Teacher Robin Altman explains Lewis Dot Structure to general chemistry. (Photo by Ryan Ho)

Q&A: Chemistry teacher Robin Altman longs to travel to Africa

Robin Altman recently joined Country Day as the chemistry teacher. Altman was unable to teach until now due to her postdoctoral work at UC Davis. Teacher Michael Covey taught for the first semester. (See “Chemistry split between two teachers” and “Chemistry prepares for teacher change from Michael Covey to Robin Altman.”) Altman has previously taught at UC Davis and Napa College.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Well, graduate school kind of kills your hobbies, but I enjoy reading. I love classic literature, especially (Jane Austen’s) “Sense and Sensibility.” I like cooking too. I am not saying I am a good cook, but I do like to mess around. If I didn’t set off the fire alarm, it was a good day in the kitchen.


Q: What is your favorite thing about chemistry?
A: It’s the sense of awe I get when I think about chemistry and work through chemistry problems. I have to say I do have a little passion for biochemistry.


Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

A: I think it’s the interaction with the students. There is something about that aha moment that’s really addictive. There is something about someone’s face when it goes from “I have no idea what you are talking about” to “Oh I understand that.”


Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: Africa. I know for sure South Africa and Botswana. I would love to squeeze in a few other countries in Africa. For one, I think the wildlife and the geography and culture is fascinating. I would basically go anywhere, but that’s highest right now.


Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?

A: I am not a very adventurous person, so when most people find out I go scuba diving they are pretty surprised.

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