Marie Samson

High School Math Teacher

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

I have worked as the High School Math Teacher since 2018.

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

When I moved to Ojai in 2005, I discovered Oak Grove School and the philosophy of its founder Jiddu Krishnamurti through the book “Education and the Significance of Life.” This book has had a tremendous impact on me. Every sentence spoke right to my heart. I then felt inspired to visit the school, and I was so delighted to see that the Oak Grove community is actually living this philosophy. There is a feeling of peace and connectedness on campus. Teachers and students speak with each other in a loving way. The campus itself has a feeling close to nature with beautiful old trees and wooden structures. Every student is encouraged to develop their creativity, spirit of inquiry, and to be true to oneself. Teachers are caring, mindful, genuine, and highly professional. I work at Oak Grove School because this is the physical environment and the learning community where I want to spend every hour of my working day, so I go home uplifted, inspired, and happy.

What makes an Oak Grove education unique?

At Oak Grove School, we pay equal attention to the knowledge of academics and of the self. I believe both are essential to create a loving world.

What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?

I spent two months on water, sailing on the South Pacific Ocean and the Arafura Sea. During those two months, I got to spend a lot of time sitting alone with, for weeks, only water on the horizon. It was my first experience in slowing down the fast-paced life of a young engineer. I had a lot of time to reflect on my life. I experienced the challenge of just being, having my mind and my heart in a constant battle. I finally found some inner peace in this quiet solitude, which brought me to completely change my life. Nature has this power of connecting you back to what matters.

The best live music performance/concert you ever attended is …

The “Festival d’été de Québec” is an incredible annual music festival in Quebec City. It consists of 10 days of music from famous American to unfamiliar international bands. I got to see bands like Manu Chao, The Lumineers, The Rolling Stones, Thievery Corporation and discover new music from Africa and South America, all in the enchanted setting of the old city. I highly recommend experiencing Quebec City and its wonderful music festival in the summer.

Name something that nobody knows about you.

I participated in three bushwoman competitions in Alaska. It consists of an obstacle race with different tasks to perform like splitting a log, casting a fishing line, hanging clothes on a line, defending myself against a bear (obviously a fake one!), changing a baby’s diaper, turning a pancake and applying lipstick, all of those while running. I have never won but I have always had a lot of fun!

Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.

I have always wanted to visit India because I love to experience different cultures. I have traveled to many different countries, but India is still on my bucket list so I’m planning on experiencing this rich culture with an Oak Grove senior class sometime soon.