20 Minutes with Brandon Murray

Our favorite English teacher discusses mortality, trash talks Tobias, and kicks dogs.

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20 Minutes with Brandon Murray

Madison Pregon, Staff Writer

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Students that have been blessed with the fortune of having Murray as one of their English teachers throughout their high school career will tell you one thing – they may have learned a lot about Oscar Wilde in that class, but left the class wondering what on Earth was going on in their instructor’s mind. We decided to catch up with Murray for twenty minutes to see what we could uncover from the mind of the ever-elusive Brandon Murray (English Department).

When asked about his daily routine, Murray said:  

“Well, sometimes I wake up and I accidentally kick my dog. He’s a border collie. Honestly, it’s not that interesting. The most interesting thing I do in the morning is cry over which tie I want to wear for that day. It’s important.”

We compared this to Tobias’s ever-changing tie wardrobe, to which Murray responded, “Tobias wears horrible ties. Tell him I said that. Quote me on that.”

“When I arrive at school in the morning, I look in the mirror only to notice that I am glowering. I don’t  mean to, but I am. See, students think that it’s bad, but put it into perspective – It takes you four years to get through high school. It takes your teachers forty years to get through this if you want to get full retirement. You’re in high school for four decades – that has to do something to one’s sense of purpose, yes?”

We also learned a little more about Murray’s passion for music. “I had a Barbra Streisand phase, an odd obsession with N’Sync… it was weird. Now, my favorite bands are Radiohead, the Rolling Stones, and Vampire Weekend. I’ve seen the Rolling Stones twice, Charlie Watts (the drummer): what a stud. I’d probably quit my job to follow Charlie Watts around the world. One time he punched Mick Jagger in the face.”

As an English teacher, Murray did devote quite a bit of our time to talking about the English language. A total of half of our twenty minutes was spent with an angry rant about people who refuse to utilise the Oxford comma.

Being remembered for his relentless sarcasm and humorously pessimistic attitude, we decided to look into a few of Murray’s dislikes. “There are a few things that are on the list that is the bane of my existence – meninists, Ohio, Indiana, One Direction… Kirsten Dunst… Ed Sheeran. Also, Wolf Blitzer of CNN. That man needs to be fired. He mentioned one day that he had drawn some initial conclusions. Think about that. Initial conclusions. Tell me, what is wrong with this statement?”
Although Murray may come off as someone who lacks affection for others, we did walk away learning that wasn’t entirely the case. “I coach tennis because I actually do like watching people get better – and I love competition. I love seeing the moment where a player goes from one level to the next, or realizes that he or she is capable of going from one level to the next. That’s the same reason I teach English: I love to watch people get better,” said Murray, “but I still don’t care about your feelings.”

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