English instructor Iyko Day, a tall, slender woman with a finely coiffed, glossy black bob stands at the front of room C225, teaching a class full of seniors about Asian American literature, her area of expertise and research. Since being hired in the summer as a part-time instructor to teach English II and the City in Literature senior elective (which focuses on the literature of Los Angeles), Day has breathed new life into the Asian American Literature class curriculum. The seniors who were scheduled to take her City in Literature class second semester, however, will not get to experience her as a teacher, as Day announced in December her decision to return to her previous position as a professor at Mount Holyoke College in Western Mass. because her husband, currently a professor at UCLA, was offered a position at the College as well.
Day opted to move out to Los Angeles after she took off last year for a sabbatical to continue her research on Asian American Literature because she wanted to raise her family with her husband in the same city. According to English Department Head Joe Koetters, Day will be missed.
“On the one hand, I recognize what a great opportunity this is. It’s a great place to raise her family, and it’s something that many academic couples dream of, but it’s rare. I’m happy for them. But also it’s a loss for the School. She’s been an incredible teacher,” Koetters said.
Students echoed Koetters’ remarks.
“What’s a good word for sad? I’m really sad that she’s leaving because I thought she was an amazing teacher, and Asian American Literature as a class was really insightful and different from all the other English classes I’ve taken,” Annie’12 said.
Day said she was nervous to teach high school students after being accustomed to teaching at a college. However, Day said she was impressed by the intellectual curiosity of her students and could see no discernible difference between teaching her college students and Marlborough seniors.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make…but I’m looking forward to getting back to my own research on Asian American literature,” Day said.