25 Questions: The Life and Teachings of Mrs. Sherri Hoye

The goings-on of a collector, literary livewire, and jack-of-all-trades

Lily Yates, Quintessence Copy Editor

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What better teacher than a passionate expert? If you’re looking to increase your linguistic prowess, not to mention your taste for adventure, look no further than Skutt Catholic English teacher Mrs. Hoye.

Quirky and giggly, yet capable and stern, the teacher has become an enigmatic fixture at the school. This week, the Flightline sat down to pick her brain on food, philosophies, and writing itself.

Do you have a nickname?

“I like weather, so sometimes my husband calls me the Weather Wench.”

How would your best friend describe you?

“She’d probably call me a goober. Which is a boiled peanut.”

What are you reading right now?

“You know, it’s very rare for me, but I am rereading a book I read 20 years ago by Kathleen Norris. It’s called Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. I’m rereading it because that’s the poet of Amanda Pohlman’s Poetry Out Loud poem, “Mrs. Adam.” I didn’t know Kathleen Norris; I knew her as a novelist. She just writes about the plains in a really spiritual way. It’s a very beautiful book, an easy read, but it’s lovely.”

What is your most marked characteristic?

“I think I’m funny. I might not be…but I like humor.”

What is your favorite story about something a student has said or done?

“Oh my gosh. Hands down, first year of teaching. I was teaching in a six room schoolhouse. All my students were dairy farmers, and we were studying poetry. I had this kid, and he just had some extra things he had to do to process information. So every day after school he would come in, and I’d make him read his notes out loud to me. So he starts reading these poetry notes back to me, and he says, ‘In poetry, there are stretch marks and bowel sounds.’ I was like, ‘You’re close there, stress marks and vowel sounds.’ Kind of the pinnacle of oops.”

Which word or phrase do you overuse?

“Everybody get it?”

What is your favorite place to eat?

“Umm, Thailand.”

What song are you listening to right now?

“In my head? I really like the theme song to the PBS show “Victoria.” It’s so pretty.”

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 2 items would you take with you?

“I would take a meat fork, ‘cause that can double as a back scratcher… And I would take the 1855 edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.”

If you were a tree, what kind would you be?

“I’d be an oak.”

If you could live in any country, which would it be?

“Oh, that’s a tough question for me. Zanzibar. Stonetown, in Zanzibar. It is so exotic. It’s African, Middle-Eastern, it’s Asian, it’s European. You can be sitting in a Catholic Church during the communion meditation and the call to prayer goes off next door at the mosque, and they’re singing songs at the mass in Swahili. It’s awesome.”

On what occasion do you lie?

“Lie? I generally don’t lie anymore.”

How many hours of sleep do you get per night?

“Between seven and eight.”

What is your motto?

“It’s a Henry David Thoreau quote. It’s ‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,’ and then I add ‘but I’m not going to.’”

What would be an evening of perfect happiness for you?

“Oh, me and my husband, like, spitting haikus.”

What is your favorite out of all hobbies you do outside school?

“What do I love to do? I’m working on a silk scarf right now with Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” that I’m putting on it with fabric paint. I’m gonna be giving it to my husband, who’s leaving for the Appalachian Trail. So, it’s kind of a buff. I get kind of crafty, but with a literary theme.”

How far away do you live from school?

“I am 8.1 miles. If I hit all the lights right, like 23 minutes.”

What is your dream occupation?


What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

“Paying my way through college and graduate school.”

Where are you in the family birth order?

“I am the youngest.”

What object do you love most in the world?

“My nun collection. I collect nun figurines. I probably have between like 70 and 80 different figurines. Some of them are very expensive, like Yadro ceramic nuns. I have nun salt and pepper shakers, and I have them all in a bookcase.

Dogs or cats?


How often do you go out to eat?

“Usually every other week with my husband. We don’t eat fast food, and we don’t go anywhere that’s a chain. So we love, like, Lisa’s Radial Cafe, Louie M’s Burger Lust, we like Stella’s, Amato’s, -there’s a bunch of little places- the Leavenworth Cafe, a lot of places in Benson.”

What smell reminds you of when you were a kid?


Is there anything else you want people to know about you or that you want to say?

“I like all kinds of sports. Like, I’m a kook, and I’m very competitive. So in the winters, my brothers and I kind of have these weird things we do ‘cause we get bored. So, we went dog sledding in Duluth, Minnesota and then we, of course, had to race each other. Last weekend we had an ice fishing tournament in our family. I still ice skate; I love curling. So ice sports, yes, but I also love college football and basketball, and Skutt stuff. I can nerd out on, like, VEX robotics tournaments. I just kinda dig watching people having fun and being successful as a competitor -whether they win or not- at things that are kind of non-traditional.”

Lily Yates - Quintessence Editor-in-Chief

Lily became a member of The Flightline in August of 2015. She is a senior this year and enjoys an array of activities including choir, theatre and slam poetry. She is also on staff as a library aide at the Omaha Public Library. You can email her at [email protected]