Teacher Tales: Mr. Louro

by Andrew Read

Mr. Louro is currently in his tenth year of teaching at NAHS. He teaches Honors Geometry, Algebra II level one, and College Algebra. When asked what his favorite part of teaching was, he responded, “I like everything about it. If I had to pick, I’d say interacting with students, even if it doesn’t pertain to school.”

Mr. Louro has two kids: his 22-year-old daughter Amanda, and his 19-year-old son Nathan.

His favorite hobbies are cycling and skiing, so he has something to do all year round. When he was in high school, he participated in both spring and winter track, as well as soccer.

Before he became a teacher, he worked as a road construction worker. He tutored during college, in addition to testing military encryption devices for General Dynamics.

His favorite subject in school was physics, due to its hands-on nature, as well as the fact that it involves the application of math. When asked if he had any stories that he wanted to share, Mr. Louro discussed his military service:

I served in the military for fifteen and a half years [1985-2000], and the last three years of it I was active duty. During that period all the stuff started heating up in Afghanistan, so they started training all the units in the Mojave Desert. I was ordered to the Mojave Desert; it was called the National Training Center, for basically a simulated war. The ‘war’ itself only lasts about a month, but it takes about two weeks to get trained up, and it takes two weeks to get in and out, so it takes about two months.

It [the desert] is just amazing. It’s like a totally different world, like you’re on a different planet. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the temperature, they say ‘Oh, the temperature drops,’ but when the sun goes down, you’re freezing, and then the wind starts blowing.

The first night I was in the desert, I had what was called perimeter watch, so I was out doing security. Me and this guy were laying on the perimeter, and the wind was blowing so hard it was a dust storm, and you really couldn’t see anything. So we had to just hunker down under a plastic tarp, and I said to him, ‘If you tried to explain his to anyone, they would not understand. You could not give the detail of this event,’ because the wind was blowing a constant 40 mph, and we were just sitting there freezing. It was like ‘Welcome to the desert!’ It was a crazy rude awakening, we had just spent the whole day in 110 degree weather under the sun, and then at night it’s down to 40 degrees, you’re freezing, the winds blowing. It was funny, but not funny at the same time. The desert during the day is very hot and barren and calm, and at night it’s just chaos.”

Mr. Louro then went on to describe the goings on of any given day:

“I ran a radar system, so my job was to track the artillery that’s being fired, and I have to tell them where it’s landing, and if anything came in from the enemy I have to say where it came from. Even though it was simulated, and the shells wouldn’t explode, they were solid concrete. If one hits you, you’re done. The impact area (the area that they fired into) could be where you’re located so you had to always be alert. You had to know where you were at, where the impact area was scheduled to be that day, and if they moved it, it was time to move, even if you had just gotten somewhere.

“Everyday is the same routine. I was the leader of my group as an NCO [non-commissioned officer]. When you’re in the military you are 100% responsible for your subordinate soldiers, from feeding them, to making sure they change their socks, to making sure they write letters home.

Every day when I woke up I had to do a threat assessment. There’s the enemy threat, which is when you look at all the reports that came in of sightings and potential movements. Then you have to take the weather into consideration, the heat index. You have to know, ‘How hard can I push my men today before having them hydrate?’ At some points it was 115-120 degrees, so it was like 15 to 20 minutes of work before they have to sit down and hydrate.

If anyone’s sick you have to make sure they got evacuated to medical, then you have to worry about food. And this is all done at 4:30 when I wake up, they’re all sleeping until 6:30. I also had to create duty assignments for the day. You’re protecting yourself from the enemy but you’re also doing your job. We were running a radar system, so we had to make sure that it stayed operational. That’s about it for me, and for the typical soldier, the routine is wake up, eat, get cleaned up then go to your duty assignment for the day. And basically that’s it.”

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