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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

Ending with a Big Bang: Mr. Adam Weiner

Mr. Weiner retires after 29 years of teaching at Bishop’s.
Science Teacher Mr. Adam Weiner
In the past several years, Mr. Weiner had adopted two parrots, Rio (pictured here) and Lola, who were abandoned and needed homes. Mr. Weiner has always loved parrots as well as birds in general, and he knows the unique needs of these animals is not something to be taken lightly.

Runner, surfer, bird-watcher, jokester, and physics extraordinaire, Science Teacher Mr. Adam Weiner has it all. Ever since he arrived at Bishop’s in 1995, Mr. Weiner has been a beloved member of the Bishop’s community. He has taught a variety of classes, including all levels of Physics, Math 5, and even Intro to Acting, and Acting. The 2023-2024 school year is his 29th and final year here at Bishop’s.

Though he now primarily teaches physics, Mr. Weiner mentioned that his academic background is actually in geology and geophysics. Luckily, however, those subjects “lend themselves quite readily to teaching traditional physics courses,” he explained. 

Not only was studying geology beneficial to Mr. Weiner, but it also helped some of his students. Rohan Laurent (‘24) said, “As someone who wants to study geology in college, it was very helpful to be able to talk to him about the subject and field.”

Before deciding to pursue a path in physics, Mr. Weiner made a slight detour from science into acting. “In retrospect it was pretty silly, naïve, and possibly delusional of me, considering the odds against success in such an enterprise,” he said — but this didn’t stop him from getting a masters degree in acting.

In 2018, Mr. Weiner was part of a student-faculty production of Romeo and Juliet at Bishop’s. He played Friar Lawrence, a character “well-intentioned but full of bad advice,” as he put it. “It was AMAZING,” said English Teacher Ms. Amy Allen, who saw this performance, “I just remember feeling like I was watching a professional actor. He is immensely talented as a performer.”

In the student-faculty production of Romeo and Juliet in 2018, Mr. Weiner was Friar Lawrence (pictured right in the brown robes).

It wasn’t long before Mr. Weiner decided that acting wasn’t for him, but he was still grateful he had the degree, as he has “been able to use the expertise and skills gained from those years here at Bishops and in general.” He is outgoing in class and isn’t afraid to act like different characters to engage his students.

Now that he is leaving, Mr. Weiner reflected on what Bishop’s has offered him in his time here. “I will remember the students most of all. They have given me the opportunity to be myself,” he said, alluding to his acting experiences.

He described himself as a “square peg in a round hole,” and being at Bishop’s allowed him to “be the square peg” that he is. Mr. Weiner has a very vibrant and dynamic personality, no doubt.

“Every choice in life takes you on a particular trajectory and necessarily precludes an infinite number of other potential paths,” he said, “and I feel that Bishop’s has given me a stable foundation from which to plant myself in life.”

Many of Mr. Weiner’s students have noted his enthusiasm about physics. He makes his classes exciting and interesting with his fun personality. “I remember him vividly because of how funny he is,” said Gabby Gaspar (‘25), who had Mr. Weiner as a physics teacher in her freshman year. “It is a sense of humor that keeps me afloat,” Mr. Weiner said, “I think maybe it’s best if we don’t take ourselves quite so seriously.”

“Whether it be through silly cartoon characters, fun facts about birds, or even scary stories about the Gulag, Mr. Weiner made sit down lectures about rainbows, shrinking trains, and the color of the sky on Mars feel exciting,” she further explained. The Gulag is a labor camp, and Mr. Weiner claims to have one, saying that if any of his students misbehave, they would have to serve ten years there.

Amber Zhang (‘27) added, “He helped me better understand the science behind how the earth works in a really engaging way.” Mr. Weiner’s classes are filled with fun experiments, labs, and demonstrations, and his jokes and silly voices further engage his students. 

Rohan also said that Mr. Weiner would “read excerpts he had written [for the class] to make the topics more clear and engaging.” As Andrew Welsbie (‘24) puts it, “I can happily say that I look forward to every class with him.”

After his acting adventure, Mr. Weiner turned back to science — more specifically physics. “I think once I made the commitment to teach physics, I realized that teaching allowed me to combine my appreciation of the analytical and logical, the beauty of fundamental or not so fundamental principles of physics and the natural world with my innate desire to connect with and even dare I say it — entertain students,” he said. 

