A major hurdle, in documenting anyone’s life, is to first make a connection to earn even the thinnest sliver of that person’s trust. Though infrequent, there are folks that swing wide the door into their lives by seamlessly making the connection and gracefully clearing the hurdle for you.
Wyoming high school student Dre Davis, 17, is one of those persons. His natural calm freed me to immediately concentrate on accomplishing my assignment: document Davis’ life in under 24-hours.
Thankfully, the trust that could only have been granted by Davis, allowed me to travel through the crowded halls of Cheyenne Central High School, then beyond the cinderblock confines of the classroom, to focus on the small moments and details of his high school life.
Though documenting the day was fluid and smooth, it had not started off that way.
Late for school, Davis arrived about an hour after our scheduled time and only after a few quick reminder texts. Standing and waiting in our decided meeting area, the gym, I passed the time by watching some hybrid form of street hockey.
As the minutes ticked away, I became thankful that gym participation points would never again be factored into my overall grade point average.
At the end of the long day, even with the rocky start, Davis’ attitude and openness made up for all the stress of standing alone, on the sidelines, like the kid who once again forgot his gym clothes at home.
Thanks to Dre and Education Week photo editor and photojournalist, Nicole Fruge, for the great assignment.