John Van DuynCMA 2014
Hometown: Wheaton, IL
Interests, Clubs, and Sports: Junior Statesmen of America, Stamp Club, the Vedette, Community Service Council, Sailing, Quiz Bowl, Crew, Campus Activities Board, Writing and Film.
Volunteer Activities: Community Service Council (Knights of Columbus) and volunteering at the Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital.
Favorite Class: AP World History
Favorite Place to Study: The library during free periods. The view of the lake during the day is beautiful!
Favorite aspect of Culver: The willingness of the faculty to help out. If I have extra questions, my teachers are always available outside of class for me to come in and clarify. They are willing and able to assist me with whatever problem I have, and are very accommodating. I have noticed this especially in sports programs, the most prominent for me being sailing. For the first few days, many of us weren't sure how to "rig" our boats correctly, or how to sail without constantly capsizing. The coaches were very patient and always willing to help, no matter what the problem was. This left everybody on the team with a sense that we could become better sailors, and that it's better to try to fix mistakes than it is to yell and scream about them.
Role Model: My brother. He has had a lot of success at Culver, whether it is in academics or leadership, and many of the students here have a large amount of respect for him and his accomplishments. After four years here, Andrew is full of Culver "wisdom", and played a large part in helping me through my first year here and shaping me into the cadet that I am today.
Last Summer's Adventures: I attended Quiz Bowl Camp at the University of Illinois, to hone my skills for our upcoming winter season. I also volunteered at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, assisting one of the doctors there with her clerical work. It was an interesting experience, and I was able to learn quite a bit about the healthcare system and what goes on in the American workplace. Before I began volunteering, I attended a Film Camp at Northern Illinois University. It lasted for one week, and we were taught the basics of the industry, including how to use professional-grade cameras, lights, and editing systems. I have been interested in film for as long as I can remember, and one of my favorite aspects of the camp was that I was able to spend a week with a group of kids who were just as interested as I was. We spent our free time talking about directors and movie styles and trivia, and on set things like "Let's shoot this like that one scene from Pulp Fiction," could be heard constantly. It's not hard to see that I had a very fun summer, but at the same time I was able to take advantage of many opportunities to learn and grow that I had previously not known existed.
Top 3 goals for this school year: To earn Gold A's for both semesters, be elected as President of the Junior Statesmen of America, and assist the Quiz Bowl team in winning the state championship for the second year in a row.
"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you." --Brian Tracy
There are many influences here at Culver, some good and some bad. Many students will, at some point during their careers here, succumb to one bad influence or another. But being a Batten Scholar means that I am not just a student; I have to carry myself differently than others, and instead of letting myself be influenced by other people's poor decisions, I've had to become an influence. I can't control what situations I come across as a Culver student, but I can control my attitude in these situations and how I let them affect me as an individual, and as a part of the Merit Scholars program.