Smoothing his hands over his light grey tweed pants, Micah Sittig looked at me through his rectangular glasses, and from the expression in his eyes, I knew he was about to make my story.
“I hate being nerdy,” Mr. Sittig stated. Dressed in a sharp purple shirt and similar light purple tie, the shirt tucked into his fitted pants complete with brown belt, he might, to some, fit the picture of nerdy.
But viewing Mr. Sittig as a nerd doesn’t even begin to describe the depth of his intellect or the passion he brings to teaching as Ojai Valley School’s new physics teacher.
After a childhood split between Spain and Southern California, Mr. Sittig graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a degree in applied physics and then spent nine years teaching science and math in Shanghai, China
“I really like Mr. Sittig’s class, and I think he’s fitting into the OVS community,” said Winnie Wu “16, who is taking Advanced Placement Physics this year.
Coming back to the US in 2014, Mr. Sittig said he was drawn to OVS for its family-like atmosphere, wide-range of co-curricular activities, and high standards for academic achievement.
Outside of class, you’ll most likely find him engrossed in a Chinese novel, watching a soccer game, or star-hopping through a telescope or binoculars.
“I’m going down the list of nebulas, clusters, galaxies, and seeing how many I can check off,” Mr. Sittig beamed
He also enjoys languages, and he can sometimes be heard speaking fluent Mandarin to students, or with his wife, Jodi, whom he met working. Their three girls, Charlotte, Maryann, and Jobay, are often dressed in pink or orange dresses.
Mr. Sittig thinks things through before he makes decisions, and was embarrassed when he couldn’t think of any rules he’s broken, or anything crazy he’s done. His statement about his unhappiness with being nerdy was surprising, but he wanted it on the record.
“When I was younger, I thought nerdy was cool, but now I think a balanced life is good,” he shyly explained.
However, Mr. Sittig thinks that his marriage and children will help him leave his nerdy years behind, and allow him to lead a more diverse lifestyle.
“Once you have children, they’re screaming, and you can’t put them down.” Mr. Sittig said. “Having responsibility for another person will hopefully help.”