Q & A With Bec & J

By Rebecca Lillie and Julia McMahon

Welcome to “Q & A with Bec & J” where we ask Oak Hall students, faculty, and staff a random question every week! This week’s question: “What is your favorite animal and why?” 

Animals enrich our lives with their individual personalities and beauty. They amaze us with their intelligence and human-like qualities. Animals make great companions and oftentimes become members of our families. 

The majority of Oak Hall interviewees are dog lovers. Upper School Spanish teacher Libby Karow said her favorite animal is her rescue dog, a German Shorthaired Pointer. “She is just wonderful and affectionate, and she doesn’t care, she’s not judging me, and is completely full of love, all of the time,” she said fondly. Oak Hall sophomore Elle Drummond said dogs are “awesome and they are basically like humans with four legs.” Oak Hall freshman, Quinn Vaughn “likes dogs a lot because they don’t sit on [his] stuff and they are not messy.” Eighth grader, Raigan Trefzger said dogs “have always been my favorite, and I love them.”  

Two of our beloved Oak Hall teachers are enthralled with cats. Upper School history teacher April Palmer likes cats because they are “independent and sassy.” Similarly, Upper School math teacher Jim Margerum answered “cats” because they are independent. “They don’t do what they’re told,” he added. Cheetahs, also in the cat family, are another Oak Hall fan favorite. Oak Hall sophomore Malina Patel likes cheetahs, “because they are pretty.” Eleventh grader Evelyn Baker likes cheetahs because of their speed. For freshman Tanmay Chandra, it is tigers that he finds amusing. “They can be calm, but also aggressive at the same time, it’s kind of cool,” he said. 

Upper School English teacher Andy Westfall gave a laugh-inducing response when he described his surprising love for mantis shrimp, stating, “this is an easy one,” when the question was asked. His first time seeing these astounding creatures was in the Tampa Aquarium. “These things are insane, they are amazing they punch so hard, actually there are two types, there’s gougers and punchers… they are nasty, powerful, amazing little shrimp,” he mentioned. Another underwater wonder, the manatee is loved by senior Lavinia Petrella. “They’re really cute and they make me laugh, and they smile…kind of,” she said. 

Always thinking of others, Oak Hall senior Asher Dobrin loves bees because “[his] brother is scared of them,” he said half-jokingly. Some Oak Hall students are charmed by the cuddly nature of furry friends. For Senior Oona Fojtik, racoons are her favorite animal simply because they are “really cute.” Oak Hall senior, Reece Olinger’s favorite animal is a koala because “they are cute, and they give really good hugs.” 

While not all the animals adored by our Oak Hall community are traditional house pets, we venture to say that one can certainly try taming the animals that make their home in the wild!