Sam Dolphin: a Learner, a Professor, a One of a Kind Student

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Ilma Seperovic, Staff Writer

He doesn’t say much, typically being reserved from others when in class. People know him from his sandals, in use all year round rain or shine and even snow. Weather doesn’t matter those shoes will be there. His intelligence proves to be above the rest, and his kindness excels to unknown lengths. This young man is better known as Sam Dolphin: a senior, a professor.

“Sam’s a wonderful person at the current stage of his life and it just nice to see him develop the way he has,” Joe Hartert, a senior said. “He is extremely well managed, polite, he never says anything against anyone. He is always courteous to his teachers, extremely agreeable, and just fun to be around.”

Kris Schrotenboer, an English teacher, has the privilege to have Dolphin in her hybrid class, senior creative writing. She often refers to him as the Professor and has continued this trend all year.

“I called him the professor because I have this vision of him wearing sweaters but then he’ll wear his Tevas, sandals so I’ll always say to him he has the look of a college professor. College professors are their own kind, their own person, they will do their own thing. They care what other people think to a point only because they want what’s best for people and I think that’s really true to Sam.”

When class is not in session, Dolphin can be found in the choir room; not because he’s in the class and needs to be there, but because he enjoys it too much to stay away. To get up early and come to school anyway when not needed, will not be done by most students. However, Dolphin does because that is just the type of person he is, Schrotenboer explains. He does not care about how others perceived him, it’s all about what will better him in his present and future.

“Sam is interested in whatever he wanted to be and it’s admirable to see in anyone,” said Joe Hartert.

Schrotenboer cannot agree more with Harert.

“He [Dolphin] is like here I am, get what you see so if you don’t like what you see then you can just move on because I’m not going to change myself just because you don’t like me,” said Schrotenboer. “He’s not in this for a popularity contest it just not his thing. That is what I think makes him seem so much older because high school can typically be about all the drama and a lot of silliness. What stands out is he just doesn’t get into the drama doesn’t get into ‘the game,’ ‘the high school game.’”

“He’s not in this for a popularity contest it just not his thing. That is what I think makes him seem so much older because high school can typically be about all the drama and a lot of silliness. What stands out is he just doesn’t get into the drama doesn’t get into ‘the game,’ ‘the high school game.’””

— Schrotenboer

With this being Schrotenboer’s first year with Dolphin as a student, she can not help but feel excitement and fondness to see his growth. She’s known him since seventh grade but has never worked with him up until now. Looking back, Schrotenboer cannot help but compare the young, and aged Dolphin.

“I first met Sam and I thought he was a different kind of kid. He was much more mature than his seventh-grade counterparts and that pretty much has been the case with him all the way through,” said Schrotenboer. “He’s had a lot of experience majority of kids have not and so that has made him the kid he is today. I would have predicted that he would have been like he is now, kinda quiet, reserved. But yet, when you know him he’s quite funny, woody and a very intelligent young man, also a great writer for sure.”

Students in FHC are here for the grades or “the Grade” as how Schrotenboer explains it. However with Dolphin, she noticed it is the complete opposite. Upon seeing this Schrotenboer could take a breath of fresh air at the fact that a student is at school to actually learn.

“Grades are important, but that’s not the end all for him [Dolphin],” said Schrotenboer. “I think that’s very different from a lot of students around here. He is concerned about his grades but Sam  is not obsessed with his grades. He wants to learn because he knows it will make him a better person and that is very different than most high school students. Most high school students are here for grades, he’s here to learn and that’s where there is a huge difference.”

Most teachers and students know Dolphin for his unforgettable sandals but, also and more importantly, for his intelligence, his unimaginable ability to absorb knowledge like a sponge.

“Most people seem to think I’m incredibly smart and generally a nice guy. I suppose I like that, but I disagree with the first part to a degree; people give me way more credit than I think I deserve,” said Dolphin. “Teachers probably see me as quiet, dedicated, and helpful. They tend to think very highly of my intelligence. [Teachers] probably think of my academic ability. It seems like those are the most common things that people associate with myself. Yes, my intelligence is a part of me, but I feel that people can sometimes dwell on that too much and let it be kind of intimidating. I’d rather people thought of me as me and didn’t care about the intelligence factor.”

With Schrotenboer saying goodbye to Dolphin this year, she cannot help but learn from him. learn from his one of a kind personality and abilities.

“If there is one thing I can take away from him [Dolphin] honestly would be not to sweat the small stuff,” said Schrotenboer. “He’s very careful about what he does, he’s very meticulous but at the end of the day, he doesn’t worry about the little things because he knows things will work out and that is something a lot of us can learn.”