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Humans of Harker: Dolan Dworak subverts expectations

%E2%80%9CThere%27s+one+quote+that+I+remember+from+when+I+was+four+years+old+that+my+dad+told+me%2C+probably+after+I+threw+macaroni+on+the+carpet+or+something%3A+%E2%80%98because+you%27re+so+young%2C+you%27re+still+looking+for+the+boundaries%2C+and+that%27s+okay%2C%E2%80%99%E2%80%9D+Dolan+Dworak+%2812%29+said.+%E2%80%9CYou+can+always+look+for+them.+I+guess+my+forte+has+always+been+going+to+the+edge+of+the+cliff+but+never+really+jumping+off.+It%27s+very+relieving+to+wake+up+and+do+exactly+what+you+say+you%27re+going+to+do+and+be+the+exact+person+that+you+envision+yourself+to+be.%E2%80%9D
“There's one quote that I remember from when I was four years old that my dad told me, probably after I threw macaroni on the carpet or something: ‘because you're so young, you're still looking for the boundaries, and that's okay,’” Dolan Dworak (12) said. “You can always look for them. I guess my forte has always been going to the edge of the cliff but never really jumping off. It's very relieving to wake up and do exactly what you say you're going to do and be the exact person that you envision yourself to be.”

“There's one quote that I remember from when I was four years old that my dad told me, probably after I threw macaroni on the carpet or something: ‘because you're so young, you're still looking for the boundaries, and that's okay,’” Dolan Dworak (12) said. “You can always look for them. I guess my forte has always been going to the edge of the cliff but never really jumping off. It's very relieving to wake up and do exactly what you say you're going to do and be the exact person that you envision yourself to be.”

Zachary Hoffman

Zachary Hoffman

“There's one quote that I remember from when I was four years old that my dad told me, probably after I threw macaroni on the carpet or something: ‘because you're so young, you're still looking for the boundaries, and that's okay,’” Dolan Dworak (12) said. “You can always look for them. I guess my forte has always been going to the edge of the cliff but never really jumping off. It's very relieving to wake up and do exactly what you say you're going to do and be the exact person that you envision yourself to be.”

by Zachary Hoffman, Reporter

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“It’s actually kind of troubling how a lot of the most important things have been just impulsive and horribly unplanned,” Dolan Dworak (12) said of his high school career.

He sat in the middle of the Shah sofa, his arm resting nonchalantly on the adjacent backrest. Reindeer socks peeked out from his khaki pant leg — a note of oddity in his otherwise nondescript outfit.

“Last year, somebody was like, ‘are you turning in the forms for student council?’” he said of his rise to senior class spirit coordinator. “I had no plans to be on student council, but I was like, ‘ah, might as well.’ And this whole thing has transpired.”

What “this whole thing” is exactly is unclear. Perhaps it’s the class T-shirt emblazoned with a cartoon face of Dr. Victor Adler, the senior class dean. Or the Photoshops he created to advertise class events, the photo cutouts interlaced with tasteful Comic Sans. Or even his senior class council campaign: he ran unopposed and ended his speech by declaring that “like the elections in Cuba, you don’t have much of a choice.”

Economics teacher Mr. Samuel Lepler, for one, described his student’s class council speech as “drippingly hilarious, sarcastically funny — brilliant.”

“He seems indifferent and seems to brush everything off,” Lepler said, “but he is actually just a big teddy bear inside. He cares deeply about other people and derives tremendous pleasure from making other people happy.”

Dolan’s humor often comes in the form of edgy comments or witty remarks. His close friend Alisa Su (12) even described his behavior as almost “troll”-like.

“Without a negative connotations, the best word to describe Dolan is ‘weird,’” she said. “I mean that in the nicest way possible, but he thinks of things that are very unconventional.”

Dolan has developed a reputation as a cordial prankster, known for his ability to balance humor and seriousness.

“There’s one quote that I remember from when I was four years old that my dad told me, probably after I threw macaroni on the carpet or something: ‘because you’re so young, you’re still looking for the boundaries, and that’s okay,’” he said. “You can always look for them. I guess my forte has always been going to the edge of the cliff but never really jumping off. It’s very relieving to wake up and do exactly what you say you’re going to do and be the exact person that you envision yourself to be.”

That mindset led to countless instances of “envelope-pushing,” including one memorable detour he took on his way home from Santa Cruz.

“We were driving on Highway 1 North, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to go home,’” he said. “So I put in the map to Las Vegas; it was like 7 hours and 45 minutes. I was like, ‘if I leave now, that means I’ll get there when [my grandparents] are starting to wake up. We’ll have breakfast, spend the day there, and go back home.’ So I literally just went to Vegas.”

Dolan sets his priorities based on one mantra: “actions speak louder than words.” He justifies this philosophy in terms of economics, as he weighs every decision and non-decision based on the costs and benefits.

“Senior year, there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity cost of everything,” Dolan says. “Every day, you either hang out with friends or study; that’s one ‘tick’ on the calendar closer towards this intangible graduation. Are you going to filled with regret during graduation? Are you going to filled with angst? Excitement? Who knows! That’s a question mark.”

From launching his very own presidential DECA campaign to filling the shoes of senior class spirit coordinator, Dolan consistently seeks to push the limits of whatever he can.

“I think he is not afraid to put himself out there or challenge the status quo, where as most people will stick within the lines,” said Amitej Mehta (12), the senior class president. “He always pushes the envelope of what’s allowed and seen as conventional. In terms of bringing people together, and getting people together for a cause, he really did that naturally.”

Alisa mentioned that Dolan’s natural curiosity allows him to interact with all kinds of people. She noted his interest in art history movements and various genres of music.

“He is not replaceable,” Alisa said. “As the end of senior year wraps up, we are all going to miss each other and go off to college. We are realizing that we are not going to have each other. Maybe you will find new friends that will have similar personalities, but I think something that I’ll really miss with Dolan is you will never really get that quirky vibe with someone you will find.”

Dolan seeks to live life by “abandoning the precepts of caring what people think.” Nevertheless, he prefaced the interview with an aura of mystery.

“I’m not going to lie: I feel like a lot of the best stories are not Humans of Harker worthy,” he said. “You know what I’m saying? The yearbook is an esteemed piece of journalism, of course, and I would hardly wish to tarnish it with my shenanigans.”

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Humans of Harker: Dolan Dworak subverts expectations