Seven Question Slam: Mr. Christopher Silva


Stella Fernandes, Contributor

Q: What made you want to teach ELA?
A: Ever since high school I’ve been a lover of art, theater, and literature. I studied it in my undergraduate program at Providence College and particularly fell in love with literature from the medieval and Renaissance periods. Later, during my master’s degree studies in theater at Emerson, I fell in love all over again with contemporary drama from Europe and the United States. So, I became an English teacher to spread that interest and passion for great literature.
Q: Is there a certain book or series that sparked your passion for literature?
A: The fantasy books of J.R.R. Tolkien, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and pretty much the complete works of William Shakespeare. Q: Any advice for anyone who’s interested in the field? A: Read, read, read. Find stuff you’re interested in and read it all, but be open to trying other works too, things outside your comfort zone. And remember, literature is not just novels. That’s one small part of it. Read plays, poetry, short stories, epics, screenplays . . . there’s so much out there.
Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t teaching?
A: Probably directing theatre, which I did for 16 years at the high school, college, and community theatre stage. I do miss it, but my husband and I have 2-year-old twin boys right now, which takes up all of my free time and energy.
Q: What frustrates you the most about your job?
A: The slow degradation of culture in young people. Kids who don’t know nursery rhymes, fairy tales, myths, books, plays, or even great movies, but instead spend their time watching hours and hours of random and mindless videos online. It frightens me because those are their cultural touchstones, their reference-point for what it means to be human. Scary.
Q: Favorite pastime?
A: Traveling, reading, watching films, playing the piano, going to the beach, playing with my kids.
Q: What do you like most about Somerset Berkley?
A: The beautiful facility and the excellent teachers and students I work with every day.