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The Dengler Domain: Thank You

August 5, 2016
Sean Dengler - Columnist , Traer Star-Clipper

As I stood in a West Des Moines Casey's eerily similar to the Dysart's Casey, I realized a sense of community was missing. Standing there I thought about all the times I went into Gas 'n Grub (RIP) and Short Stop, and I saw a friend, friend's parent, or a local community member who smiled with warm face. This thought made me miss the place which taught me to be an upstanding citizen more than any other place.

My experience at North Tama was like none other. I was truly blessed to go to a school where I could follow any pursuit. We didn't have the newest textbooks, Bill Clinton was still president in the history books, and the student population was not as diverse as the changing world, but I would not trade my experience for anything. I played every sport, realizing quickly I was not the next Larry Bird or Ted Williams, and I performed and discovered my love for performing from the plays and swing shows I participated in. For those who sat through the good, Carston Calderwood, Jordan Mask, and I's Beyonce's Single Ladies rendition, or the bad, my vocal talents in The Princess and the Pea, I thank you. Most people probably do not remember these moments or maybe you do not know me, but you must know someone like me, and for the both of us, thank you.

I cannot thank the teachers at North Tama for helping me grow as a student through all my years in the school district. Whether telling me to be quiet in class or putting up with my hilarious exploits, which I am guessing most times I was not, you made me a better human being. I went to and graduated from UNI with two degrees because you all taught me to value education. For that, I thank you for this invaluable experience.

While I am not the fervent churchgoer of my youth, growing up in Zion Lutheran meant a lot to me. All the teachings from my time at this institution guides me through my day to day life. Loving one another as I would myself has always been my mantra. Learning to forgive and being grateful for my life has also always held a strong place in my heart.

Traer may not have a wide variety of activities, but Traer possesses a strong sense of community. Friends and community members poke fun at Traer because everybody knows everybody. While knowing everybody's personal business is not ideal, it is better than not knowing anybody. I have made a lot of great friends around my age living in West Des Moines, but I miss meeting and seeing the wise elders, who I respect, around the community.

Traer taught me a lot of values like respect for others, being courteous, and having fun. These values are very useful in different places. Living in New York, these values enabled me to become friends with people with very different backgrounds. It is also funny how a simple belief is overlooked in different parts of Iowa or the country. Holding a door for a stranger is common in Traer but not treated as the same common courtesy in New York or Des Moines. Even if it is one door at a time, I am going to change this belief in the big city one door at a time.

From my heart, Traer accomplished a lot. Being a leader in renewable energy with the windmill or the solar panels by the old Traer Manufacturing building, for a town of Traer's size to take this leading charge is amazing. Taking care of our blue planet for future generations is critical, and T-Town is certainly doing its job. I apologize to you, Dysart, Clutier, Buckingham, or Dinsdale, for leaving you out of this part, but I'm not in your neck of the woods as much.

While I could go on and on thanking everyone who helped raise me to become who I am, I have brownnosed too much. But seriously, I want to thank you all for raising a kid like me and all the other kids before and after me, who all are probably way cooler, because it takes a village to raise a model citizen. At least from my experience, you all did a superb job. I'd expect nothing less. God bless.

Email Sean with your thoughts and ideas for future columns at: sean.h.dengler@gmail.com

 
 

 

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