Trent of All Trades By Wyatt Loethen

Trent Ludwig, known for his charismatic charm, is a common name to hear at Helias Catholic High School.   If he’s not raising new academic standards, he could probably be found performing a song or two, venturing deep into the human psyche or a philosophical thought, or even just EV training Pokémon on his 3DS.  One thing certain about Trent is that whatever he may do, he truly does, striving for near impeccable perfection in everything he attempts.  This perfectionism has caused him to ascend to many great heights that only a very few of his peers can also say they have achieved.   Some other accolades Trent has are being participant of the State 4-H Council, President of the Calvary Lutheran FFA Chapter, and member in the FFA speech contest.

One principal part of Trent’s life is his great love for music: he’s in the school’s concert choir, show choir, musicals and in a band known as Young Classic, which plays around town.  Music for him is more of an outlet of expression and art than just a casual pastime leisure.

“I’m a bit of an audiofile,” said Trent. “It is the medium that has inspired me the most.  It has also helped me keep my sanity in this hectic world.”

His interest in music started quite differently than most people’s; one Christmas he received an iPod from “Santa”, though initially he had no desire whatsoever to use it at all.  But one day he decided to upload some songs onto it.  With this, he was immediately hooked on music.

Trent is no casual music fan though.  He extensively researches the greatest of all music from contemporary time to the past few decades, mostly from Internet sources such as the music reviewing website Pitchfork.  He knows an extreme amount of artists from all types of genres, new and old, mainstream and the barely known.  He even compiles his own lists of the best musicians, albums, and songs by the hundreds.  When he started getting into music he began with classics such as Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson, but he has since ventured into his own style, mostly being alternative rock and its many sub-genres.  Most notably, the band Radiohead has had the biggest influence on Ludwig.  But he’s open-minded and willing to give any genre of music a try, if it that has merit (not country).

Acting is a large part of Trent’s life, and it has helped form the person he is today.  He started very humbly as one of the three wise men in his church’s Christmas pageant, but what really made him fall in love with the stage was Helias’ production of Peter Pan, where he played a lost boy.

“[From acting] I’ve learned empathy,” Trent expressed. “By playing multiple characters with multiple feelings and histories, I’ve learned a great deal about the human condition.”

There’s another side to Trent that isn’t too well known, which is his strong love of philosophy, which strongly represents his intellect and desire to help humanity achieve its greatest level.  Some of his favorite philosophers are Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell, and Ayn Rand.  Philosophy has shaped Trent and how he views everything about the world, the human condition, truth, and the universe.

“Philosophy gives me a frame of reference unlike anyone I know,” said Trent. “Instead of accepting something as true, I have to explain to myself why it is true.  What is moral and why? Do I have free will and what is the evidence?  These are questions I often ask.”

Another hobby of Trent’s is playing video games, which for him is a great way to relax and manage stress.  Most notably Trent is the commissioner and founder of the Helias Pokemon League, in which he organizes tournaments for fellow students who also enjoy the game series.  Video games as a whole, play an important role in his life.

“They connect me to a culture which I enjoy very much: “nerd culture,” said Ludwig.  “I like them because they are the only art medium in which you participate to consume.”

Another great success Trent has is his academic career, boasting a 4.00 GPA and having a high enough ACT to receive the Bright Flight Scholarship.  He attributes his academic prosperity to his perfectionist personality and to the fact that it is dependent on his future at large.  Though he’s unsure of which university he will attend, his dream college is Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, which is currently reviewing his application.  He plans to double major in philosophy and economics, which he believes is relative to all aspects of life and the means to reach the greatest happiness.  For his career, he plans to get an MBA and seek executive work.  When asked about how his parents would react if he ever got a bad grade he responded with, “I probably shouldn’t be around my mother for at least a month”.

As many can tell, Trent is an extremely prodigious student in so many different ways.  He’s driven, artistic, intelligent, civically-minded, and has great plans to do great things in life and end up quite successful.  Being such a diversified virtuoso he truly does earn the title, “Trent of All Trades.”

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