By Elizabeth Smith
If you ever walk down the library hallway during period nine on Day B, you are bound to hear a combination of laughter and pencils scribbling on paper. These sounds are what you can expect when Ms. Sepideh Roozdar and Ms. Nicole Spinelli spend time together.
Ms. Roozdar and Ms. Spinelli met when Ms. Spinelli first started substitute teaching in Great Neck in the spring of 2014. Ms. Spinelli recalled, “Ms. Roozdar was my first friend in the building. Right off the bat, as soon as I sat down in the science office, Ms. Roozdar was the most warm and inviting person in the whole department. She was just so helpful to me and made me feel welcomed here.”
As Ms. Spinelli subbed more and more frequently that year, she and Ms. Roozdar continued to talk in the science office and began to know each other in a way that only friends do. They made plans outside of school during the summer and even continued to do so during the following year when Ms. Spinelli taught at Mepham High School.
According to Ms. Spinelli and Ms. Roozdar, “[they] are the true definition of besties.” Ms. Spinelli said, “We have sleepovers, because that’s what besties do.” During their sleepovers, Ms. Roozdar makes a Persian tea that Ms. Spinelli looks forward to drinking whenever she stays at Ms. Roozdar’s house.
Ms. Roozdar said, “I live in the city, so whenever Ms. Spinelli comes to visit and the weather is nice, we walk down to the West Side Highway where the Hudson River flows right by the piers. It’s a really nice, quiet, peaceful place to eat and relax. Ms. Spinelli brings her notebook, I bring my laptop, and we just sit and write together.”
Ms. Roozdar and Ms. Spinelli are each writing their own books, so they like to exchange ideas while they work. Although they’re not writing the same stories, they sometimes work on drawings of nature together.
The two also meet in school to discuss their projects. Period nine, Day B is the only period Ms. Spinelli and Ms. Roozdar have off together during school hours. Ms. Roozdar said that she really looks forward to this period because it gives them an opportunity to spend time together before they go home, offer extra help, or attend to any of their other duties. Ms. Spinelli coaches cheerleading, and Ms. Roozdar advises Science Olympiad after school.
During this time, Ms. Spinelli and Ms. Roozdar sit together facing the window in what they call the “Sunshine Seat” right outside of the library. Ms. Roozdar brings out an extra chair for Ms. Spinelli so they can look at nature for inspiration.
Ms. Spinelli said, “We are trying to write and draw our own experiences, very similar to the way one would write their own book.” Because they share such similar philosophies and appreciate the same aspects of nature, it is only natural that they get along so well.
Ms. Spinelli said, “My favorite thing about Ms. Roozdar is how genuine she is and how selfless she is. She is always so giving to other people of her time, her love and her energy.”
Ms. Roozdar immediately reciprocated Ms. Spinelli’s kind words about her. She said, “If I ever have anything to discuss, I always go to Ms. Spinelli because I know she is always going to be there for me. She is so truthful, and she is such a great example of complete beauty.”
Ms. Spinelli and Ms. Roozdar could never imagine their lives without each other. Ms. Spinelli said, “I can definitely picture us as those friends who will grow old together and sit in rocking chairs and drink Persian tea and talk about life together.” Maybe one day, their Sunshine Seat will be moved from the hallway at South to a sunny porch on the countryside.