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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: English teacher Diana Lurkins

English+teacher+Diana+Lurkins+smiles+in+front+of+her+classroom.+Growing+up%2C+Lurkins+endured+family+hardships%2C+but+despite+her+struggles%2C+she+had+a+positive+outlook+on+life.+%E2%80%9CMy+parents+divorced+when+I+was+3+years+old.+They+both+remarried+so+I+had+four+parents%2C+which+is+extra+love+and+extra+support.+It+was+great+to+have+that+additional+love+and+support+from+all+directions+in+my+life%2C%E2%80%9D+Lurkins+said.
Sakenah Lajkem
English teacher Diana Lurkins smiles in front of her classroom. Growing up, Lurkins endured family hardships, but despite her struggles, she had a positive outlook on life. “My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. They both remarried so I had four parents, which is extra love and extra support. It was great to have that additional love and support from all directions in my life,” Lurkins said.

What school did you go to?

I went to Rose Acres Elementary School and then I switched to Incarnate Word Academy Private School for high school. They’re both in the Pattonville district. 

 

How was your childhood home life? 

[My childhood home life]  was great. I loved my childhood. There was lots of love to go around. My older brother Brian [and I] hung out a lot. Our relationship was a classic brother-sister relationship: one second we were at each other like cats and dogs, and the next second, we were getting along, playing and having fun.

 

 

What has changed, what hasn’t?

Screens, like phones and tablets, are definitely a big thing. We didn’t have anything like that when I was growing up. We had video games [like] Nintendo and Super Nintendo — and I can play a mean Mario Kart on Nintendo 64 — but most of our time was spent playing in the neighborhood with our friends. I grew up in a neighborhood that had a ton of kids so we spent a lot of time outside riding bikes and playing sports in the street.

 

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

English teacher Diana Lurkins (right) smiles for a picture with her mother during her junior ring ceremony at school. Growing up, Lurkins viewed her mother as her role model. “[My mother has] been my biggest role model my whole life. Being in education, [she] inspired my career. She has so much patience and gives great advice;I can come to her with any problem that I’m having. Even in high school, I would come to her when I was stressed out and she would empathize, but then she would say, ‘The best way to get rid of stress is to take action.’ Then, she would help me figure out what we could do,” Lurkins said. (Used with permission of Diana Lurkins)

Being a teacher was something that I always came back to growing up. When I was a little, I wanted to be a veterinarian and then I [was ]like, ‘No, I want to be a teacher.’ Then, for a while, I wanted to be a lawyer, and then I decided, ‘No, I want to be a teacher.’ My heart just kept drawing me back to it. My mom was a special education teacher and then she ended up [as] an administrator in the Pattonville district, so I always say that teaching is in my blood. I made the final decision to be a teacher my sophomore year of college; I started as a communications major and then changed to English. I took some great English classes my first couple years of college and I had this great professor [who] ignited that fire in me for English.

 

English teacher Diana Lurkins (left) poses with her friend Megan (right) on New Year’s Eve. Lurkins and her family vacationed with Megan and her family every summer. “Megan’s family lived in Charleston, Mo. We met them in St. Pete Beach, Fla. when I was pretty young; both of our families just happened to be vacationing there at the same time and ended up going back to the same resort every year. We grew up together but really only saw each other on vacation. We [both] still go [to the resort], and I bring my kids there now,” Lurkins said. (Used with permission of Diana Lurkins)

Tell me a childhood story that always makes you smile. 

When I was in eighth grade, for New Year’s Eve that year -– 1999 turning into 2000 — there was already a big celebration because it was the new millennium. My family ended up going down to Sikeston, Mo. because some [family] friends of ours who lived down there rented out a whole bunch of hotel rooms and were having a hotel party. There were a ton of kids there and we had a great time. At midnight, to celebrate the new year, the other kids and I all ran outside and jumped into the outdoor pool. It was very cold but it was very memorable and fun — an interesting way to ring in the new millennium.

 

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

Definitely ‘90s music —  I am a huge ‘90s music fan because it reminds me a lot of my childhood. My dad was a big Eagles fan, so anytime I hear the band I always think of him. My mom had two Motown tapes that we used to play in the car all the time when we were driving places. A smell that reminds me of my childhood is the cucumber melon scent from Bath and Body Works. I don’t know if they still sell that or not, but that reminds me of middle school gym class; in the locker room after gym class, all the girls were constantly spraying it all over the place. 

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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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