By Daisy Carachure

As I walk to the busy building where my interviewee is waiting, I review the questions I will ask in my head. On the elevator going up, I think back to the first time I met this person. I was quickly intimated; he was extremely different from any other adult I had ever met. He cussed, had a great sense of humor, and said exactly what he was thinking. As I walked into the small room he calls his office, I saw him sitting in front of a computer. He looked normal enough, wearing a lavender dress shirt with a matching tie, casual blue jeans and shiny black dress shoes. Yet, as we all know, looks can be deceiving. People describe this man as loud, straight forward, sarcastic, and funny. He is an individual who makes sure he is seen and heard that way. He has a skullet hairstyle where the left side is a little shorter than the right and has blonde dyed tips. He also makes sure to dye it red and green for the holidays to make himself stand out more from the crowd. This is only one way of showing his individuality. The way he speaks is another; he is not afraid to tell a person what he is thinking and feeling. In the short time I have known him, he has gotten me to think differently and discover more about myself. With his three different careers, Jack Mierop impacts many people’s lives with his inspirational words.

While working as a building contractor and semi-professional musician, Jack came to the decision to go back to school, and to his surprise, he fell in love with it. Jack emphasized his love for school when saying, “I just thought, ‘How in the world can I never leave this place?’ and the answer was get a job here.” He started teaching with a fellowship during his graduate program and has been doing so for 17 years. He has taught many subjects as a professor, his bailiwick being Interpersonal Communication. He has also taught Public Speaking, Argumentation and Debate, Storytelling, and some upper division Interpersonal Communication Theory classes. Jack has great passion for what he does and admits that the only aspect of his job that feels like work is grading papers. Anyone can see it in his eyes and in the tone of his voice that he absolutely loves his job. He confessed, “I love being in front of an audience. I love engaging minds. I love making people think. I love making people laugh.” The most rewarding aspect of being a professor Jack said is, “The people that I have reached, you know, the people that come to me after the semester is over or a couple of years later and tell me the material is still fresh in their minds and they are still using it in real life. It’s stuff like that that makes me want to get up and go to work.” This shows how Jack inspires his students; they take his lessons with them and apply them in their lives. To Jack, teaching comes easy; it can be easily seen whenever he is in front of an audience talking about what he knows best.

Jack is also a motivational speaker and life coach, and he has been at it for several years. “It had been kicking around my head, probably for ten years or so. Because my students have told me, ‘You are so inspirational, or you are so motivational,’” Jack said about the idea of how his motivational speaking career came to be. When preparing for his speeches, Jack makes sure he asks the various groups about what they would like him to talk. “When they invite me to talk somewhere they say ‘I would like you to talk about leadership, or we want you to talk about morality, or we want you to talk about doing the right thing.’” The response from the audience is what matters most to Jack, when they come up to him afterward and tell him he is inspirational and has made a difference in their lives.

While creating seminars for his motivational speeches, Jack realized that he had chapters for a book. The idea of which also came from his students. They encouraged him to write a book, but the idea was not so pleasant to Jack at first. “Write a book?” he complained, with a sigh, “that’s like climbing Mount Everest. It’s just huge!” The process took him about three years and he has finished one out of three books in a series. The first, entitled Becoming . . ., focuses how to become the person one wants to be. Jack explained, “It walks you through your thought processes. How you’ve been programmed or conditioned throughout your life by the people and experiences in your life.” The second book, entitled Behaving . . ., focuses on effective communicative behaviors. His third, Belonging . . ., focuses on the dynamics of relationships and how to make sure that one is managing the best relationships.

“First you build yourself, then you understand how to interact with the rest of the world and then you create the best relationships,” Jack said, about the order of his books: The handbooks for life in a boxed set. The second and third books are in the beginning stages. Jack wants his books to inspire people of all age groups, “I didn’t want to write a textbook. I don’t want the books to just be for college students. I want them to be for the 40 year-old single mother that says ‘ I have to change my life somehow’ but is not going to college so she opens up a book that’s fairly easy to read and is not too long.”

“Your life is your choice. Your happiness is your choice, and you’re the only person that can make those choices. You’re the only person that can live that life. And that’s where your personal piece is. That’s where your personal freedom is. And understanding it’s your choice. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life,” Jack said, and then leaned in closer to me, “not even your parents,” he finished with a whisper. This is the answer Jack replied with when I asked about the main message he wants people to take away from his class, speeches, and book.

This man is different from most, which is great because that makes him memorable. The way he teaches is very impacting and unique. It will remind his students that he is passionate about his job and that he works hard to help people understand themselves better. His lessons and wise words stick with his students and make them question themselves. I am very lucky because I can say I am one of the many students whom he has helped. Jack Mierop is a teacher, motivational speaker and life coach, and author who will teach individuals eye-opening subjects that can change their view of life forever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.