Applebaum is a True New York Teacher
By: Dasraj Seecharran, Junior Writer
Mr. Applebaum is a new history teacher in the Theatre SLC who just started teaching Hillcrest students this year. He tries to help students achieve academic success by doing as much as he can for them.
He may be a history teacher but history was not necessarily the subject he got the best grades in. It was something he was always curious about, especially after the September 11th attacks in 2001 when he was only a senior in high school. “9/11 happened at a time when I was a senior in high school, so I was open in terms of beginning to understand how the world works and why it led me to understand that the US and our position in the world has implications for us especially here in NYC because we are a major world city makes us a target for terrorists such as that attack.” Mr. Appelbaum wondered why this happened and how we could prevent this from happening again. He wanted to share his love for learning about our current world and what brought us to our current state of affairs.
He may be a new history teaching in Hillcrest, but Mr. Applebaum has been teaching now for 8 years. He has spent the last 7 years in the Bronx at Smith High School, a CTE school in the Bronx, and Lehman High School. He is very familiar with the New York lifestyle and way of learning for students. “I am a true New Yorker because I have lived within the 5 boroughs all my life. The New York lifestyle is fast paced and dog-eat-dog, if that is a good thing, I'm not sure. I also am a hybrid American because I have a mixed racial family background. I can be whoever I need to be at any given moment.”
Mr. Applebaum was in the law program at his school in Brooklyn at Madison High School. One of the nation’s current Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, also attended that high school, so he had a lot of background and knowledge of skills in Social Studies and related topics. Teaching Social Studies became his first choice because it is a subject that is always evolving and changing. Mr. Applebaum believes that Social Studies “asks people to offer their thoughts and opinions on issues” which he is highly interested in.
He also has a tremendous passion for playing baseball as he played in both high school and college. Mr. Appelbaum was a pitcher and tried out for the Orioles, Padres, Mets, and minor league teams such as the Newark Bears, and Bridgeport Bluefish. He claims that he never threw hard enough to sign a professional contract, but “I maximized the skills I had to get the most out of my ability. Many ups and downs in baseball and plenty of failure prepared my character for teaching, which is a daily task where you will lose as many games as you will win and have to deal with failure on a consistent basis without giving up.” Mr. Applebaum played college baseball and continued to play semi-pro baseball as a pitcher. Mr. Applebaum wishes he could pursue that full time.
Mr. Applebaum also used to be the Varsity Baseball Coach at his old high school and would love to continue doing that here at Hillcrest. Mr. Applebaum would have liked to have been a Physical Education teacher, but his college did not offer that program. His favorite team is the Mets, which he describes as “New York's underdog like myself, always has been and always will be.”
Mr. Applebaum enjoys many aspects of his job. He enjoys it so much that he wishes that there was a way for him to enjoy it even more. He’s very passionate about teaching. While working with students, he mainly enjoys working with the kids who have a desire both to work with him and have the desire to put in work for their own benefit. “I love seeing those students who take their own actions towards their future.”
Mr. Applebaum’s experience being at Hillcrest so far has been hectic because he has recently transferred and has a lot of challenges to pursue. Nonetheless, Mr. Applebaum is “excited and hopeful that things here are going to turn out better than ever before.”