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From Music to Modems

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Jessie Hewitt is a well-rounded young man

     Jesse Hewitt, a student at Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School this fall, enters Grade 11 with a long list of accomplishments. He is a member of the National Honor Society. He was elected Junior Class Vice President. Last Spring he played on the Varsity Basketball team and went to the State A-4 championships. He golfed in the State A-3 competition organized by teachers at Clark Fork Jr/Sr High School and held at Hidden Lakes Golf Course. Hewitt regularly hits 45 in nine holes.

     His enthusiasm for golfing and other activities by no means overshadows his academic talents. In fact it was a golfing incident involving his younger brother that became the subject of Hewitt’s first publication. Northern Journeys printed “Clayton with a Golf Club” in Volume Three, 1999, in their Young Artists & Authors section. That story, poems and a play he helped write and produce, earned Hewitt a scholarship to the first Lost Horse Writing Conference in May.

     “It was mind-opening, I guess you could say,” said Hewitt about the two-day conference. With a select group of area high school students, Hewitt studied with Scott Poole, editor of Eastern Washington University Press and author of Cheap Seats.  

     “You had to think faster than you normally would think,” said Hewitt whose favorite exercise was an assignment to write non-stop for five minutes. 

     At the public reading on Saturday evening, May 7th, at Oden Bay Hall, when Hewitt read a poem he had written that day, he gained the attention of Jonathan Johnson. Johnson is a widely published poet, author of the book Mastodon, 80% Complete, and a professor at Eastern Washington University. “He was telling me parts about my poem that he liked,” said Hewitt with a broad grin. Hewitt called the poem Fly Fishing

     Although an avid fisherman, his experience spans catching cutthroat trout on an overnight hike to Rock Lake, in Montana and snapper fishing off Morro Bay, in California, computers and modern technology also occupy Hewitt’s time. 

     He is a member of Atta-Touch, Clark Fork High School’s nationally recognized school-based business program. Adept on computers, this past school year Hewitt, along with senior Carl Pratt, maintained all of Clark Fork Jr/Sr High School’s network.

     “If a teacher had a problem, they’d come to Carl Pratt and myself,” said Hewitt. “We solved any of the school’s difficulties in getting online.” Now that Pratt has graduated, Hewitt has inherited the responsibility. He plans to train somebody to take his place before he graduates in spring, 2003.

       This summer, Hewitt, and Atta-Touch classmates Bryce Wilkinson and Sara Baugh,  attended a business camp called “Understanding Free Enterprise,” Sponsored by Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry in Boise, participants were divided into companies.

     “Every company had their advisor,” said Hewitt, “Somebody who worked in the business world.” Using advanced simulation techniques, each company conducted a “virtual” business. And like any innovative company, “employees” got acquainted with games such as tug of war and shaving cream wars.  “The whole week was very crazy,” said Hewitt, smiling.

     In addition to attending business camp in Boise, Hewitt also attended a music camp in Moscow. Originally called the Lionel Hampton Music Camp, this year the camp added art, dance and theatre and changed the name to University of Idaho Fine Arts Camp.

     “You learn as much in that week as you learn in a whole year of school band,” said Hewitt who does not take private music lessons. 

     Attending a school music competition at U of I in 1999, Hewitt impressed bassoon teacher Susan Hess.  “She’s the one who gave me my first scholarship to music camp,”  said Hewitt.

     Hewitt, who wants to major in music at University, taught himself to play the bassoon. During the summer between sixth and seventh grades, he borrowed the school instrument. “I had a book,” said Hewitt, “and I just went through the book.” 

     Hewitt also taught himself to play bass guitar. On Friday evenings he gets together with some friends who have formed a small band. “Mainly we just play a lot of worship music like Sonic Flood,” said Hewitt. 

     In order to stay organized, Hewitt keeps a wall calendar in his bedroom.  “It just keeps me on track,” he said.

     And in between the spaces of everything else, he digs holes with a shovel, pours concrete, and checks grade – all jobs he learned from his parent’s business J & P Backhoe & Dozer Service of Clark Fork.

      “I work as a laborer any time somebody needs me,” said Hewitt.

     But it is music that closes down his busy days.  “It’s just one of those things before I go to bed I like to play [either bassoon or bass guitar]. It’s fun,” said Hewitt. 

     Susan Saxton D’Aoust is a resident of Clark Fork and is the author of ‘Panhandle Pieces,’ a column in the Spokesman Review.

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Susan Saxon d'Aoust Susan Saxon d'Aoust is a writer based in Clark Fork.

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