Driving the rain soaked streets of Charlottetown, the thunder rolling and the green machine purring, I thought to myself “who am I?”. Better yet, “what do people actually want to know about me?”. My wipers whipped furiously mimicking my thoughts. Slowly but surely the questions became answers.
My name is Zach Geldert. I am a third-year sociology major and business, economics, and French minor at the University of Prince Edward Island. I was born, raised, and still live a five-minute walk away from UPEI with my mother, father, younger brother, and two black Labrador Retrievers. Oh and what in the world is “the green machine”? It is my 2000 green four door Honda Civic that a lovely older lady sold to me in pristine condition last September. Ask any of my friends, I plan on driving it until it I’m 35.
“Okay” I thought, “I have the basic information down, now I have to get into the good stuff”.
I am often asked why I have chosen to pursue an Arts degree and what I plan to do once my undergrad is completed. When I entered university three years ago I was beginning to wonder what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I realized that while going through with other, more applicable degrees, could result in a greater chance of employment, I wanted to try and make a difference in the lives of others. Naturally I gravitated towards sociology. Anyone who has taken a class in sociology will know that we explore issues of poverty, discrimination, inequality, and race. I have now developed a deep interest and passion (I know school and passion are not usually congruent) for the subjects studied in sociology and I plan on pursuing a Master’s degree once my undergrad is complete.
As the rain continued to pour down a flash of lightening lit up my mind, “what do I do outside of university?!”.
When I am not on campus there are only a handful of places that I may be. In the winter I referee hockey all over Prince Edward Island. While it is technically a job I thoroughly enjoy officiating because it allows me to remain tied to the game I grew up playing. Some people may shy away because referees often bear the brunt of anger from players, coaches, and parents. However I always try and see these confrontations as an opportunity to solve problems in the moment, and clearly explain the on-ice call in a positive manner so that everyone in the rink has a better understanding of the rules. This often leads to less headaches the next time I officiate the team. During the summer months I spend my time fly-fishing, golfing, and hanging out with my friends. In order to pay for school, I have a summer job with the City of Charlottetown Parks and Recreation Department. I could not imagine having a better summer job. With Parks and Recreation my job is to maintain the baseball fields in Charlottetown. It is so rewarding seeing a freshly dragged and lined ball diamond and having people constantly thanking me for the job that I do.
As I thought of my life outside of school I pulled into my driveway, willing the courage to make a mad dash into the warm and dry confines of my house. Just before I mentally evolved into Andre DeGrasse the last unknown about me became clear, why am I writing for the Cadre and what can I offer the student body at UPEI?
Drawing arbitrary connections between my everyday life and my role as a managing editor at the student newspaper may be a haphazard endeavor, as I see my lifestyle as a compartmentalized set of “lives” rather than a linear lifestyle. However, I believe that there are relative dispositions in each of my lifestyles that I plan on exploiting in order to make my time at the Cadre as effective as possible. Firstly, being born and raised in Prince Edward Island has allowed me 20 years of learning the nuances of the people of our beautiful island. This is important because it enables me to form deep connections with the people and stories that I will be reporting on as managing editor of the business section of the Cadre. Delving into why someone chose to open a small restaurant in Mount Stewart is much easier when you can form the ‘islander’ connection with someone, where the topics of conversation flow seamlessly between the weather, politics, who my father is, and why the business is successful. Secondly, my role as an official will undoubtedly help me to ask the tough questions and remain calm in acrimonious investigations of businesses and government.
Finally, my pursuit of a degree in sociology will be an asset to you, the student body, because it will remind me of the infinite individual stories of people and their struggles through their time at UPEI. Representing as many factions of people as possible will contribute to richer content and more discussion about the tough issues that myself and the rest of the team at the Cadre will undoubtedly explore this year. In summation, my goal as your managing editor of the business section at the Cadre is to be the voice of the students, a voice that will stand up to the disparities and inequalities that we all face, a voice that celebrates the success of alumni and local community, and a voice that looks toward a hopeful future for all of the current students at UPEI.
I took a deep breath as I shook off my jacket and slouched into my couch and blanket. “I’ve done it” I thought, “this is me and this is what I want to say”. I groaned slightly as I pulled my laptop from my bag, “now you have to make all of this coherent and interesting” I said to myself. My laptop silently lit up as I got some crackers from the cupboard, sat back down and tried not to get any crumbs on my keyboard as I typed “driving the rain soaked streets…”.
Thank you for reading my bio! We at the Cadre are always looking for stories of any kind so if you have something interesting that you would like to share please write it up or at the very least bring your story to us! We are located in the Student Union building upstairs on the side closest to Mickey’s Place. Drop in anytime with a story, a scoop, or just to say hi. We have couches!
If you want to contact me personally email me at email@example.com, on Facebook or Twitter, just type in Zach Geldert, or text or call me at 902-394-0897. I look forward to hearing from you!