Monday, October 6, 2008

Standing Amongst us Mere Mortals.

A hero may be defined as a man with distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. Well that is just the basis on what is defined as a hero, but an individual that stands out amongst the many scoundrels that inhabit our promised land with the attributes to go a step forward where most do not dare to dwell, that is the significant factor that makes a person a hero.
The person, the man that I admire, is none other than Dennis Barrett, a first year BSC student presiding at the infamous Rhodes University. Before his admission to Rhodes, Dennis is from Benoni, Johannesburg and this is the place and the past of his life, which stood out for me. This is where his story began and caught my attention, for ten years of his life Dennis was home schooled, having no friends at all and with that no social life at all, only his parents and family to fill that void, but he did not mind. He said, “This is not a defining factor for me, I had my work, my family and I didn’t need anything else in my life, I can easily survive by myself and I don’t need friends to get me by from day to day”, laughing at the idea of the question.
Looking at me with that wicked smile of his he stated, “Being in home school was easy, the work was simple and nothing really challenged my ethics. So the times had come for change and to get out of the house hold, try something different and going across the country and away from my comfort zone seemed the best way to start a new chapter in my life”. Standing in from of his new residence, Jan Smuts House, for the first time, knowing nothing of its reputation, feeling more nervous than he has in his life and but stepping across the threshold none the less. Going through the steps of things, sighing back to the start, “I was apprehensive with what I was in store for me but soon got into the motion of thing, still didn’t need friends here and didn’t go looking for them, they found me”. Through Orientation Week it came to him that he had never saw this part of life, all these mad individuals running around with no care in the world, he did not know what was going on, university was a place to learn, not to go wild. His first taste of real party was the street party at the end of O-Week, “My first real taste of what it was to be free, my first taste of liquor, and not knowing my boundaries of this newfound glory, it turned into a messy battle to try to get home”. As time goes by the battle to win between his social and academic balance, the war always seems to favour Dennis, as his grades are one of the best in this institution, practically he is a boy genius.
Over the course of this year, he has not only survived all the perils that Rhodes has given to him but he has also survived the many challenges that he has come past on this twisted road. Going from this shy and yet innocent young lad, to the guy who is up for the conquest of his future and not backing down for anything that is being put in his way whether it being good or bad.

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