Grand Valley Magazine Spring 2015 - (Page 28)

A RTS Mark ten Haaf, '15, thrived in the Classics Department, learning five languages and tutoring students despite juggling a busy personal life photo by Bernadine Carey-Tucker Construction to Classics Family man turned student pursues linguistic passion by Matthew Makowski Take a deep breath and imagine a life filled to capacity by attending school full time, studying five languages, tutoring, raising three kids under 10 years old, managing a photography business and working construction. While this list may seem daunting to some, it's status quo for Mark ten Haaf, '15, who has been labeled an all-star student by faculty members in the Classics Department. As a first-generation college student, ten Haaf always had aspirations to pursue higher education. That was put on hold when he started working for his father's construction company, AAA Poured Wall, during high school. "I had notions of going back to school at some point, but I really enjoyed working construction in the summer," ten Haaf said. ten Haaf, who lives in Kentwood with his children and wife, began taking night classes at Grand Rapids Community College in 2009. Three years later, ten Haaf began working part time for his family's business in order to attend school full time at Grand Valley. "I tried to cram as many classes as possible into the first few days of the week so I could still work later in the week, at night, and on some weekends," ten Haaf said. Aside from "living in the library," most of his work, both for school and for his family's photography business, is completed at night after his kids go to bed. 28 Spring '15 capstone research. Following months of intense work, ten Haaf had the opportunity to present his undergraduate research Originally working toward attending during a scholarly panel at the Classical seminary school and fulfilling necessary Association of the Middle West and South academic requirements in Greek, Hebrew conference in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Latin linguistics, ten Haaf admits in October. This is an opportunity more he "kind of stumbled" into the field commonly granted to graduate students of Classics. and professional scholars. "In the first year here, just beginning "Mark found something that filled a with Greek and Latin, I really became real intellectual passion, and that's not enamored with the study of the something that happens everywhere and languages themselves," he said. for every student," Anderson said. "He is "Language is the seed of all human a credit to the kind of overall human that thought so I've always considered it to Grand Valley is interested in putting out into have a really high place." the workforce. He's good at giving advice, Fast forward three years and Hebrew, people look up to him and he handles all German and French now sit alongside that with a real sense of maturity, but also Greek and Latin on ten Haaf's linguistics with humbleness." resume. ten Haaf said ten Haaf attributes much of his love for Classics his success to the motivation "He is a credit to is rooted in the rich he gets from his family's the kind of overall historical texts he encouragement. studies that are still "My wife and children make human that Grand applicable in the Valley is interested enormous sacrifices, financially world today. and in time that could be in putting out into "It's a huge collection spent together," ten Haaf the workforce." of the finest thoughts said. "If I were to do things at from antiquity until half-throttle, I'd be making a - Peter Anderson now on the really statement about the value of the important human time and resources that were issues," ten Haaf said. "Why do bad sacrificed. I owe it to them to perform with things happen to seemingly good excellence since this is my job right now." people? What are Gods' feelings towards Being raised by a father who believed in us? These questions are always going to the value of completing tasks to the utmost be relevant. Material that eloquently and of one's abilities also instilled in ten Haaf a artfully addresses all of these issues is a work ethic than transcends most. real treasure I hope we never lose." "One thing I always keep in my mind is a As if studying five languages wasn't verse in Ecclesiastes that says, 'Whatsoever enough, ten Haaf was also a dedicated the hand findeth to do, do it with all thy tutor at Grand Valley. might,'" ten Haaf said. "I feel obligated with Throughout the latter part of his whatever I'm undertaking to do it well, academic career at Grand Valley, ten Haaf do it perfectly, do it absolutely as well as collaborated closely with Peter Anderson, I can, and I've tried to do that with all of chair of the Classics Department, on his my classes."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Grand Valley Magazine Spring 2015

Campus News
Donor Impact
Behind the gallery
Beer boom
Reenactment takes center stage in classroom
Global GV
Focal Point
Q&A Harmon, DesArmo
Off the Path
Alumni News

Grand Valley Magazine Spring 2015