Ben Starkey, a senior member of the Boys’ Latin Inkwell newspaper staff, is not a typical student. His primary interest outside of the classroom is art, and music and nature as an extension, but he does not allow them to define him as a person.
When asked about these interests, Ben said that art has the ability to change the way one thinks about or perceives the world. Just as art influences the way Ben sees himself, it also has an impact on how he is viewed by those around him.
According to some of his fellow students and his advisor, the words that best describe Ben include artistic, personal, thoughtful, elegant, reserved, honest, candid, individualistic, pensive, and adorable. These adjectives only begin to convey the person he truly is.
Ben pursues his interest in art through listening to a wide variety of music and exploring nature by hiking and camping in diverse places. He enjoys creating his own art as a way to present an idea or concept to an audience, but he also has a massive appreciation for the artistic work of others.
Ben attributes his artistic inspiration to the experiences he has had with nature and firmly believes that almost anything created in order to communicate an idea can constitute art. He believes that nature itself is art while the circle of life acts as the artist and “inspiration is sporadic and personal.”
While nature is “the way things should be” and “refreshing and beautiful” in Ben’s eyes, he also listens to a diverse range of music as a way to “help and express himself.” He thinks that there is a song for each different moment in his life and this is the true beauty that lies within the art of music.
In spite of all this, Ben does not allow his pursuits to define him. He said that “art is in the moment and can change over time, but each artistic expression I have made defines a different part of me.”
Mr. Dagenais, Ben’s advisor, said that his favorite qualities about Ben are his “innate fashion sense and his irresistible charm.” He spoke about his “subversive wit and all-encompassing good humor” when describing how Ben is one of his favorite advisees. Mr. Dag appreciates Ben because he “marches to the beat of his own drum and contributes to the community in his own unique way.”
In other words, he is not an every-day cookie-cutter Boys’ Latin student, but he is just as important to the school as any other one. He does his own thing in his own way, and it seems no one, including himself, would change a single thing about him.