Linus Kaechele values the importance of strong relationships

Linus Kaechele values the importance of strong relationships

Through word of mouth and the ever-growing shadow of pop culture, all signs point to junior year being the most stressful of the four students spend at high school. Although here at FHC, a school notoriously known for pushing its students to bigger and better academic heights, the arduous and exciting Ted Talk project has been pushing for sophomore year to become stressful as well.

Sophomore Linus Kaechele, along with the rest of his classmates in Honors English 10, had to give their own presentation on a topic they were passionate about. Linus pushed the boundaries of passion with a topic that was both personal and powerful.

“It was titled ‘Write Me A Letter,’” Linus said. “I was talking about the importance of handwritten letters and how they’ve kind of become a lost art due to, in my opinion, the impersonal nature of texting and instant messaging these days.”

Linus took this message to heart and did some additional preparation that perfectly suited his topic.

“In preparation for it, I wrote forty letters to anyone who has shown me any kindness,” Linus, who spent around half an hour on each letter, said. “[It was] kind of a way to funnel some of that kindness back to all those people.”

During his talk, Linus covered the steps he took to write each letter as well as the benefits of the person on the receiving end and the benefits for the person actually writing the letter. Throughout this assignment, Linus has reaffirmed his own personal needs to write letters.

“I didn’t write them very often and then I wrote those forty letters,” Linus said. “Now I think it’s just going to keep going.”

Linus first got the idea to write someone a letter when he was featured in Abby Wright’s Countless Days of Thanks post.

“I thought that was so sweet, and I didn’t have a way to publicize my thanks, so I was like, ‘You know, I should write a letter’ because it’s more personal,” Linus said. “She really cared, and she wanted other people to know. So my goal was to take a lot of time and thank her more personally. So I wrote my first letter, and I realized how fun it was to say everything you wanted to say without pressure. And then I just kept doing it.”

While Linus continued to write letters, he also has continued to maintain friendships like his one with Abby. Something that sets his social life apart, however, is his introverted nature towards friendships.

“I guess I’m more introverted,” Linus said. “When I hang out with my friends, I like to hang out with one friend at a time, or I like to just drive or get ice cream with my sister. I don’t really like that pressure of talking to so many people at once.”

Linus backs up his preference for intimate friendships with the classic but well deserved saying, “quality over quantity.”

“I feel like quality over quantity of friends is a big thing for me,” Linus said. “But I don’t think that focusing on quality should prevent you from also improving the quantity. Because once you can connect with one person and realize how important that is and then connect with another person but still focus on keeping the relationships alive, I feel like that’s really important.”

Linus’ deep affinity for quality connections in his life goes hand in hand with his Ted Talk topic. His love for relationships and desire to tell the important people in his life what they mean to him can be summed up in one of his letters.

“That’s kind of what I did with my letters,” Linus said. “I have so many friends, but I haven’t really told them how much I love them and appreciate them. And these letters are just one way for them to look back and be like, “Wow, this person really cares.’ I feel like they care, so I just want to let them know that I care back.”

In addition to trying in terms of having quality friendships, Linus also tries to do well in school. He puts in a high degree of effort into succeeding.

“I’ve never really been able to figure out why I try so hard,” Linus said. “I’ve always been told in kind of a negative way that ‘I’m an overachiever.’ It had always been something that weighed me down. But, I now feel that I want to perform at my best. It’s not in a selfish way, but I don’t feel like I try to get good grades because I feel better about myself, like I don’t think your knowledge is reflected by your grade on Powerschool. But I feel like me trying this hard to get good grades and me building these strong relationships with my teachers will allow me to become smarter and more intelligent and allow me to change the world as I grow up.”

As for what he wants to do when he grows up?

“I’m leaning more towards English and social studies [as a career path],” Linus said. “I know in science you can help people with medicine, but I want to be able to help someone face to face. Someone like a teacher or a lawyer.”

Linus has a particular attachment to the thought of being an English teacher in particular.

“[Becoming] an English teacher is something I’ve always thought would be so awesome,” Linus said. “I haven’t had a bad English teacher yet.”

One of these amazing teachers was his ninth-grade English teacher, Lisa Penninga.

“I was like, ‘Wow, she really cares about building these relationships with her students,'” Linus said. “Now I’m in tenth grade, and I have Mr. George. He just elevated the status of what an English teacher can do.”

No matter if it is in the distant future or in his current life as a high schooler, Linus understands that it is vital to connect with the people he spends his time with.

“I just really think it is important to have a life filled with strong relationships,” Linus said.