Jason Thompson: “A man about the hustle”
Jason Thompson has been an associate professor in the english department at the University of Wyoming for 9 years now. And he has embraced the struggle every step of the way.
Thompson who grew up in Tacoma, Washington was the first to get a college degree from anyone in his family. And this was no easy feat as it was always on himself to get his own bills paid. He payed his way through college, accepting any job that came his way as he continued to work towards is first degree in literary composition.
“I worked many many jobs when I was in college, if there was money involved I would be up for it. I worked as a janitor, had work study and did tons of work in the food industry. I was always about the hustle,” said Thompson.
These jobs were just the beginning of his path to obtaining his degree. He was also a tutor, a security guard at night and built log houses during the summer in the woods of Washington State.
“It is one of the things that I am most proud of. Putting myself through school and being able to tell myself that everything that I have is because of me. It gives me confidence in overcoming other obstacles that I have faced in my life.” said Thompson.
Fatherhood and Izzy
While putting himself through school gives him a great sense of pride it is’nt the thing that he is most proud of in this world. Thompson is a single father and has learned as much from her as she has from him.
“Getting my daughter in the divorce, raising my kid and the little rituals that we have created together along the way is what I am most proud of. Learning with her and teaching her, all while surviving the politics of my job,” said Thompson.
Jason and his daughter Izzy. Photo credited to Thompsons Facebook.
The everyday rituals that he shares with Izzy and the day-to-day experiences are what he enjoys most.
Jason Thompson wakes up everyday just like the rest of us. It starts with a loud too early for this alarm and a few pondering minutes if why today. But just like with the rest of us reality starts to kick in and the day must be started.
He wakes up his 10-year-old daughter Izzy and gets her ready for the day. A quick breakfast and they are out the door.
His days are filled with teaching and writing while he also has a shared interest in woodwork from one of his many “hustles”. Him and Izzy often do homework together and make dinner, sometimes ending their evening with a ride on Jasons’ motorcycle.
Getting to know his students.
Throughout the course of his teaching career Jason admits that he has learned as much from his students as they have from him. Over time he has taken pride in being able to see his students for what they are… people, people that are trying to figure everything out just as he once was himself.
“I have always taken pride in trying to have a very open atmosphere within my classroom, I always want my students to talk and collaborate with each other. I know a lot of professors say this but it really is my favorite thing about teaching,” said Jason.
While Jason is a professor and has taught at other schools outside of Wyoming he has always tried his best to find value in things that he himself does not know. While he has lived in Wyoming for almost a decade he is just now in the process of getting his hunter safety permit.
“I want to be curious and humble about the things that I don’t know. I admire what people know, and at the same time what I don’t. I have even just started getting my Hunters safety. Its something that people do around here and I thought that I would like to learn how. Something is very valuable because I don’t know it,” said Thompson.
Throughout his life Thompson has overcome the challenges that he has faced, getting multiple degrees, being a single dad and continuing to learn have all been a part of the process. Doing all of this as not come with such ease though.
“Staying locked in and avoiding the drama that comes with the job that I have, have been some of the toughest things that Ive dealt with during this journey. But thats all part of it, I just try to stay humble and be there for Izzy,” Thompson said of the obstacles he has faced.
Jason his daughter Izzy shortly after their move to Laramie, photo credited to Thompsons Facebook.