Dan Fitz-Patrick: Ripping students’ roots out with “nuance”

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Dan Fitz-Patrick: Ripping students’ roots out with “nuance”

Credit: Abigail Massar / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Abigail Massar / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Abigail Massar / The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Abigail Massar / The Foothill Dragon Press

Sam Bova

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Dan Fitz-Patrick, the brilliant United States historian remembered for his witty sarcasm and his long lectures, wasn’t always the teacher that is known for ripping students’ roots out.

In the past, his dream job was “working for the CIA as an international spy because I thought that’d be really cool, but then I realized it’s only cool if everyone knows you’re doing it and I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone.”

Young Fitz spent most of his time “playing soccer with friends” as well as “skateboarding, listening to music, hanging out and going to concerts.”

His career as a history teacher began at Balboa Middle School. 

A job opening at Foothill gave him the opportunity to make a change in his life and teach what he calls the “nuance” and the history “that had more concrete, deeper, important meanings.” He enjoys relating to his students and interacting with them in a meaningful way. Most importantly, his teaching career thrives off of his uninhibited passion for teaching in a way that will have a lasting impact on his student’s lives.

Alongside his teaching, his motivation to stay mentally and physically active is always at a peak level, either by “reading or doing yoga.” He allows this “good, hard meditation” to keep him mentally ready for long lectures and physically ready to run a marathon.

But life can’t always be squandered by physical and mental training. There needs to be time for the more important aspects, like cookies. When asked what his least favorite type of cookie was, Fitz replied “probably one that’s stale.”

Teaching high school students has proved to be a valuable use of his time, and Fitz has found enjoyment in seeing his students “go on to the next stages of their life.” He aims to be a source of guiding light for students through the perilous journey of their adolescent years.

What do you think?