A Journey to Success | Teen Ink

A Journey to Success

September 23, 2019
By Ethan--Johnson GOLD, Sussex, Wisconsin
Ethan--Johnson GOLD, Sussex, Wisconsin
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

When someone looks at him, it might be a little bit intimidating to see a guy with big broad shoulders, standing at 6”3, 235 pounds. His outside seems rough, like a man who doesn't care and isn't, the most personable, but he is the opposite. His heart of gold makes him someone that everyone should get the chance to meet. I am proud to call him my dad. His name--Andrew Johnson.

My father: one of the smartest and most helpful people I've ever met. His story started in Vermont where his parents owned and ran a bookstore where he worked. This is the place he discovered his love of literature and was the start to why he started teaching. He has great intelligence that makes him answer questions in a way someone who reads a lot does, he said “Books offer the answers to many questions, and they offer a lot of growth” (A. Johnson, personal communication, April 20th, 2019). It was here in Vermont, he figured that he wanted to teach English for the rest of his life. He enjoys his career for the most part, since it is what he enjoys, helping people out and make a change in their life, which is what a teacher’s main job is. He prides himself on going in early at times to sit and talk to his students and make sure everything is going well in their life, since he cares. I asked if he wasn't a teacher, what he would be, his response didn't surprise me one bit, “A Firefighter, for sure” ( A. Johnson, personal communication, April 20th, 2019). For years during teaching, he had volunteered at the Merton Fire Department, since he loved that he could change other peoples life. It is his goal to make other people’s day better and doing all he can to help. One time, my dad told me a story, about how he saved a boy’s life. By running into the fire, he found a kid hiding, and pulled him out to save him, and if he didn't, the outcome may not have been good. These two careers just show what kind of person that he is. 

During the whole interview, I noticed that he played with a rubber band in his hand, but when talking about my mom, it was different. He sat up a bit and stopped playing with the elastic, like he didn't have to think. He told me how they had known each other for a couple years, but never really talked much. He said that one night they went on a date and the rest is history. Three months later they were madly in love and engaged. I noticed how simple this question was to answer for him than all the others, like he really cared about it. As I asked questions, I found that something he cares the most about are his kids, his wife, his family, and his parents. He gives more time to his family and what's important to him, rather than letting work and all the other bogus stuff control his life. Something I found interesting that relates to this was his philosophy, which is, “ Be as good as you generally can be, acknowledge that you not perfect, and people will forgive, love others” (A. Johnson, personal communication, April 20th, 2019). This just goes to show his bright character, one full of love and help. On the outside he seems rough and not one that's cares the most, but on the inside, all that's there is a loving, caring, family man.

I found his outlook on life very fascinating and not what I expected. When asked what was the peak of his life so far, he responded, “  I’m not interested in protracted denouement” (A. Johnson, personal communication, April 20th, 2019). This means that he is not interested in living if he has passed his best times. He hopes that the peak of his life is at the end, because he doesn't want to think that the best is past, but continues to want more to come. He has always been a deeper thinker, in a way that would bring out answers I never would’ve guessed he would say. When asked what he fears, I was also surprised to hear, “Nothing personally fears me anymore, im keen enough to life at this point. The only real thing I fear for is for humankind's direction” (A. Johnson, personal communication, April 20th, 2019). This shocked me because I was expecting an answer like birds, since he is super scared of birds, but it also did not. He is a very complex person, whose mind is like a genius. He is a kind man, so that is why the answer didn't surprise me. After being a firefighter/paramedic for years, he isn't scared of much, but sees the best in people, so that's why he is fearful of the world. He is scared that people’s hate and negativity will take over kindness and hope.

Having this interview with my dad was an awesome experience. He is a kind and forgiving man, and one of the most genuine people I know. I can say that I will now look at this 6’3, 235 pound man differently than I ever did before. I am glad to call Andrew my dad, and I would not change him for any other in the world.


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