It was a rainy Saturday night when I took the L train to Brooklyn to meet Alessandra De Meo ’87 and Mark Greenfield ’86. We had tea and coffee, and Alessandra told us about her time at Antioch, and her current life as a teacher for the New York City Department of Education, grades 7-12. We ended up walking over to the Williamsburg mini-mall with its 80’s jams and bookstore that smelled very strongly of fresh books.
I think what’s really amazing is this kind of network that is formed through jobs, where Antiochians leave a path for the next person to come. So we all know this place, and we’re all connected to this place, and then there’s generations to come that are connected to this place. And so I think it’s like you build this network around the country that’s amazing, where you can then have these shared experiences that really link you together. Like The Farm, for example, I did not have that co-op. I was like “okay, I don’t know what I’m gonna do, I’m going to San Francisco.” I didn’t have anything set up. And then I landed there, and that became my job. They said “oh, you’re an Antiochian, come in; we’ll find something for you to do,” and that turned out to be an amazing experience. I learned so much. Antioch was definitely a special place for me. Mostly, I made friendships for life. And I consider myself an extremely resourceful person. A big part of that was Antioch. The resources were very limited, but we made things happen. You just work with what you have. I really loved the kind of trust that students and professors really put in each other—”let’s see what we can do with your work and let’s be open about it.” All those things… I feel like years later really affected me as a teacher—that Antioch model of education.