New Camas High School English teacher Samuel Bovarnick feels that fishing is one of the beautifully pointless things in life we choose to do. He mentions the Greek mythological tale of Sisyphus as well when referencing fishing. This tale is about a king who was punished for his deceitfulness and forced to roll a huge boulder up a hill, that would continuously roll back down to the beginning every time it neared the top. This cycle would continue for all of eternity.
A French philosopher by the name of Albert Camus had come up with the idea that possibly the tale of Sisyphus is the life everyone is living, and that everyone needs to seek joy by pushing the boulder of life uphill over and over again. This philosophy is one that Bovarnick aligns not only with life but with fishing specifically.
He is one of many teachers that work at CHS that also happens to reside in the Portland-Metropolitan area. This is not an ideal commute to work; however, during quarantine teachers do not have to worry about that. Portland just so happens though to be an ideal spot for one of his favorite hobbies, fishing.
Bovarnick was a student-teacher for the 2019-2020 school year with Mrs. Hunting, an English and journalism teacher at Camas High School. Now Bovarnick serves as a contracted, certificated English teacher here at CHS.
Bovarnick is content knowing that he is serving his outlook on life. As a new teacher who has previous experience working alongside the current staff, it was an easy decision to accept the opportunity to become a full-time teacher at CHS.
As a kid, Bovarnick grew up in a literate house with an ample amount of books. He loves literature, partly because of how he was raised and being able to understand the world through human experiences.
Bovarnick is especially fond of fiction. He also enjoys poetry and graphic novels. His favorite fiction book is As I Lay Dying. He read this piece during his high school days and it left a major impact on him.
Bovarnick said, “I’m a big fan of fiction. Any fiction, good writing is good writing.”
During these times, outlooks on life paralleled to Bovarnicks can be very helpful for everyone. Nothing is needed more than for everyone to care about others and try to help out if they can. One of Bovarnick’s ways of helping out others can be seen by his actions in the classroom.
“The human experience, I think, is a social one, and I personally believe that being human comes with the obligation of taking care of other humans. I think that what we choose to do between that is often beautifully pointless,” he said.
Bovarnick believes in creating an environment in which his students can flourish without fear of judgment.
He said, “I am trying a lot of different things… I’m opening up my Zoom meetings usually about ten minutes before the start of the period. Often a handful of kids will trickle in, and just create a little bit of downtime to have conversations.”
One of Bovarnick’s students, CHS junior Devon Barber said, “Mr. Bovarnick is a person who comes off strong, but you can really relate to. He is also a very good person to talk to and you know you can trust him. Once you get to know him he will treat you as a friend when you’re not in class. He has to be overall one of my favorite teachers”.
COVID-19 has made it considerably more difficult for teachers and students to connect. Some teachers, such as Bovarnick, are attempting to create a sense of community over Zoom calls. Interaction outside of class time aids in strengthening the bonds between students and teachers, as well as allowing students to talk amongst themselves. Bovarnick also says that creative writing, which his class is currently focusing on, allows him to gain a deeper understanding of his students and who they are as people.
Bovarnick said, “I hope that students perceive me as someone who cares about them, and who cares about their academic and personal success. Because I do.”
“I don’t know why anyone would do this job if they didn’t care about their students, and their students feeling successful,” he added.
Camasonian journalists Danny Macias, Annika Nordwell, Madison Palek, and Chase Fossen contributed to this article.