Intriguing Person: Peter Geissler

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Intriguing Person: Peter Geissler

Source: Kylie Hayden

Source: Kylie Hayden

Kylie Hayden

Source: Kylie Hayden

Kylie Hayden

Kylie Hayden

Source: Kylie Hayden

Kylie Hayden, Social Media Manager

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By: Kylie Hayden

“I do not see Peter as a person. I feel and experience a wholesome and compassionately logical butthead with the strength of an ox,” Donovan said with a sour face. Donovan Long has been friends with Peter for four years, and so I was inclined to perceive him as biased.

I went into the interview expecting a lie and what I got, was an interview that borderline was what I perceived chasing a pig would be like.

Don’t get me wrong, interviewing Peter was enjoyable. It’s fun talking to people who have tons to say as Peter is a human embodiment of hobbies and interests. It’s just getting him to focus on one topic long enough so I could feel we had throughly explored it, was a challenge. A. Big. Challenge.

There are those with their singular passion and there are those who are learning about a few and then there is Peter who not only has hobbies but has mastered them and is open to finding more.

“Definately being adopted creates this drive in you,” he said about his life. “Adopted  to constantly to prove to yourself and others that you are enough. As a result I am always digging in and overworking myself.”

One of those said hobbies is photography. When I asked him about it, he laughed nervously, “I just spent so many paychecks on a new camera.” Sitting with Peter and talking about this passion made me feel in some ways like an amateur. Listening to Peter talk about photography like it was one of the most satisfying things the world, inspired me to think about what I care about. I made plans. I’m not Peter, but I don’t have to sit back and watch life pass me by, either.

For a while now Peter has been competing and doing professional shoots but that’s not the career path he wants to follow. Little did I know, this was a trend of his.

Peter joined FBLA his sophomore year, becoming president by his senior year. He clarified in the interview though that going into business was not his goal.

At this point in the interview, I withheld rolling my eyes. He so far had downplayed two extra-curricular activities after explaining a high degree of focus and determination and success.

In gathering some pre-interview details about him, many mentioned Marine Biology but no one could offer any furthering details, not even his friends. This was my second clue that interviewing Peter was going to be akin to a circus ride.

After waiting for his high energy to focus on the interview, I asked about Marine Biology. “I’ve always been fascinated with water and all the life in the water,” his high energy took off again to expand on this new topic.

Watching him talk about his interests had me disappointed this wasn’t a podcast. Simply hearing his engagement, motivated me to care. “because we’ve discovered so little of it,” he finishes, almost begging me, with his voice, to join him in learning more about sea life and, I must admit, I’m almost ready to do so.

I knew that these interests had to root from somewhere, some kind of inspiration and he had many.

When asking about who inspires him, he named one that caught my attention. “There is this guy from Finland,” once again I found myself hooked into his interests. Finland? I was ready to travel there. “Named Konsta Punkka. People actually call him the animal whisperer because he’ll spend up to three weeks on location to just get one portrait of one squirrel…His photos are just so mind-blowingly beautiful.” Intrigued, I looked up his inspiration right there in the interview and was stunned. Punkka, by the age of 21 had studied wildlife and landscape photography for six years and at that age had amassed 800K Instagram followers. Counting 6 backward from 21, and looking at my own Instagram followers, I laughed at myself.

With high school coming to an end for Peter, I asked about his future considering his interests in FBLA, photography, Marine Biology etcetera. Not a man to be pinned down, not yet ready to articulate where he was headed as if saying it would lock him down, he hedged. As of now, through Western Washington University, he’s a part of the Distinguished Marines Scholars Program which just means he’s “a fish nerd certified” where he plans to get his undergraduate in “Biology with Marine emphasis.”

Afterward,  he plans on attending the University of Washington to get his Masters and his Ph.D. I waited for the Jacque Cousteau reference, the moment where he’d admit he’s going to go pirate and sail the high seas with a camera and document the whole thing.

That moment didn’t happen, at least not to me, but probably in reading this, he’ll agree, it’s what he needs to do.  Because, after all, is said and done and the degrees are earned, he  “just loves the ocean.”

Ideally, Peter wants to leave Capital inspiring people to always be helpful and always be kind. “So many teachers inspired me and helped me along the way. It’s how I’d like to leave it.”

Peter is the kind of guy you want to know. He’s the friend, if you’re lucky, you want to have in your corner.

As you traverse the world and hit your roadblocks and fall, and cry and feel miserable that the world is against you, Peter will be there to say, ‘Yeah, that sucks, but so what. Come on, get up.’

Kylie Hayden, Managing Editor

Kylie Hayden is a managing editor for the Capital Outlook Newspaper. She has been on the Outlook staff for two years and is trained in the use of Adobe...

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Intriguing Person: Peter Geissler