Mr. Jeska

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Mr. Jeska

Abigail Gonzalez-Loera, Staff Writer

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  Mr. Jeska is a science teacher who has lived a rather exciting life. Apart from being a full time teacher, he makes it his goal to travel and experience the thrills the world has to offer. From a young age he was an adventurer, spending his free time outside exploring what nature has to offer. 

“My family was involved in white water river running, white water rafting and boating, and when I was thirteen we went down the grand canyon on a family trip,” Jeska said. “We spent three weeks on a big ditch going down amazing rapids, beautiful scenery, waterfalls, camping under the stars.”  

He recalls the rocks of the canyon and how they caught his interest. His thirteen year old self might not have realized how much those rocks would affect his future, for Mr. Jeska in addition to being an anatomy teacher, teaches earth science. 

“The interesting aspects, the rocks, turned me on to some of the earth science parts” Jeska said.

It’s easy to see why he’s a science teacher. The outside world and its challenges draws him in, which science is a part of. 

“And as a little kid, my eyes were just open. I was like, dude I like being outdoors,” Jeska reflected.

Many people might not be aware of just how much of an adrenaline seeker this science teacher is. One of Mr. Jeska’s hobbies is actually snowboarding.

“When I got into snowboarding with friends, it was like-it was this escape from school and the real world up into the mountains where it was beautiful,” Jeska said. “The air is clean, ya know, you’re out there with your friends just going super fast, hitting jumps, goofing around, you’re on your own time, nobody to really tell you what to do.”

Snowboarding was a freedom for him and it helped grow his confidence. Learning to snowboard opened him up to possibilities he otherwise might not have considered.

“Just having the confidence to do other things I life like; I could do that, I could do this, so I was never one to not try something new,” he recalled.

Being adventurous however, comes with its risks. Another one of Mr. Jeska’s hobbies is snorkeling, swimming in bodies of water such as lakes and oceans equipped with a diving mask and a breathing tube appropriately called a snorkel. It was during one of these swims that he almost lost his life in what would’ve been a freak accident. 

“I was almost killed, and it really messed with my head” he said.

He had been scuba diving with his girlfriend at the Cayman Islands for two days, exploring the reefs, but got sick and had to spend the rest of his trip snorkeling. They were offshore and continued going out and ended up very far from other people.

“And we kind of ended up in an area we shouldn’t have been. There was clearly marked buoys, like where the boats had to watch out, but we didn’t really notice that until after the event.”

There he discovers an underwater cave and encourages his girlfriend to swim through it, who he adds was a better diver than him. She accepts and as she’s diving down, he stays near the surface of the water unaware of his own surroundings as he watches her. 

“And then I hear kind of a loud din, a loud sound and I look up and, oh shoot a boat flies three feet from my face,” he said. “And the wave blasts me upside down; I flip over, tumble.” 

Being a person who seeks out exciting experiences can no doubt be dangerous. Things can go wrong when they are least expected. In Mr. Jeska’s case, it was a boat whooshing by within arms reach.

“But yeah, to answer your question, that was the most near death experience I’ve ever had. I was literally this close to kicking the bucket.”