Under the Moss: Former Teacher Reflects on Travel, Happy Marriage

Under the Moss: Former Teacher Reflects on Travel, Happy Marriage

Every other week, Under the Moss captures the stories of the wonderful students, faculty, staff and community members roaming the College’s campus. Their stories remind us why we love CofC. 

“The world is a wondrous place. It is full of beauty, interesting people, and everyone has a story. In all sincerity, I think what it has taught me is to not be afraid. I think there is way too much fear. It’s not so dangerous as people are telling.”

Carol Antman was enjoying a croissant at the coffee shop at Addlestone Library after volunteering at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church’s English as a Second Language program. A former teacher at the School of the Arts, she continues to contribute to the Charleston community as a pre-school music teacher, pianist in a local women’s ensemble and travel writer.

“I often take road trips and write about things that you can do in driving distance,” she says. “It keeps me exploring.”

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Exploring, she reveals, has been a passion since she was a teen.

“I went to Israel for the first time when I was 16, in 1967,” she says. “It’s common for Jewish families to send their children as teenagers to Israel. What was unusual about my trip was that a few days before I left, the Six-Day War broke out, so everyone except my parents cancelled their kids’ trips. I saw the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem torn down and I became enamored with the country and what was going on there.”

Antman returned to the United States and went to college at the University of Michigan. Still inspired by memories from her first trip, she returned to Israel the summer of her sophomore year in college and lived in a communal farm called a kibbutz.

“They were driven by their ideology, which in this case was communism,” she says. “I know that’s a trigger word. But the way it was exemplified was that they shared all of their possessions. No one had any money or personal belongings, the kids were raised in one house, and everyone shared the work. As a result, every decision was very well thought out and communicated before it was made. I learned so much about the impact of consumerism and how it detracts from the quality of life.”

Antman met her husband at the kibbutz. The night he arrived, they danced together that at a community dance.

“We’ve been dancing ever since,” she says.

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When she graduated college, Antman and her husband moved to Charleston and rented a house without heat or AC on Sullivan’s Island for $200 a month. In one year, they made $6,000 from odd jobs. Once they saved $3,000, they quit their jobs and traveled until the money ran out. They did that over and over again for nine years and now share memories hitchhiking through South America and vagabonding through Europe.

“We’ve been married a long time,” she says. “I attribute my long and happy marriage to having some separation in our lives. It’s important to have something that is just yours so you have something to talk about when you come back together. Some people think that their partner is someone who is supposed to complete them and brings everything they lack to you. But what makes the relationship work are our differences. They exemplify the best parts of our human nature and we need them to balance each other out. The beauty, harmony and understanding we create together continues to make life rich.”

Lauren Vega is a first-year student from Huntington, West Virginia, studying arts management and international studies in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. She is also a National Merit Scholar, a scholar in the International Studies Program, and a 200-hour registered yoga teacher.