As a senior photographer, I have noticed something about all the seniors I work with. Every one of them seems to focus on their physical, athletic, or academic accomplishments, but seldom do I hear them focus on the other aspects of the things they have learned. I know it’s primarily because everyone else focuses on those successes (which should be celebrated! They’re amazing achievements!), but I love hearing about what the corporate world terms the “soft skills”. It’s a rather silly name for something that’s anything but easy…those skills are the things that determine true success for most people: empathy, compassion, kindness, motivation, insightfulness…the list can go on and on. Michael however, seems to have a solid grasp on his life and his goals, and I loved working with him. Not only does he have all those amazing accomplishments, his friends describe him as “an old soul”, who is incredibly passionate about the ‘big picture’ in economics, art, and history. I was amazed by his intellect and heart, and how personable he is.
Michael hails from Manassas, and says, “I love the history behind Manassas. From it’s importance to both sides during the civil war, to the work done for the space program in the 1960’s.” He is a big believer in doing his best and working hard, and it’s truly paid off. He has made it into the all-county band, and says he would urge incoming freshman to “do your homework and do it the best you possibly can. It may not seem like it will help, but believe me, it makes all the difference in the world”. He also enjoys researching the stock market, and playing the trumpet, and when he has free time, he loves reading classical literature by authors like Voltaire. “My favorite book is Huckleberry Finn because it reminds me of a time where Americans really were free to do whatever they wanted”, he adds, “They didn't have to have a boating license to build a raft and float down the Mississippi, they didn't need to get an "ecological survey" in order to build a tree house. They were truly free!” His mom agrees he really is an old soul, who appreciated jazz music and old movies, and says he often befriends people from older generations to hear their insights about life. She also says he is kind and very thoughtful, and enjoys helping others most of all.
I really enjoyed our time together, and wish Michael all the best in his endeavors!