The following article is a student-submitted piece for Mr. Edson’s English project, “Who the heck are you?” Budding journalists were tasked with interviewing a community member and learning about the writing process from start to finish.

The room was completely silent, so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. The sun was beaming through the windows and my hands were sweating. My feet were shaking, and I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my body. Mr. Decock was sitting in his chair with his hands together in his lap waiting for me to ask the first question. I was sitting on his couch with my back straight up and my feet on the floor. I was so afraid and nervous I thought the time would feel like ages.
After a long wait I finally said, my voice extremely quiet, when I finally asked him, what is one piece of advice you would give to anyone at this school. He said proud and excited, “To a student I would say to embrace whatever opportunities come your way and to work towards being opened minded.” After I heard his answer it helped me a lot, by telling me about his personality and his goals as a human being. It also helped me figure out about what he believes in and what he thinks would be a very helpful piece of information. This is also the quote that means the most to me because I was very proud to ask it and also to hear his response. I was proud because it was a powerful question and I thought it would help me in the interview. This advice tells me that he is always looking for new opportunities and wanting to help others in the world today. After I received the advice, it helped me think about the new experiences I can try and also be open to try new things. This piece of advice will help me and hopefully inspire you to be open minded. This quote meant a lot to me and hopefully to you as well. I believe that people need to try new things because that is how good experiences and relationships start. I hope more people use this powerful and great quote in the world today. Although this is my most powerful and favorite quote, I did however ask many more questions and would love to share them with you.

Right after that question I asked him, what does IMS Hockey mean to you. He responded with saying, “When I was little my dad coached me in youth hockey and I want to follow his footsteps. I am doing that by helping those kids and also reliving the experience I had as a child. It was almost as if I am a child again doing everything I did as a kid.” I thought it was interesting when he said he wanted to relive the experience and that it was like he was a child again. It also surprised me because, I didn’t think that he would feel like a kid as an adult and totally relive the experience. When I grow up I would want to coach a youth hockey team because of what the experience could hold. From this quote I got to know him better and what he thinks about coaching. I also understand from this quote, that his dad ment a lot to him in his childhood and he wants to be like him as an adult. I appreciate that he likes coaching and teaching kids new experiences on the ice. Lastly, this tells me that he loves to relive his childhood as an adult.

After that, when I asked him, what is your favorite thing to do over the weekend and in your personal time. He said, “I watch lots of hockey, I play a little bit of the Battlefield video game and most of all I love to spend time with my friends, family and especially my colleagues. Surprisingly, I like to spend time with the people that I spend the most time with at work, at home because we have really awesome connections and we really care for each other.” There were two quotes that he said that interested me in that sentence. The first was when he said he liked to play video games. This surprised me because, in my mind grownups don’t really play video games and I found it interesting that he enjoys it as I like playing video games. This tells me that he is a really fun and exciting guy. The second quote that caught my attention was that he likes to spend time with the same people he does at work. This also surprised me because I would think that he could get sick of them if he spends so much time with them at work. I would probably get sick of my brother if I was with him all the time, but I do respect that Mr. Decock cares about and loves people and he loves spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. I personally hope that someday I can care that much about people as he does. This quote tells me that he is caring and loves to spend time with his closest friends.

Just the other day I was out on the outdoor rink at IMS, I saw him with Tyler his son and he was throwing snowballs at him. His son was laughing and looked extremely happy.  He said in the interview, “I want to spend as much time with them as possible because they grow up fast, too fast.” This told me a lot about who he is as a dad. This told me that Mr. Decock may be social, but he also loves and cares for his kids. In my mind he is a very fun and loving dad. This image will always stay in my head because it was so cute and it was very happy to watch a dad have so much fun with his kid. He may also be an inspiration of what it means to be a father.

To finish up this interview, I asked him a question about his favorite part of IMS, and he said, ”The people, definitely the people. Whether it’s the girls in my dorm, my colleagues at work, or my crazy family, it’s the people“. This was such a great answer and a great way to end my interview. This meant a lot to, not just me, but the school because this school is bringing wonderful, kind people and he is one of them. After Mr. Decock graduated from Wesleyan in 2010 he was looking for a job in academics, and he found this school in the middle of nowhere. After he came to IMS, he said, “I was trying to figure out the school and I think that the school was trying to figure out itself too.” I also realized that he is a man that has a positive attitude and a willingness to try new things, which is a great personality to have if you ask me. While I was interviewing him I realized that he was so opened minded and a person that you would want at any other school. With Mr. Decock’s appreciation for others, it is awesome to look up to him as a leader, father, and a caring human being. Whether it’s his advice or his appreciation for people, Mr. Decock is an amazing person and is an inspiration for many people all over the world. He is an extreme role model for his hockey team and anyone who knows him. I can’t think of a better person in the world than Mr. Decock, he is an outstanding guy and I hope more people recognize that in life. I also hope they take his advice and be, open minded, caring, loving people. That’s what we need in this world today. I just want to say thank you and keep doing what you’re doing here at IMS. You have really turned things around with your positivity and your outstanding personality. I couldn’t ask for a better interview, Thank you.