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Jaron Gaier

Jaron's activities: Farm2Fork, Global Affect, Augustana Interfaith Understanding, Augustana Symphony Orchestra
Jaron Gaier

“Instability precedes sure-footedness. My sense — though I may be wrong about this — is that Jaron arrived at Augustana on somewhat wobbly knees. This isn’t a criticism. He was “on to something,” a searcher of the Walker Percy sort, when he entered the Honors program. And to be on to something means to be thrown off balance a little. So it has been fun to watch this young searcher come to himself — like Percy’s characters, and like Dante before them. Jaron has achieved, by considerable effort, some real clarity — and, like all of us, he’s become wobbly in new and interesting ways.”

— Dr. Jason Peters
Dorothy J. Parkander Chair in Literature

Jaron Gaier

Major: English
Minors: Philosophy, Africana studies

Post-grad plans: Farming, just outside of the Quad Cities; reading and writing

Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
No way — I guess I figured that I’d be reading and writing, but not doing stuff outside. Not farming. But I also hoped that I’d be graduating, and it looks like I am. So that’s good.

What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
I think I'm more creative in some ways than I thought — in terms of writing and viewing the world — and much less creative than I thought in some ways — in studying, for instance, and sleep patterns. I pretty much still need the eight hours.

A peak experience?
While studying abroad in Ghana and Senegal, I had a slew of experiences that were especially momentous. I got to spend some time with great friends and faculty in a place that is amazingly different from here, learning all I could and soaking it all up.

Who helped you get to where you are now?
Professors have given me the right books to read, my friends and I have had all the right conversations, and my family has encouraged me to follow what I think is right.

What would you like to add that we didn’t ask about?
Although this borders on cliché — the learning hasn’t (and shouldn’t have and won’t) stopped outside the classroom. I’m glad that I got off campus a lot, got to know the Quad Cities pretty well, and did some exploring.

Advice for this fall's incoming class (Class of 2016)?
Be curious. Look around. Ask questions. Don't hesitate.