Gifts and Gunderman

Chirstmas is coming to town! Having said that, The Blue and White has chosen to interview a very spirited teacher here on campus, Mrs. Gunderman. Mrs. Gunderman was a 9th grade English teacher here at Apopka High School, but now she is currently teaching English II with 10th graders. Mrs. Gunderman wasn’t born and raised here in Florida, she was actually born and raised in Philadelphia. She described moving to Florida as “a bit scary” and seh feared of being “homesick for the holidays.” However, Mrs. Gunderman managed, by “making our own traditions” and that is what Christmas is all about, creating your own traditions to enjoy. Lets see what else Mrs. Gunderman has planned for the holidays.

What are your plans for Christmas this year, anything exciting?

Yes, I have an itinerary. First, I am starting with a live nativity walk-through, the very first day after we go on break, and my mom gets into town that day. So then, the first night we are going to stay in, we’re going to do our nails, eat popcorn, and watch a movie. My husband will probably go somewhere and play video games. Then, the next day we also planned brunch at my mom’s favorite spot. She is from Philadelphia; she only comes and visits once a year at most, then we are going over to one of the other teacher’s parent’s house to have game night. My mom is bringing her dogs, so we will be dog sitting while she flies out to California for a week to spend time with my brother and nephews, and when she comes back, we will actually celebrate Christmas a couple of days late in my household so we can spend it with her. We have a couple of other things like an escape room, and we will go to the beauty salon. It is going to be a lot of fun. But everyday is filled!

What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?

So, one is Die Hard. One, because the original and sequels happen around Christmas, I also like in the first one that the theme is loyalty to family despite separation and problems. You work through it, and family is family no matter what. Also, my husband and I, when we first started dating we both went to Best Buy together; we were Christmas shopping, and Die Hard was on sale, so I got a copy, and then he got a copy, and we were both sitting there together looking through what we wanted to purchase. I was like, “Who are you getting that for?” Then he said, “Oh, well I was going to get it for you.” Then I thought, ‘Oh my god I was going to get it for him.’ I was like, “Wouldn’t it be so funny if we end up getting married someday and we end up with two copies.” So, I put one back, and now we are happily married here. The other one is Jingle All The Way with Sinbad because my brother is in it. He is extra, and he has fun stories that go along with it, so it’s cool watching the movie but also knowing the Behind the Scenes to it.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Sleigh Ride with Johnny Mathis, that’s the one where he is like “YOOHOO!” and I don’t know why but I love that personality and that bubbliness. The enthusiasm cracks me up every time, 100% of the time, for years, literally never gets old!

What do you do to get into the Christmas spirit?

Hot cocoa and gifts. I like getting things here and there for people, I like making lists and throughout the year I’m buying as I see things I know people will like. So then when it comes time for actual gift-giving, the first step that gets me into the spirit is writing out a list of who I would like to celebrate, and as I write out their names it makes me think ‘I was already thinking about them earlier in the year. I have them covered. Who else do I need to make sure I recognize.’ Hot cocoa makes me think of home because I grew up in Philadelphia where it was really cold, and here it’s a little weird because it will be hot and you’re sitting there with hot cocoa, but it still makes me feel good and like a kid again.

What has been one of your worst gifts ever received?

This is actually debatable. My mom gave me when I was about 9 all these office supplies, so  I got a little pad of paper, it was purple with the lines, and I got all these colored pens that were purple, pink, green and she bought me a silver trash. So it was all office supplies and my brother looked at it and started making fun of me, so I got really upset because I was like “These presents are awful” Then I look back on it now as an adult and I go “The only reason I thought they were bad gifts is because my brother was making fun of me.” Also because he was older than me so I thought they must not be good gifts, but looking at the profession I went into and then looking at my personality as an adult and reflecting on my personality as a kid I think they were probably very well suited for me, and I ended up using them all and really enjoying it.