by Chamberlain Zulauf
There is no one quite like Andrew Deel on campus. Or in the world. This week’s Folk is a one of one… in more ways than one. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you’d probably recognize him by his poofy hair at least.
Another defining feature, which Deel would describe as an extension of himself, is his beloved Honda Ruckus,
“Specifically, a 2012 Honda Ruckus, is the most superior form of transportation because you can park it literally anywhere and people will just think it’s cute. It’s not like you’re parking a big Harley Davidson. People think it’s funnier than anything else. Who’s gonna fight the guy who pulled up on a scooter? Another thing about the Ruckus is that you don’t have to tag or insure it in the state of Virginia. So, you have the initial purchase and that’s it. It’s also a two-seater… which can make things pretty intimate” said Deel.
After graduating this spring, Deel hopes to be an art teacher, making his way up to being a professor eventually. A graphic design career adjunct to that is also doable in his eyes. Though, his dream job would be to collect motorcycles.
As for his last year at ‘Noke it’s been, “so far, so good. A lot more ups than downs. I feel like through the college process, especially compared to your freshman year, you spent a lot of time finding things out and figuring out what sticks and what doesn’t. So, by the time you’re a senior, it’s just kind of like smooth sailing across the finish line”, said Deel.
On campus Deel might have a larger presence than most realize in doing graphic design for CAB, “I make all their social media posts from scratch in illustrator. That’s one way graphic design classes I’ve taken here have helped me. Shout out Cole Hartson. He taught me everything I know and everything I don’t know.”
Off campus Deel is a student teacher at the Roanoke Academy of Mathematics and Science, “It’s great coming in to help out and watch the kids and stuff. It’s a cool experience because it’s a whole different world
when you’re actually helping the class. You see the flip side of things you’ve seen, like behind the curtain of how things work in the education field, and how much thought goes into something that you would think is not a big deal. It’s reaffirming my desire to go into teaching myself,” said Deel.
As an underclassmen Deel was committed to a chemistry major but found that where he truly enjoyed himself was in his art minor classes. Soon enough he switched his major to art education, keeping his art minor. As someone who is true to himself by going against the grain, perhaps Deel was looking for a system to rebel against in entering the art department full time.
“I would say so far in every class that I’ve taken here in art; they have actually done the opposite of what you would think class would do. I’ve been penalized for wanting to express myself as if I’m not hitting a specific mark.
For example, I got a C in ceramics, because instead of making a tea set and ladle, I was making little goblins and a toilet bowl and stuff. And in my final critique with my teacher, he said my work was cooler than the assignment. But he gave me a C, so I was just like, okay.
The same thing with other art classes. I was told this or that isn’t what I was supposed to do. But all my peers always loved it. There’s definitely a place for humor art. And I think that’s kind of the niche that I want to go for. It’s more difficult to separate the two for me. When I’m told to be serious, it’s kind of hard because that’s just not me. So, I’ve had some pretty bad consequences. When I was in STEM my grades weren’t bad. Like I was making A’s, maybe some B’s. But in some art classes it went ‘here’s a C kid’. I’m not trying to trash the art department by the way. I know that my objective is to challenge. That’s really what’s important to me overall. Sticking to my guns. Art should never be there just to satiate a wall,” said Deel.
In a way, Deel is a modern philosopher. The idea of being silly and never growing up keeps him out of the dumps and makes every small mundane moment funny, and therefore worthwhile. Deel would say that it’s important to be able to express yourself in various ways so as to never grow stale with yourself. One of his favorite things as a student is being able to submit videos for classroom submissions, “they’re always silly but also always on topic. That’s just how I can express my thoughts the best,” said Deel.
Given an opportunity to give fellow Maroons a piece of advice Deel, of course, has the following to say.
“Don’t even worry about what other people think about you, because everyone’s in the same boat. We’re all in the same college and we’re all peers, we’re all equals and, you know, there’s different things that different people are better or worse at. We’re all working towards this goal of graduating and growing together and that’s special, and that’s something that we’re not gonna be able to get to do again. Don’t worry about how others will feel about the way you present yourself. Focus on how things make you feel. Once people see that confidence in you, they’ll be attracted to you.”