Biology Three Hang Ten

By Meagan Wang

On any given day, students walking into the Science Department will most likely be greeted by a colorful array of Hawaiian shirts. Three teachers, all of whom teach AP Biology, are known to always wear Hawaiian shirts. Despite this similarity, Larry Axelrod, Blaise Eitner and Walt Werner insist that they never coordinate their wardrobes.

The coincidental coordination, Axelrod explains, is probably a result of the teachers’ common backgrounds in science.  

“I started wearing them to school, at first only on Fridays, [in] about 1981,” Werner said. He said he still has at least one shirt from college.

Axelrod thinks he started “probably when I first started wearing clothes.”

Eitner said that he can’t remember, but “probably in graduate school.”

Werner dons a Hawaiian shirt to school every day. The only time he will not wear one is if it is too cold. Axelrod wears them to everything, he said—to weddings, hikes, dates and work. Eitner wears them about three or four days a week.

Axelrod says that he likes Hawaiian shirts because they are casual and reflect his outlook on life. They also remind him of when he used to “hang ten.” Werner finds them “interesting,” while Eitner likes the shirts because they “look good.” They all agree that Hawaiian shirts are comfortable.

“It’s in the genes,” Axelrod said. “I think field biologists typically have a different outlook on life when compared to a researcher who is strictly a lab scientist. Occasionally you will see a physics or chemistry teacher wearing a Hawaiian shirt at school…but they always look a little uncomfortable, as though they can’t wait to take it off and slip on a button down.”