By David Pohlad
Whether it is not wearing shoes, cross dressing, or pretending to be a completely different person, days at Lane are anything but average for Adam Vogenthaler, Div. 255. Although he is often seen shoeless in school, he likes to avoid shoes outside of school as much as he can as well.
“‘No shirts, no shoes, no service’ is not a very well-enforced rule,” Vogenthaler said.
Vogenthaler’s different personality isn’t a side effect of trying to go against the grain of typical high school students. It is simply because he does not pay attention to “the grain” at all.
“I don’t have much of a sense of what ‘ordinary’ is. Sometimes I cross-dress, or write all over my face. Overall, I’m just an ‘interesting’ person to know,” Vogenthaler said.
Vogenthaler’s decision against shoes has nothing to do with his social views either.
“It’s not about politics or society; it’s about being comfortable,” he said.
Usually students opinions can relate back to their parents who typically influence their kids. However, with a mother working at Lutheran General Hospital and a firefighter father, Vogenthaler’s different views come only from himself.
Vogenthaler is known as the “different one” among his group of friends as well.
“When I told [my friends] I was going to be in [the school paper], they didn’t believe it was just for walking around barefoot. I wouldn’t consider it one of my more outstanding acts.”
Vogenthaler’s shoeless feet are only the tip of the quirky iceberg.
“Cross-dressing, face painting and such, acting as characters I make up, having different personalities at different times. I like to re-locate traffic cones and newspaper boxes to strange places. I also really like to talk to strangers.”
Vogenthaler’s other side, which equally makes him stand out from most teenagers, is poetry. He attends poetry slams, writes, and reads poetry on a regular basis.
“Literature is a beautiful art form, and choosing not to read, to me, is just like choosing not to listen to music, or only eating to survive,” he said.
For his age, Vogenthaler can be considered a seasoned poet and follower of the art.
“I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I got really interested in maybe 6th or 7th grade, and I would just write during all my classes. I got a little more into it as I got older, especially when I started attending poetry slams and started reading a lot more.”
Vogenthaler encourages teens interested in poetry by giving them a place to open up to others.
“Lately, I’ve been hosting my own poetry meetings where really anybody who writes can come along, meet with other poets, and read and share their own work or any other poems or stories they like.”
“My meetings meet every few Saturdays, at various locations. More info can be found by contacting me via Facebook, or on the facebook group The Bauer-Reality Word Artists.”
Between his shoeless, different appearance, and his interest in an underground art form, Adam Vogenthaler is definitely one of the more noticeable students in a school where, due to its size, it is hard to stand out.