This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Brad Kohl was recorded on September 15, 2021 via Zoom. Brad taught math for over 30 years in both Minnesota and Wyoming, working in alternative and college-prep settings until the 2021 school year. In this interview, Brad described his brief return to teaching in person at the start of the 2021 school year and the process of his termination from his job because the school would not accommodate his desire to continue working remotely. He talked about his cancer and what he needs in order to maintain his good health. Brad also talked about the students who have reached out to him over the last two weeks, requesting help, guidance, and even inviting his participation in an upcoming convening about cancer survivors. He described how he manages the risk of COVID-19 in his private life and what he's observing about the COVID protocols or safety practices that remain in place in his community. He also described the COVID protocols at his school. He talked about what it's like to be unvaccinated at this time. Brad was especially animated when describing some of his favorite moments on Zoom last school year, the ways in which he found the technology enhanced and improved his teaching, and the kinds of students he saw benefit the most from the online classroom. Brad shares about his success providing online sermons as a preacher and anticipates continuing to publish those on YouTube.
Maddy Russell-Shapiro is a podcast producer based in the Bay Area and New York City. Previously, she worked with several California nonprofits focused on expanding access to higher education, including Mission Graduates in San Francisco and Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison. She attended Oral History Winter School in 2017 and hosts a narrative nonfiction podcast about tenacity titled Relentless.
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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.