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Brad Kohl


Crosslake, MN

Recorded by

Annelise Finney


This interview with Brad Kohl was conducted remotely via Zoom on March 30th, 2020. Annelise, the interviewer was at home in Oakland, CA and Brad was at his mother's house, where he has been living since the start of the pandemic, in Central Minnesota on the edge of a lake. In the interview, Brad talks about his work as a preacher, which he, along with a friend, took on when the last preacher of his church left during the pandemic. He describes the joy that comes with leading a hybrid, remote and in-person congregation and how his experience leading a hybrid classroom prepared him for this role. He also describes a homophobic hate crime that his fellow preacher experienced last January. Both he and the other preacher are gay men. Brad reflects on how remote teaching serves him as a person with Aspergers who hasn't always felt comfortable in a school setting. He talks about how remote and hybrid learning serves some of his students better than in-person learning and regrets how much and how quickly the school he teaches at has been pursuing a return to entirely in-person learning. He talks about how remote teaching has given him more opportunities for professional development by allowing him to connect and exchange teaching ideas with like-minded teachers around the world. Towards the end of the interview, Brad discusses his concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine and how a vaccine might interact with his ongoing health challenges. He talks about the feeling that older teachers are being forced out of teaching as a result of the pandemic. The interview concludes with Brad reflecting on his friend and fellow preacher's recovery from the injuries incurred during the hate crime his friend experienced January, and their planing for an upcoming Easter service at his church. Brad describes his friend's recovery as the "second best resurrection."

Interviewer Bio:

Annelise Finney is a European American cis-woman, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works as a radio journalist covering reparations in California and breaking news in the Bay Area. Previously she worked as defense investigator for public defenders offices in New York City and San Francisco. She is an alum of the 2016 Oral History Summer School. She is also an avid sewist, hiker and cook. 

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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

Part of this interview may be played in a radio broadcast or podcast.