This Brilliant Bright Bear


Eric Swann

This is Duane Wilson, one of the best students Butler has walking in its hallways. Duane is also my best friend, and I am really proud of how far he has come. Duane is intrigued by and interested in history, more specifically the age of absolutism, when french monarchs ruled. Duane’s favorite memory at butler would be the entire class laughing including Mr A, and after that, realizing how good life was going and that he had been waiting for this moment to be naturally happy, and without suspecting it… it came!

I asked Duane who motivates him and he responded with this: “I would say everyone I see who indulges in learning motivates me because knowledge is power and I am constantly trying to learn new things.” Duane would describe himself as honest, a leader, ambitious, a perseverance type of a guy, and a well rounded person with integrity. Duane told me: “I live by the value of leadership, integrity and honor, something I retained from ROTC.” He told me his role models are all of those who are constantly being positive and striving to do better and be better.

Duane states “something that immensely impacted my life would have been cutting back from being the center of attention to being more observant and studying the typical high schoolers behavior such as: how they conduct their relationships and themselves, what they choose to indulge in during and after school, and really just trying to study the ways of my peers and high school community to gain a sense of higher sociological wisdom.”

Duane also mentioned to me “People who are seeking help, seeking someone to confide in if they’re feeling overwhelmed or just going through something troubling  in general always seem to call me their “therapist”. This is because I’m a great listener and communicator, I am very open minded and open to mature ideas and ideologies to help someone that is non-feeling based but based off intellect and the mature way to go about things. Such as a friend dealing with depression, and not having anyone to talk to about what they have going on, but because of my ability to empathize and understand how it feels when you can’t control your thoughts and how it can diminish you internally; not being able to talk or vent to someone makes it much worse and I am always on stand-by to provide comfort, knowledge, and guidance to anyone in need. I love helping people, and making sure everyone around me is in a good place mentally is something I hold dear to myself personally.”

Duane told me: “I’ve always been someone who thinks of both sides to every story, and my personal decision to take all AP & Honors courses this year has shown me how differently the classes and students behave compared to regular classes. However, I still have lots of friends who are in regular classes, so when I see them slacking, I motivate them and try to show them the better way of life rather than letting a negative mindset and problems build up. With that being said, I absolutely make sure I am not hypocritical and practice what I preach in my daily life.”

This Junior Bear has come a long way with his body confidence and appearance also. He was a very scrawny and unfit kid in middle school. But when he realized that working on his body and staying consistent with working out would actually pay off, he worked out more and more to achieve his goals and now this Bear is one of the most strongest, athletic and fit students our school has to offer.

Duane is also an optimistic person who likes to look at most things in life as learning opportunities. He states: “When I learned that a great work ethic and staying consistent would help me achieve my goals, I applied it to school which helped me to do better and with that ideology I even learned about myself that I like challenges, which led me to take my first honors class sophomore year which was Biology, and previously my peers had told me that the class was difficult but after taking the class I learned that if I set my mind to anything and sincerely care about my education, I can learn to accomplish anything. I ended up passing the class and this year decided to take AP Biology which i’m currently thriving in, and take even more honors courses, all by taking away a lesson from staying consistent and putting in effort! Through tremendous effort and faith I believe anything is possible!”

Though quite uncommon, Duane is an extremely spiritual person. He is currently evolving into a positive thinker, and training his soul and mind just as much and just as hard as he is training his body. He realized that when he was hanging out with the wrong crowd and surrounded himself with negative influences that attracted their negative energy, mindset and bad habits onto him. So he decided to switch the individuals who he spent his time with to people who thought along the same lines as him, that believed that knowledge is power, and that take their education serious. After doing so, he realized how much he had fallen off because of the bad influences whom he called his “close friends”. Duane told me: “In my own mind I believe I am constantly evolving and improving and I am constantly aspiring to be the best I can be in every different aspect of life. Constant perpetual growth is the goal. If you train your mind, heart, body, and soul, you will be able to achieve a life of bliss and success. You can be the lion, or you can be the gazelle.”

Duane’s plans after highschool are attempting to become some sort of surgeon, as he has always done well in the medical classes he decided to partake in, such as: medical terminology, HCC, and anatomy. He also plans on achieving and obtaining his masters degree and professional degree to support his backup plan which would be a psychiatrist.