10 Questions with Mr. Koepke

Daisy Lehman and Claire Guttormson

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Lehman-Can we ask you some questions? 

Koepke-Sure. Fire away. 

Lehman-Okay, so first who is someone you helped this week? 

Koepke- Oh my gosh, helped this week? So many people I can’t even begin to describe how many. I probably have to say my wife. She recently had a little bit of a procedure done and so she hasn’t been able to do as much as she can, which is a struggle for her. But she’s fine. Everything’s good but just being more active around the house than I normally am. And I’ve been able to help her do some things. So that’s been really helpful. 

Lehman-That’s good. Who inspires you? 

Koepke-My grandpa inspired me a lot and he passed away really 15 years ago. A little less than that, but he was someone that I really liked. I actually still have his picture, the last picture I took of him was at my college graduation. And so he inspired me a lot to just be a good person. Be a good dad, be a good role model, just a good man in general, helping people out doing things that aren’t even really asked to do. So he inspired me a lot.

Lehman- What is your ideal running weather? 

Koepke- Not this I’ll tell you that because this morning I went running and it was cold and I was like, especially even after the leaves fall. It’s tough because you have to like watch where you’re going. Yesterday was perfect. I don’t know if you know, yesterday was 55 degrees or something like that. Little bit of wind, not sunny, partly cloudy. That’s, that’s perfect. 50s and 60s is amazing. 

Lehman-Is there any advice you’d give a teenager? 

Koepke- I had thought about this a while ago. And one of the things that I kept thinking about was like if I were in the situation that kids are in now, would I act any different or would I do anything differently? And I think one of the things that is really important to me looking back on is the idea that I always did stuff, caring what other people thought and I think I missed out on a lot of opportunities in high school, even in college too. And I think if I were to go back and just say like, who cares what everyone else thinks just go ahead and do this. If it makes you passionate, that makes you happy. That’d be something that I really want to want to look back at.

Lehman-Do you have a secret talent? 

Koepke- Oh man, secret talent? I can make a really mean grilled cheese. Like I run a lot like everyone knows that talent about me. I don’t, I guess I love like hiking and like going outside and doing stuff and just like, I’m looking around at things around my room like things that might inspire any talents that I have-but I can sew, so that’s I mean, I yeah, I can sew. There’s my secret talent I can sew, so if you got to stitch that you need sewn I’m more then happy to help you out with that,

Lehman- What is your marathon PR?

Koepke: I just ran one actually. So it was my first one. It wasn’t great. So was what was it was 4:19. No. Yeah, 4:19 Four hours and 19 minutes. It was amazing going up until mile 17, and then after mile 17 you get into like this body fatigue they talk about a lot where your body just like completely decides to shut down even though you’ve trained so hard for it. And so that was one of those things that I hit. So when I left, I told my wife and my mom they were there watching me and my mother in law and my father in law were there too. And I said I’m never going to do another one again. And then after that I kind of look back and I was like, You know what, maybe one a year so it’s not, it’s the PR now. The goal is still, the goal is still out there.

Lehman- What are three things you can’t live without?

Koepke- People or food?

Lehman- Anything.

Koepke-Anything? We’re going to walk and think about this one. I think my family is for sure something just like my wife, my kids, just like encompass all of that in there. There was a funny quote, it was actually in Yellowstone, one of the things that she said in Yellowstone and she’s like, “That’s it like you got to outlive me” or something like that. So it’s kind of funny, so definitely that. I love my protein shakes in the morning, every morning for the past 10 years. I’ve had protein shakes every single morning and that’s breakfast. I actually have a smoothie shirt that someone made me last year and then probably the third one would be running or staying active in some way shape or form. Like I gotta be active, I’ve got to be doing stuff like that. 

Lehman- What’s the best advice you’d give your students? 

Koepke-Best advice I’d give my students? I think the same advice that I gave myself like, don’t worry about what other people think about you, don’t worry about the likes you get on social media or the posts that you do or anything like that. Just do stuff that makes you passionate, that makes you happy. And as long as you are able to do those two things and I guess not hurt or injure anyone else or offend people and those kind of things, you’ll live a really good life. 

Lehman-What’s your icebreaker activity on the first day of classes and why do you use it? 

Koepke-I do that like random question thing. I print off this list of like 500 random questions and I just have them call for names and I have them like pick a number. And I ask them a question. That is that number and if they don’t like it they can pick another one. Some of them are like “are you afraid of the dark?” or they get a little bit more intimate, I guess. If they don’t like it, then they can do another one. I think I do that just because like everyone’s really used to the :What’s your name?”, “Favorite color?”, “What do you want to do kind of thing?” and I think that it’s a way to just feel a bit more comfortable in the classroom but then also be able to share something by yourself that not everyone knows.

Lehman- And finally, what is your favorite High School memory?

Koepke-My favorite high school memory? I was in band in high school, and I played the trumpet. And one of the things that we did every year was we put on a production called band review. And it was this like improv, musical number with singing and dancing and all different kinds of stuff and the first time I ever got on stage to sing, which would have been a hidden talent because I can kind of sing. I was dressed up as Dracula and I sang love potion number nine. I came out of a casket, it was this whole skit that went on. I dressed up as Dracula with the white paint and everything and I sang Love Potion Number Nine. And then senior year I actually sang Frank Sinatra too. So I had the hair slicked back and zoot suit coat and things like that. So those are, those are really, really cool memories that I have. 

Lehman-Okay, thank you so much!

Koepke- Yeah, thank you