Deer Valley. She reads and often hangs out with her sons. She is also learning how to knit. Not all of her life is active though, as she likes to lay back and watch a good show here and there. She was recently watching “Babylon Berlin,” which she enjoyed. Ms. Oliva also likes to watch Spanish movies.
When asked about what students struggle the most with, she said that when learning Spanish people worry too much about making mistakes in their work. In response to the question, “Where did you learn Spanish?”, she said that her mom was from Spain, but didn't really teach her any Spanish. She originally grew up in Ohio. Her mom was “very interested in being very American at the time.” Then, in her freshman year and the following years of high school, she took Spanish classes. She then went to college for a couple of years at Ohio State, learning more about the language, then moved to Spain and stayed with family. While living there, she spoke Spanish all the time and so became fluent in it.
There are several differences between those two places (Spain and Ohio) compared to Utah. Here in Utah, not to state the obvious, but “it gets cold.” Other than that, it's “outdoorsy,” and people are more laid back. I was curious about if she spoke any other languages because spanish and english. She said that she took Portuguese classes but said “I’m not very good at it” and just as a high school language student. Even though she might seem very proficient in Spanish, she still struggles with some stuff. Some of this stuff is speaking at different levels with people. For example, you talk to your friend differently then you do to your teachers. She struggles with these different levels of speaking in Spanish. In summary Mis. Lynn Oliva is a hard working teacher at Rowland hall. She is passionate about what she does in life and has many hobbies including mountain biking and settling down to watch a good move. I hope you find time to talk to her and meet her in person.