Fifty three per cent. That was my mark in English 30-2 in high school. It was a measly grade to get my diploma for a student who didn’t show up to class and didn’t care. I care now. I’ve been your co-sports editor for two semesters while I’ve also been taking the radio and television course at NAIT. I’m done in less than a month. I went from an 18- year-old who spent his weekends drinking to the point of forgetting them to a dude who grew up and realized what he wanted to do with his life.

Prior to last January, I had worked at a warehouse for three years as a supervisor and I hated my life. I was trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship with a girl I thought I loved. I was working night shifts and the constant flow of energy drinks and darkness did nothing but hurt me. I was lost. All I had during that time was podcasts, books and a good friend. Pruski inspired me to start reading, which is a hobby I had never thought of acquiring.

When I was in Grade 5 I lived in Bellingham, Washington with my mother. I recall my teacher at the time, Mrs. Smith. She had a pair of wide rimmed glasses and wrinkles that resembled cracked, dry dirt. When we had reading time all my other classmates got to choose their own books. Mrs. Smith took it upon herself to choose a special series of Treehouse books that were set for a second grade reading level. But I felt compelled to read graphic novels.

At the time, it was Tin-Tin. She didn’t believe I was capable of reading the books I wanted to and from then on neither did I.

The only time I felt truly driven to read real books and not just graphic novels was when Pruski instilled some confidence in me. Thanks for nothing, Mrs. Smith.

When I was 19, I was upgrading English 30-1. I never showed up, barely did the work. When I took the reading comprehension and writing tests it told me I had a Grade 7 comprehension and writing level. Jump to me at 24 when I was upgrading to get into the radio program. I earned an 85 per cent in Engligh 30-1 and the comprehension and reading level of a university student. Now this might seem like me bragging, but it’s not. I’m trying to inspire. I thought I was an idiot unable to succeed, but when I started writing for The Nugget, it changed me. I was driven to improve. I didn’t want to be the dumbass giant dude.

If it weren’t for our senior editor, Micheal Menzies, I don’t know if I would have kept writing or even improved. He’s helped me a lot. Thanks, captain.

As much as I hated my time at the warehouse, it helped me, reading legit helped me. Knowing that I wanted more lit a spark in me and helped me get to a place where I am happy. I am going into a career I want to be in and have passion for. I am in a healthy relationship with a loving girlfriend, and I am an editor for a college newspaper. That’s big for me. I never thought I would ever write for a paycheque, let alone enjoy it. The biggest thing you can take from this is if you want to do something and someone says you suck at it, screw what they think and do it.

– Tre Lopuschinsky, Sports Co-Editor