By Laura Wiersema ’18
During college, it can be difficult for students to decide which passions to turn into a career and which to keep as hobbies.
When Maxine Lauzon ’17 came to Simpson from her southern California home, she was drawn to the marketing and French programs, both of which she chose to major in.
Maxine certainly excelled in her fields, to the point of securing a job after graduation with On AG, an international sports-performance running shoe company. Some of her strengths, however, lay beyond the confines of her majors.
“I had always loved writing and still carry a dream of one day writing an actual novel,” Lauzon said. “However, I lacked the confidence and drive to carry through with any long-term independent writing project.”
When she took a fiction writing class with Professor of English David Wolf, her confidence grew. In January 2016, she even submitted her work to Sequel, Simpson’s annual literary and visual arts publication, and won first place in fiction.
“Hopefully, a full novel is indeed in the future,” she said.
Lauzon participated in Simpson Pride, Wesley Service Scholars and Simpson Feminists, all clubs focused on trying to help people, something she admitted she felt powerless to do in high school.
“Participating in these clubs was both liberating and empowering,” she said. “Each club helped me to see the problems that still persist in terms of sexism, racism, homophobia and poverty in our society to this day, and that there are ways that everyday people can help.”
Once a week, she volunteered in the memory-care section of The Village in Indianola, a senior living community a few blocks from campus. The experience was both emotionally rewarding and taxing, as most people would forget who Lauzon was from week to week.
“However, I did learn that, even when memories fade, impressions last and can be much more important,” she said. “I would not change a moment of my time with any of the people at the Village.”
With all these experiences and more during her time at Simpson, how could Lauzon possibly choose a favorite memory, one that stands above all the others?
Well, she can’t.
“When I look back, I don’t think I will necessarily remember all the things I did, but I will remember the talks I had with people that made an impact on how I viewed the world or how I viewed myself,” she said.
Sometimes those people were friends, sometimes professors, a few of whom she grew close with. Every semester, she tried to take a class with Allison Wolf, professor of philosophy, even though Lauzon was not in the philosophy program.
“I feel like it was these courses that most improved my writing and critical thinking abilities,” she said. “Professor Allison Wolf gave me the tools to evaluate both the outside world and myself, as well as give me some insight on how I could potentially better both.”
And that’s exactly what Lauzon intends to do going forward: grow as a person and create a better world, one person at a time.
“As a graduate, I want to continue to help people in whatever small ways I can,” she said.