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7 Things: Brian Cushing ’84

What inspired you to do this kind of work?

I think the answer would be who, not what, inspired me. I had a terrific experience at O’Dowd as a student and I remember being taught by several young teachers who made me think “I want to be like them.” They were so energetic and involved beyond the classroom. In particular Mrs. Kubicek, Mr. Thiel, Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Gunty really inspired me to be a teacher.


What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?

Currently I am the Social Studies Co-Chair and Freshman Class Moderator. I started in 1992.


What is the best piece of advice you ever received (generally – it doesn’t have to be related to O’Dowd)?

The quality of your life is not going to be about how much money you make, but about the relationships you build, the most important being your relationship with God.


What is your favorite thing about your job?

I think my favorite aspect of my job is watching the students mature from freshman year to senior year (most of the time). Teaching freshmen is really about leading them through the transition into high school, and teaching seniors is really about preparing them for life beyond high school.


What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?

I think people would be surprised by how in tune with the times most of our students are. The world is more connected than at any time in history and most of our students are keenly aware of what is happening in the world around them.


What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?

I suppose the fact that I’ve traveled through 49 of the 50 states. Someday I’ll take Alaska off my “bucket list.” I always found it strange that classmates, friends and students wanted to travel the world before traveling through the U.S. It is such an amazing country with so much diversity, from region to region and state to state.


If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

Unfair question. I have over a hundred dragons and a thousand postcards and I’d make multiple trips to save them all!


Bonus Questions

What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands? My favorite music is Sinatra and Swing. Band? Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.


What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?

Sorry Oakland. Giants all the way, though I root for the A’s against everyone but the Giants.

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