Secret life of Mr. Loring

“Who is that guy?”

“Which guy? The one in the dark hoodie?”


The simple answer? He is drawing teacher Joseph Loring.

The more complex answer? That is the guy whose self-proclaimed “power animal” is the raccoon. His favorite candy is Skittles and he broke his knee while snowboarding in the Rockies.

“I was in Canada and did not have insurance,” Loring said. “The health care I received was really good, considering.”

His favorite song is anything by Hannah Montana (before the exposure of Miley).

His favorite sports team?

Duh… the Seattle Seahawks.

Loring has been teaching in portable 11 — fondly nicknamed “Plevin” — for a year-and-a-half. Loring remembers when he realized he wanted to become an art teacher — when he himself was taking art classes.

“I did not want to be an art teacher until I took a bunch of sculture classes and I realized the reason I was taking those classes was because I was interested in the class, to interact with people who were making art and talking to them about what they were making and how they were thinking about it, not about producing my own work,” Loring said.

Many students say they enjoy Loring’s class. This is possibly due to his personality and his often sarcastic nature.

So what would he do if he were kidnapped in the back of a car, what is the one thing he would want to have?

“A super power that allowed me not to get stuck in [a] trunk,” Loring said.

Sophomore Daniel Yadon said his favorite part of Loring’s class is how enthusiastic Loring is with his work — and his cynical nature.

Loring is also known for his interesting teaching style; you may have heard about the time he walked on his hands during class to help students understand the practice of “motion drawing.”

Sophomore Keoni Otsuka was in Loring’s Drawing Two class.

“You actually do learn a lot [in Loring’s class].  I thought it was just going to be a class where you learned to draw but I actually learned a lot. He finds a different thing to do every day,” Otsuka said. “I always thought it was unique, some of the stuff he would actually have us do. I never would have thought it would apply to what we were doing in class.”

Loring is aware of his different teaching style.

“I have only been in three or four other classrooms and as far as operational procedures go, mine are quite different. The way that I deliver information is different as well, primarily because I have to set up my projector every time I want to show a video,” Loring said. “Everytime I want to show something I have to hook it up.”

Loring’s life extends beyond the world of portable 11. He has many interesting stories to tell.

And not everything Loring has done is related to art; he also has stories related to cuisine.

“I have eaten dim sum. There is all sorts of crazy stuff, I have eaten jellyfish and chicken’s feet,” Loring said. “I have had snouts and just weird, weird food.”

While food can be an interesting experience for Loring, he tells about one childhood memory related to food in particular.

“[My parents] take me out to Japanese food for the first time and give me chopsticks,’ Loring said. “I wanted to learn how to use chopsticks. For some reason I kept one of them and I am smashing around the house with a chopstick in my mouth because it still tasted like soy sauce. I fall, bang the chopstick into my soft palate and I am so young that I do not think to yank it out. I am running around the house crying and screaming with a chopstick poking out from the back of my throat and gurgles of blood dripping out.”

Another interesting thing about Loring is related to his favorite hobby — snowboarding.

“I have been snowboarding almost every single ski area from the north tip of Washington to Southern Oregon,” Loring said.

And nobody can forget to mention Loring’s cat obsession. Along with his favorite animal being the cat, he owns two: one named ‘Meeka’ and one named ‘Lexi.’

“I love my cats,” Loring said. “They are my babies. We walked our cat on a leash for the longest time because it did not have shots or was not neutered. And then they got neutered and we do not do that anymore.”

In all these parts that make Loring, one thing stands out: he enjoys his work.

“The actual subject that I do teach, that may be why I am set apart from other teachers. I teach a performance class and everything you do in my class, there is proof as you are doing it as far as drawing goes,” Loring said. “As far as other cultures and anything about time periods, no. Not intuitive at all. But the drawing part of the class, that is exactly why I am set apart from other teachers. It is because of the content.”