by Cavan Pasek

“He’s really just a chiller,” said DC’s classmate, Cason Coats: “I’ve never seen him get angry.” When I told him about that, DC explained his life philosophy. “Just accept that things are gonna go the way that they’re gonna go,” he said. “You can’t let yourself get down over things you can’t control.”

DC is going to college at the University of Arizona in Tucson to study something that will allow him to adventure into “a career with natural resources.” He hopes to “make a positive impact on the world: conserving wildlife.”

What makes him happy, he said, is “being outside mostly, and spending time outside with my friends.” The best moment in his life was in April of 2021, “surfing in Hawaii,” with his best friend, senior Clifford Utech. “That was a good time,” he reflected.

The class that DC will take the most away from high school and into the rest of his life is “probably biology,” he said, since “it’ll help me have some base knowledge for natural resources.” His key to high school is to “keep up on your work,” and “don’t let yourself get behind.” His biggest advice he’d give to a freshman is that “it only gets worse.”

His favorite things about Ouray High School are “the teachers that want to see you succeed.” He appreciates how “they’re laid back and aren’t going to give you a hard time for nonsense.” Art teacher Ms. Melissa was in the room, so DC added, “Like Ms. Melissa. I’ll remember Ms. Melissa.”

If he could be anyone else than he is, DC said, “I’d be Mr. Chiang. Yeah. He’s probably one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. He’s got all this great knowledge about all this stuff. [He] goes and climbs mountains in Starlight and is just this badass climber/skier/teacher person. Everyone loves him.” Mr. Chiang who teaches math, science, outdoor education, and woodshop, gave out a shake of laughter as he was also in the art room when DC was being interviewed.

DC also appreciates a good breakfast burrito. “You got eggs in there, you got potatoes, you got the works,” DC continued, describing his favorite food, adding, “sausage, pepper, cheese, and throw some Cholula on there: Boom Shakalaka.”

“Most vivid memories at this school? Um, probably just basketball.” DC described his most vivid memory: “specifically that Dove Creek game. Homecoming last year.” Ouray had the lead in the fourth quarter but Dove Creek pushed for overtime and won by a point in overtime. DC explained how “that was an interesting night for sure. I had 34 points or something.” But the loss didn’t hurt as bad because, he said, “We then got to go watch some freshman get thrown in the fish pond, so it was all good.”

DC said that he will “definitely going to miss playing basketball: organized sports and the whole team dynamic in my life.” The dynamic of team sports is invaluable, he said, “impactful and influential in the way I think about things.”

The hobbies and extracurriculars DC will bring into his future is, “definitely lifting weights and basketball. I’ll be lifting weights and playing basketball for the rest of my life.” 

DC’s inspiration in his life comes from his mom, “watching her raise four kids and work a full-time job, while getting a nursing degree, all at the same time.” DC said his mom is continuing to “raise kids while working full-time at both the [Ouray] Brewery and the hospital.”

DC’s biggest dream for his life, he said, is as chill as his approach to everything else: just give him “a nice house, a wife, a dog, and a stable job. That’s all I want.”