The secret lives of teachers

photo by James Mackenzie

Students know their teachers have a life outside the classroom, but personal details are usually kept to a minimum.

However, one SAIT instructor has a life outside the classroom too interesting to be concealed.

Anthony Appleby teaches academic preparation and English as a second language, but that far from sums him up. This summer Appleby took off for Nevada and submerged himself in Burning Man culture.

Burning Man is the annual, weeklong creation of a temporary city in the Nevada desert. It’s a celebration of coming together, and representing yourself and your passions.

Appleby still wears the mark of his experience there.

“I dyed my hair blue,” he says. “If you have blue hair, people will engage with you. It’s a refreshing feeling.”

Besides his hair colour, Appleby prepared for Burning Man by transforming a bicycle to resemble a pink flamingo. He says people commonly wear costumes for the festival, so he decked himself out in pink shorts to match his bike.

Appleby also uses his originality to spice up his teaching style. He says he mixes creativity with professionalism and fun with productivity.

Appleby says the raucous festival is comparable to SAIT since Burning Man is about coming together and sharing your talents with your community.

Perhaps students won’t burn their projects at the end of their journey as Burning Man devotees burn their art, but Appleby points out that SAIT is a community of people with abilities they want to share with the world.

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