HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | OCTOBER 2016 | Fear Edition | “Conquering Fears”

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A good story about fear–well, it’s kind of vain–is about when I was 21.  I conquered a lot of fears by going to school in London.  I was going to UW-Parkside and found a study abroad program through UW-Platteville.  I really had no monetary understanding or issues; I just didn’t care.  I just knew I was going to do this.

But I was scared shitless.  For one, I didn’t know anyone in the program because I was at a different school.  I just wanted to get out and do stuff–and I knew I’d have to conquer any fears.  When I was there, I had to figure out the Underground by myself–I did that.  And one time I figured out how to see four plays in one day!  LENNON, 42ND STREET, GIGI, and LES MIS–seriously, the opening night of LES MIS in London!  

When I came back from London, however, all the normal fears came back, especially since I didn’t feel, from London, like I had to make any real decisions.  But of course I did.

I want this kind of experience for my daughters.  I want them to experience a different culture and conquer their fears–at least temporarily.

Author: Dominic Inouye

As a teacher for over twenty years, Dominic Inouye has worked with everyone from elementary school students to adult learners, creative writers and physical therapists, to help them develop their reading, writing, critical thinking, and, most of all, their voices.  He began his career at Marquette University, expecting to become the next Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society, then made a surprise move to the high school classroom, where he found his home at Pius XI High School, then later at The Prairie School in Wind Point, Wisconsin, where he is completing his seventh and final year as an English teacher.

Never one to pull an old lesson plan out of a dusty file cabinet and re-use it year after year, Inouye began experimenting from the very beginning with how to integrate authentic, real-world, transformative learning into his students’ study of literature and the expression of ideas.  Examples include his founding of the Milwaukee Spotlight Student Film Festival, the C.L.A.S.S. program, which brings together 4th-12th graders for service learning, and the Senior Capstone program of individualized research projects.  As expected, Inouye will not be bringing any dusty ideas to the Pfister--only creative celebrations of new voices.

Inouye was chosen to serve as the hotel’s ninth Pfister Narrator based on his writing style, his vision for the role, and his personality.