Jordy Najera, Reporter
We all know what two plus two is, but do we know enough about Ms. Ruff? Many students don't know her at a personal level. Ms. Ruff is one of the mathematicians from Samueli Academy. Ms. Ruff, the leader of Helping Hands, a club organized to give back to the community, tells us about herself and what it's like to be Carolyn.
Ms. Ruff was born in New Jersey and was raised outside of Philadelphia . She has two sisters, Mary Beth and Alyson Adams. Family has always been important to her. “I remember going to my grandmother's house for Christmas,” said Ms. Ruff “she had a table that would go from the kitchen to the living room.” As Ms. Ruff told us about her childhood memories, she highlights that Christmas was a time where she felt close to her family. Ms. Ruff’s love towards nature and animals have always been reflected by the ways she talks about them. “I would go out the woods” said Ms. Ruff. As she was growing up, she was a calm young girl and a good student, because her parents, Mary and Edward Adams, always expected the best from her. Being a well behaved girl did not prevent Ms. Ruff to miss behave once or twice. “My parents were angry at me because they couldn't find me,” Ms. Ruff remembered “I was looking for fish for my tank.”
Animals have always been part of Ms. Ruffs life, and eating them was never in her plans. Living on a diet of fruit, peanut butter and Diet Coke, Ms. Ruff tells us how a video changed her life. “A good friend of her daughter was part of a protest against Kentucky Fried Chicken,” said Ms. Ruff “I remember watching a video of chicken being mistreated and that video led to other videos, I was sobbing, the way the animals were being treated was really bad.” After watching the heart breaking videos, Ms.Ruff couldn’t and didn't want to eat meat anymore. “I always knew animals were being killed for food, I just didn't think it was that bad.” said Ms. Ruff. Today, Ms. Ruff has been a successful vegetarian for 8 years now. Not only does she not eat them, but she takes care of them. Ms. Ruff has cats, dogs, bunnies, birds, turtles, fish, and a hamster.
Victoria Ruff, also known as Tori, is Ms. Ruffs only child. Tori is 25 years old and she is a graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design. Tori, became the designer of the family when she dicided that was going to be the pathway she wanted to take. “When she told me she was going to change her major to art, I was like: How do you not love math!” Victoria has not only made an impact in Ms. Ruffs life because she was her daughter, but also because it helped her be a better teacher. “Having a daughter has changed me as a teacher because sometimes I look at things as a parent and other times from a student's perspective” said Ms. Ruff. “It has made me more aware of things”. As any good parent, Ms. Ruff is always there to protect her daughter but also likes to give her the freedom she needs to experiment on her own. “I protect her but I also let her make her own mistakes” said Ms. Ruff. “Im proud of my daughter, I'm proud that i raised a kind, talented and independent young woman.”
Math wasn't Ms. Ruff's first option. “I was in college to become a Veterinarian, but I ended up not liking organic chemistry.” said Ms. Ruff. Before becoming Samueli Academy's math teacher, Ms. Ruff was considering becoming a police officer. “There was this really big wall, and I wasn't able to jump it.” Said Ms. Ruff. Having determination, Ms. Ruff seeked challenges and went to go practice every day until she was able to jump the wall. “ I got the job offered, but I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to deal with criminals?”. At the same time, she was waiting for her CBEST test results to become an official teacher. After talking to some friends they suggest her to come to California to find what she wanted to do for a living. Ms. Ruff packed up her things, her clothes and her records (the vinyl kind). She drove from Pennsylvania to California to find what she wanted to do with her life. “When I got here I knew I wanted to help at risk kids” said Ms. Ruff. Her passion towards helping others is shown in the amount of time she puts in other people.
Students at Samueli Academy are really thankful to have a teacher like Ms. Ruff. “She's really committed to be being a good teacher, shes really understanding,” said Brenda Montes, advisory and former student of Ms. Ruff. Students and teachers don't always have the best relationships but, Ms. Ruff is the exception. “She's really easy to talk to outside of school, she's really approachable” Irisdian Mayares said. Being a friend, doesn't always mean that you need you be lenient, sometimes you need to be “Ruff” for students to learn. “She gives a lot of homework, but she's really nice person.” said Mariana Navarrete. She shows her commitment and her love toward helping. Ms. Ruff has helped many students, has stayed extra unpaid hours, and offers saturday school for those who need it. “She's really calm and kind person. She a really generous person she demonstrates that by being the leader of helping hands” said Celeste Duran.
A teacher, a friend, a Firewolf, an activist, yes, that's Ms. Ruff.
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