Before he came to Bishop’s, Mr. Weiner taught physics part time at community colleges — Green River College and Honolulu College — where he discovered his passion for teaching. So, he applied to be a teacher at Bishop’s. He was offered the job and took it because “it seemed like the right thing to do.” 

“Okay. Now I’m a high school teacher!” he then told himself. And he has been here ever since.

Besides his humor and ability to entertain his students, another thing students experienced in his class is how he always believes in them. Mr. Weiner also always answers questions with detail and patience. “He takes his time to explain [things] to us, and he doesn’t get upset when we don’t understand,” said Michelle M. Wang (‘27).

“I remember the way Mr. Weiner supported me and the other kids in my class, and always believed in my ability to succeed,” said Gabby. She said that that year, everyone did very poorly on a quiz, and Mr. Weiner let them retake it. “My physics grade was not anything near good to me,” she said, so she was very happy and grateful that he had let them retake it.

Gabby went in for office hours with her friend Lauren Forgrave (‘25) every day before the retake. “We forgot how to do [the problem] over and over again, but Mr. Weiner was always so patient with us. He probably re-explained the same problem over 50 times. And even though office hours was well over by then, he stayed to make sure we understood everything,” Gabby said. 

Although Gabby did not end up doing well on either the quiz or the retake, Mr. Weiner never gave up on her. “I know you know how to solve this,” she remembers him saying to her. 

Rohan also recalled Mr. Weiner’s willingness to help. “I remember coming into office hours and being able to talk to him for hours about the random homework problems I was having trouble with,” he said. “He was one of the most supportive teachers I have ever had,” he added.

Agreeing with Rohan, Andrew said, “Mr. Weiner is without a doubt the highlight of our Honors Physics class. He is one of the few teachers that I would consider a friend.”

Gabby also said that Mr. Weiner made the subject easier to get through. “I never liked physics, but solving problems and creating a big chart with Lauren and Mr. Weiner after school was always really funny and a great time,” she said.

As announced in Knight’s News, Mr. Weiner plans to pursue another path after retiring: writing. He has already written a book called Don’t Try This At Home!: The Physics of Hollywood Movies, which debunks famous Hollywood scenes with scientific explanations.

Mr. Weiner has also written an unpublished novel called “The Fortress,” which is a dystopian tragicomedy following the story of a man who builds a fortress in order to avoid any threats from the disintegrating world. “I’ve also written a collection of short stories and have started work on a second novel,” said Mr. Weiner. 

His students are eagerly anticipating his writing. “I’ll be waiting to buy his book,” said Colomba Joulin-Batejat (‘27).

When he isn’t writing or teaching, Mr. Weiner loves to surf, read, go bird-watching, and run. “I used to be an avid and competitive distance runner,” he said, “however, in the last few years I’ve had to tone it down. As the obsessive running has been reduced, I have increased my surfing stoke.”

In 1975, when Mr. Weiner was just 16, he finished the Maryland Marathon. He only trained for five weeks instead of the recommended three to four months.

Mr. Weiner also spends time on weekends going bird-watching. He loves birds. He even has two yellow headed amazon parrots of his own named Rio and Lola. “They’re not only adorable, but they’re smart,” he said. 

In 2017, Mr. Weiner got to travel to New Zealand with his friend to go trail running and bird watching.

He understands the needs of his birds from the many years he has been studying them. “They’re even more difficult to take care of than dogs,” he said, “Many people think birds are easy to take care of, but no. It’s a common misconception.”

From birds to writing to physics, Mr. Weiner knows it all. Speaking for his students and the rest of the Bishop’s community, he will be missed. Happy retirement Mr. Weiner!

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About the Contributor
Madison Chen
Madison Chen, Staff Writer
Madison Chen is a freshman who is super excited to be a staff writer for The Tower this year. She was born in San Diego, CA and has a younger brother named Ethan who is 11 years old. Madison’s ideal meal would be sushi followed by a cold matcha frappe. Her favorite subject as of now is History and her favorite Disney/Pixar movie is Turning Red. Madison plays the cello and is looking forward to joining the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra (MMYO).

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