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Said Goodbye to one of my students, he is off to college


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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We used to call him 'short Dom' when he was a freshman, he was a flabby dumb kid who fell in love with fencing. He weapon is Epee, and I'm a Saber coach, so I knew him casually. He joined the Marian Catholic H.S. team, and then immediately joined my fencing club. Very quickly thereafter he found a private coach, a former Polish Olympian who also was a past coach at Notre Dame. He started working out, firmed up the flab to the pointed that his body is now toned and muscular. He got his grades up and started to take school seriously. During his sophomore year he started to talk to me and I helped coach his mental attitude on the fencing strip during competitions, helping him focus. Normally his private coach would do that at competitions but private coaches don't attend our high school conference events. So I became one of his coaches, quite by accident.

Relationship evolved and he started to focus on competitions outside of high school events and as I happened to travel to events I found myself at the same tournament as he was attending, but I was there with saber fencers. So I'd spend time with Dom during his events too. Eventually I would take him to events. Frequently I would recommend events for him where he could excel.

One day I was on the beach in California, while visiting my daughter, who was living in San Jose. I started getting a series of text messages and then phone calls. Dom was at a tournament in Michigan, he had just won not only the gold medal, but he also earned a national "A" rating at the event, the highest national rating possible. During his junior year we were working together weekly, working on preparation for college, selecting specific events to get seen by top college coaches, we developed a website for him to post videos of his fencing (many of which I took while at national events) so coaches could see him despite covid travel bans, helped with his recruitment replies and with his intro letters to college coaches.

Short Dom no more, he has matured in all ways into a fine young man. Called me at lunchtime yesterday asking if I would be at the club last night, said he wanted to come back to the club. He came back to thank me. It was a fun night. Stayed with him and his dad for an hour after locking up the fencing club talking about his fencing journey. I'm very proud to have contributed a small amount to his success. I'm even happier that he considers me to have been a major positive factor in his life and he gave me credit for his college scholarship.

He is one to watch. He is off to University of Incarnate Word, the fastest rising NCAA Div 1 fencing team in the nation. As a freshman he will be on the starting team!

(PHOTS BELOW) the 2 small photos with him lunging forward, he is tapping the toe of his opponent, twice, in the same bout. It is considered to be the most humiliating touch you can receive in fencing. The opponent is a former varsity level fencer who was considered to be a good fencer. But Dominic is no longer a good fencer, he is in that rare class of great fencers.



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My parents recommended that I go to medical school, but I think I will not study so much. Moreover, medical school is expensive. I like economics, so I want to become an economist. I found a university that suits me. Finding fair prices is so simple now; after spending a few hours, I learned everything about universities.
I hope it works out for you. I'm sure you're heard the analogy 'you get what you pay for'. One of my nieces and her husband have been doctors for about 20 years now. Their loans are paid off and they are doing very well, but you know what's best for you.

As an economist, will you be sitting behind a desk? Is that what you want for a career?


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
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Yes It's very hard to good bye to one of your brilliant student.
One of the nice things is when they stay in contact, of their own choice.

This kid does. In fact he called me earlier this week. I hear from him randomly, but roughly every 4 to 6 weeks he will send me a message, call me, or we meet up at a fencing event. He goes out of his way to pay his respects, which says a lot about his character.