Here is a Sam Rubenstein article I wrote for GelfMagazine.com. I grew up reading and loving Sam's work for SLAMonline mainly because I was/still am SLAM's target demographic of young, white male who is a junkie for hoops and hip-hop. And also because Sam is a good writer. For the record wherespmac.com's target demographic is my friends who are bored in class and now my friends who have moved on to being bored at a desk job or simply unemployed and bored.
Rubenstein started at SLAM as "Sam the Intern," before evolving into "SAMonline," "Killa Sam," "Sam'ron," and eventually SLAMonline's online editor.
Then one day he found some divine light in the midst of listening to Dipset and writing Ron Artest album reviews. He decided public school teaching was for him. Long story short, he got his Master's degree, thought he was going to be a full-time teacher, got fucked by the economy and is now quasi-unemployed/ substitute teaching.
To Cliff-note the last few three paragraphs (if you are three paragraphs is too much for you, then God bless you): I think Sam is way cooler than he might actually be. He wrote for SLAM. Knows his rap music damn well. And is now trying to be a teacher.
Sam also wrote these (1, 2, 3) quality pieces if which combine basketball and trying to trick people into believing teaching can be fun.
If you live in the NYC area and also enjoy basketball, hip-hop, teaching, chess or privileged, bitter girls, come to Gelf Magazine's Non-Motivational Speaker Series this Thursday night. Sam Rubenstein, Eliot Weiss, coach of HS chess powerhouse Edward R. Murrow High School, and Hannah Friedman, author of prep school memoir "Everything Sucks" will all be speaking at the event. Here are some important event details.
Here's part of my interview with Sam Rubenstein:
Five days a week Sam Rubenstein dissected the previous night's NBA action in a Manhattan office. He immersed himself in the basketball blogosphere as he ran the website for SLAM Magazine, one of the biggest sports rags in the country. After four years at SLAM, Rubenstein decided that partying (uh…reporting) in Las Vegas for the All-Star game, attending each game of the NBA finals, and hanging out with superstars was no longer for him. He went back to school, studying towards a Master's in education at Fordham University in hopes of teaching at a New York City public school.Then our nation's economy collapsed on itself, taking out with it, at least temporarily, Rubenstein's dream of dropping some knowledge full-time. The New York City Department of Education is currently in a hiring freeze, and Rubenstein now finds himself working as a substitute, honing his skills and waiting until the city starts employing again. (Basically, it's just like that time Ron Artest worked out while he was suspended from the NBA, except that Rubenstein can't work in his field because of a dismal economy, not because he tried to fight half of Detroit.)Gelf caught up with Rubenstein, who is 31 and lives in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens neighborhood, 20 blocks away from his childhood home in Brooklyn Heights. In the following interview, which has been edited for clarity, Rubenstein discusses why the hell he left SLAM to teach in the NYC public school system, how his student-teaching gig compares with basketball, and his unrelenting love for all things Dipset.