The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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Flashback Friday: Social studies teacher Aaron Bashirian

Social+studies+teacher+Aaron+Bashirian+smiles+in+front+of+his+classroom.+Bashirian+didn%E2%80%99t+know+he+wanted+to+be+a+teacher+from+early+on%2C+but+he+found+the+choice+to+be+a+good+one.+%E2%80%9CI+started+%5Bteaching%5D+because+there+was+an+opportunity+for+me+to+experiment+with+it.+Fortunately%2C+%5Bteaching%5D++was+a+good+choice.+In+2012%2C+I+became+a+teacher+at+Parkway+at+the+Alternative+Discipline+Center%2C+which+is+where+they+send+suspended+kids+to+keep+being+educated+if+they+choose.+I+spent+six+years+there+and+then+I+got+drafted+to+West%2C+%5Bwhere%5D+Ive+been+for+about+six+years%2C%E2%80%9D+Bashirian+said.+
Sakenah Lajkem
Social studies teacher Aaron Bashirian smiles in front of his classroom. Bashirian didn’t know he wanted to be a teacher from early on, but he found the choice to be a good one. “I started [teaching] because there was an opportunity for me to experiment with it. Fortunately, [teaching] was a good choice. In 2012, I became a teacher at Parkway at the Alternative Discipline Center, which is where they send suspended kids to keep being educated if they choose. I spent six years there and then I got drafted to West, [where] I’ve been for about six years,” Bashirian said.

What school did you go to?

I went to Royall Middle and High [School]. It combined [students from] Elroy, Mo. and Kendall, Mo., so that’s [the name] they came up with for the school.

How was your childhood home life?

[I had] so much freedom. Sometimes we were bored [though], so we had to get creative. We would climb the water tower or microwave tower. We had woods right across the road from the house [that] I played in a lot. We played Frisbee on Main Street. I started a band. That’s how we had to get creative.

Social studies teacher Aaron Bashirian stands with his first hunt. At 12 years old, Bashirian went on his first hunting trip and shot his first deer, mostly by himself. “I had just gotten through hunter safety, and the first morning I went out, there was a deer. I shot it. My dad did all the field dressing — that’s when he would cut out all the guts, I didn’t do that part. [That gun was] cool, a 33 Winchester that I really liked, but my dad sold it. I was mad at him for that. That’s an iconic gun,” Bashirian said. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Bashirian)
What has changed, what hasn’t?

Back then, my parents were rather heavy-handed [and] old school, [using] belts, whips. I was also raised to work; my kids do chores because they’re part of the family. We had that kind of attitude. 

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher and teach this subject? 

After I graduated school, I pursued a music career for 12 years. Then, I got down to St. Louis, where I met my wife who was a teacher. After we got married, I was still pursuing music, but I’d gotten burned out on that. I saw that [my wife] was a teacher, and I had a history degree already, [so] it made sense that I went into history.

Tell me a childhood story that always makes you smile. 

My dad collected pocket watches, and he also liked to take us out into the woods and cut firewood. One of my proudest moments as a child was when I was about 6 or 7, [and] my dad and I had been cutting wood in the woods. We’d been out there for a couple hours, [and] we were getting ready to go when my dad realized he’d lost his watch. [It was] one of his really nice, railroad pocket watches. It was fall, and there were leaves everywhere. He was really upset because there was no way we’d find it. We’d been walking over quite a large area. So, I was walking down this one area and, I remember this very clearly, I stopped because I heard a helicopter. As I’m standing there, the helicopter goes away, and then I hear ticking. I go down on the ground and start ruffling through the leaves, and I find [the watch]. The look on his face — it was one of those moments where you realize you did something really cool. [He] really appreciated it, [and it’s] one of my favorite memories.

What things make you nostalgic when you see/hear/smell/ feel them?

The sound of a typewriter. The sound of channel selectors on TVs. I hardly ever smell it anymore, but Drakkar Noir; it was a very popular cologne when I was in college and high school, [and] when I smell that, it takes me back. Every time I go back to Los Angeles, there are so many sights and sounds there that really bring back my childhood, [too].

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About the Contributor
Sakenah Lajkem, Staff Writer
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 2 What is your favorite piece of literature? Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz. Who is your hero? Jesus Christ. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? My mom's mashed potatoes.
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