Courtesy of Taylor Tan
The Lifelong Bay Area Resident
Strolling through the halls of Marin Academy, his distinct, booming laugh can be heard from almost anywhere on campus. “Hahaha, Haha, Hah, Ha”, dying out slowly. Sitting in his class you can feel his energy pulsing through the room, as he bounces around, twirls his marker around his fingers all while conducting an engaging math lesson. Taylor Tan, a math teacher, track and field coach, snake owner, gamer, avid reader, and the ultimate Marin enthusiast holds a unique place within the community.
Education in the Bay:
“I am a Marin kid through and through.” Taylor Tan grew up as an only child in San Anselmo and had a similar experience to many of the students currently attending Marin Academy. He attended Marin Country Day School or MCDS as many know it, for the entire nine-year experience. He then had the “progression” to MA and attended UC Berkeley. Taylor studied environmental science and was on the path to becoming a field scientist. He instead, took up a job making medical training dummies for the military, where his dad had worked and continues to work today. With Taylor’s very flexible hours, he found his way back to MA.
Taylor began substituting at MA. He had already been known in the MA community, as he was an alum and had been helping to coach track since his sophomore year in college: “I was involved in the MA community already in various ways,” Taylor said. While subbing one day, Kevin walked into the room and asked Taylor to apply for the math teaching job, as they just had to let somebody go: “I sent in my application and they hired me the next day and that’s how I became a math teacher.” Taylor really enjoys his position as a math teacher at MA: “I get to work as colleagues with some of the people who taught me when I was in school here, which is hilarious and kinda awesome.” As an alum, he really connects with the community. Even when simply reflecting on the physical campus, Taylor is mesmerized by the evolution of the school: “The BBLC was a weird building. The stairway in there was so steep that like every year a couple of people would fracture a foot falling down the stairs”.
Taylor had the same hairstyle his entire youth, but when his barber retired, he decided he didn’t want to find another one, so he just let it grow it out. In high school, one of Taylor’s friends threw a big costume party for his 18th birthday. So Taylor thought, “What is the most dramatic thing I can do?” He decided to shave his head completely. He cut all of his hair off and sent it into hair donation place. “Nobody recognized me for the first like two hours of the party; it was great.” After that, he has been just growing it out.
Taylor’s Hidden Life:
Besides being a math teacher, Taylor holds many passions including podcasts and cooking. He even said that he has a secret dream of hosting a podcast and that “maybe if I didn’t have a career in teaching I would be in the culinary industry.”
When I asked Taylor what was on his bucket list he responded with, ” I have a reverse bucket list”. He went on to explain that he has a list of people he wants to see before they die. He listed a number of musicians that he still wants to see including Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton. Taylor really has a passion for music as he attends a great number of concerts throughout the year. He himself also is a musician. He is a “bass player by training”, but has been recently teaching himself guitar: “I still think I’m pretty terrible but it’s fun,” he says cheerfully. In addition, Taylor said that it is on his bucket list to learn Chinese: “being half Chinese and not speaking a word of it is a little embarrassing sometimes.”
Taylor also has an adventurous side. Taylor has been on many trips but when I asked what his favorite trip was he immediately responded with, “Ooh that’s a really easy one for me.” He then began to explain his trip through Southeast Asia. He said, “It was just the most adventurous trip I have ever been on, being in places where I don’t speak any of the languages at all, and most people don’t speak English, half of the food was extremely unfamiliar, it was a very adventurous trip and it felt like a really big experience for me.” Furthermore, he has a desire to explore more as he wants to go to Roatan and Australia to scuba dive. Taylor is a traveler who is always open to new experiences: “We’ll put it this way, there are very few places I wouldn’t want to go.”