To live at LAS is to live in a community mosaic made up of many different cultures, backgrounds, and stories. If you look a little closer though, there are commonalities to be found in the adolescent experience uniting students beyond their initial differences. It is exactly these common ties that LAS teacher Raphael Aschenbrenner explores in his new self-published book, From us to you, sometimes you just have to say F*** it!
Mr. Aschenbrenner’s nine years of teaching experience have brought along with them a long mental anthology of conversations detailing moments of success, struggle, and hope. In a three year endeavor, Mr. Aschenbrenner committed to writing these conversations down, noting common themes that appeared in many of his student’s stories.
In his own words, which can be found on the back of his book, he explains “[adolescents] mostly all seem to share the following common ideas: “ I am alone in my condition or experience” which is a dreadful thought . . . Hence, I felt the need to compile and publish life stories of some of the many young minds that I have met along the way, with the intention to tell other developing minds out there that: ‘You are not alone!’ This is an important phase in your life that will transform you into a better person much needed in the ever changing, uncertain future of our planet.”
This past week, in order to to celebrate the release of Mr. Aschenbrenner’s book, LAS hosted a reading in Belle Epoque. An audience of staff and students listened intently as he explained his choice in pen name—João Oveilha (according to Gestalt psychology, the circular sound of this pseudonym may make it more memorable and captivating than his given name), read out a select story, and answered questions about his writing and publishing process.
Through a range of stories addressing topics such as bullying, facing one’s fears, and coming of age, From us to you, sometimes you just have to say F*** it! conveys a message of hope and indeed the sense that “you are not alone!”
If you would like to read and support Mr. Aschenbrenner’s work, you can buy a paperback or Kindle copy of it here: