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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

The Aquilian

Thank you to my family


Throughout my life, I’ve faced many troubles and tribulations. I used to get scared. I was all alone with no one to talk to and no one to care. I grew up trying to take care of myself and the others around me who couldn’t. I tried to take the weight of others on my shoulders to try and help myself. 

I’ve still done this to this day. 

Gonzaga and the people in these campus walls have truly taught me how to be my own man. That’s a very bold statement, but three things that have stuck with me my whole career as a student here. 

First, what I was taught from sophomore year to senior year in my religion classes is some of the most important information, and I will hold what I learned near and dear to my heart. This information is what made me the strong man I am today. I learned how to think and understand those in the world around me. I have also learned how to take myself out of the picture and think to fix a situation. I will always remember what Ms. Shannon Berry told me, “You can only do 100% for others, and they will still want more; do 120% for yourself. You are who matters the most.” That has stuck with me ever since sophomore year like the back of my hand. 

The second person who has taught me a lot is an amazing individual, Mr. Donnellan, aka Mr. D. Mr. D is a legend around Gonzaga and loved by all. I had him every year except freshman year. The lessons he has taught me will keep me safe and thinking like a true American. I have learned more about how to better myself in my everyday life— whether it be with people in public, the police or even if I ever have to go to court and be convicted of a crime. I know with the teaching of Mr. D I will be 120% for myself.

During junior year, Mr. D told me when we were talking one day, “You’re more than a number.” It was  so simple yet so meaningful, Mr. D explained. “Why do you think I don’t give you scantrons, multiple choice or true false?” he asked.

I said, “why?”

Mr. D explained, “Jordan, I have seen you grow so much spiritually, and in just becoming a man, you have to deal with stuff no other kid here does. You’re a strong kid who knows how to speak his mind and talk about a topic like you were there. You don’t need a scanny; you need what’s upstairs making you think for yourself.” 

These aren’t his exact words, but Mr. D made me realize I am something greater than what I originally thought I was. I doubted myself too much and needed to get back up. The teaching of the philosophers and learning different ways of thinking has inspired me and really drew me into his class. 

The last department to teach me the most about myself is the English department. Ms. Kimiecik, Mrs. Jackson, Mr. Ross and Mrs. Piper all have brought me on different paths in the world of learning English. I’ve had some good days and some bad days, but every school day in my years at Gonzaga, I have looked forward to English class. What these four wonderful teachers have taught me is to express myself. When writing a paper, I’m good at  speaking what’s on my mind like I’m talking. 

Mrs. K did not like all of that in response paragraphs, so she helped me tweak and fix my writing style freshman year. Then, I went to Mrs. Jackson and learned all the wonderful novels and writing I have missed out on my whole life. Mrs. Jackson helped to continue fixing my style of writing and helped me to understand literature better.  During junior year, Mr. Ross really wanted to help me and change me again. I truly don’t think I would ever be this good of a writer if I didn’t attend Gonzaga. Ms. Piper is always nice and even gave me candy; she helped motivate me when I was giving up. 

For these people and all the teachers who have helped guide me on my journey, I thank you. I would not have been able to do it without you and my friends. 

Life is still hard, but it’s bearable with the people who care about you and that want to see you get back up are those who matter what.


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  • C

    Carol CorganMay 26, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Jordan, this is a lovely commentary. You truly meet the Grad at Grad description.
    Go with God!

  • L

    Leslie KeiserMay 26, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Thank you for sharing your growth journey, Jordan. You are a special young man. I’m so glad that I got to know you during your time on Eye Street. Great insights and gratitude in your article.