Form II humanities teacher Ms. Hilary Bond has never failed to convey her curiosity for the world during her five years as an English and world history teacher. Ms. Bond has undoubtedly led students to improve their analytical reading and writing skills while also mentoring them in the arguably more important journey of seeking out and appreciating other peoples’ stories.
“Of course it’s very satisfying to see people improve their skills, right, like, ‘He started out as a crappy writer and now he can organize things; he’s got his paragraphs well-done,’” Ms. Bond said. “But really, I want [my students] to leave being excited and curious about the world and … I guess just encouraging people to be happily curious about the world.”
Through her unique position as both an English and a history teacher, Ms. Bond has worked to foster this curiosity in both areas of the humanities.
“Really, [teaching history and English] is about empathy, learning about other people and other perspectives and coming to understand them. That is where my curiosity lies..”Ms. Hilary Bond
“Really, [teaching history and English] is about empathy, learning about other people and other perspectives and coming to understand them. That is where my curiosity lies: and hearing other people’s stories, whether it’s your historical story or just, like, your memoir, or a story that you invented.”
But as she finishes her fifth year here, Ms. Bond is preparing to leave for California. Although she is a Seattle native, she says she has lived in California’s Bay Area longer than she has lived in Seattle. She is returning to the school where she taught before Haverford.
“It’s like going home, I guess,” Ms. Bond said. “I have a lot of great friends there, former students, and a lot of my relatives live in the area as well, including my sister and her kids.”
Ms. Bond champions the idea of traveling. As a Brown alum, she spoke of going to college on the other side of the country: “I am a big advocate for taking those kinds of risks and exploring the world in general.”
At Brown, she was an international relations major, which strengthened her love of learning by allowing her to “dabble in a million different areas.”
“I could take courses in almost every field,” she said.
After college, she engaged with her love of traveling by spending half a year in Nepal, a country where many Tibetan refugees live. While also studying the Tibetan language, she met a group of Tibetan refugees who made a living by weaving and selling rugs.
“They would bring in these massive bags of raw wool and they’d hike them in, and then they’d card them and spin them and dye them and weave them into carpets. And then they’d have to march these giant carpets out of the mountains to be sold,” Ms. Bond said. “It’s a hard life.”
This was the beginning of Ms. Bond’s life-long interest in the refugee experience. She is interested in the process of immigration, as she knows that her family, as well as most Americans, immigrated here for a specific set of reasons and underwent a wide range of experiences as immigrants. She believes that when dealing with these types of issues, which can be very political, we all often forget what our motives should be.
“Something that we haven’t talked enough about is this, like, working towards peace. And to do that takes compromise. And compromise is something that is not being modeled for us very well, anywhere, right now,” Ms. Bond said. “And it’s seen as being a weakness to quote-on-quote ‘give in’ instead of acknowledging somebody feels a certain way because they’ve had this experience.”
Ms. Bond’ sees her time here as an extension of her advocacy for exploring the world. She has explored the Haverford and Main Line world, and learned from those experiences.
“Coming [to Haverford] at that specific time really forced me to [be open minded]. It was hard, but at the same time, sometimes the things that are hard and painful for us are what help us to grow and really come clear with what our values are.”Ms. Hilary Bond
“Coming [to Haverford] at that specific time really forced me to [be open minded],” Ms. Bond said. “It was hard, but at the same time, sometimes the things that are hard and painful for us are what help us to grow and really come clear with what our values are.”
Community members who care about academic curiosity and open-mindedness have benefited from Ms. Bond’s dedication to the school.
“I’m going to miss my colleagues a lot, for sure. I love my colleagues,” Ms. Bond said. “And my students too.”