In his extracurricular activities, Cannon Falls senior Mike Gesme is all about noise.
As an all-conference and St. Olaf College honor band member, Gesme blasted the loudest sounds of all with his tuba. Not content with that, he joined the steel drum band so he could pound out some more noise.
As captain of the Debate team, he spent his fall weekends fiercely and competitively arguing with other students.
After school, as a cameraman for the local cable access channel, Gesme would always be at the biggest sporting event or most contentious government meeting of the day.
But, in his day to day life, Mike Gesme is "intensely quiet," said his debate coach, John Fogarty. "The trite term would be a butterfly; he's just sooo reserved."
"He's quiet, very quiet," said Holly Lindahl, who's taught Gesme in a number of classes and traveled to Spain with Gesme during a class trip last summer. "But, if you sit next to him in class, you get to find out how really witty he is."
Apparently, a lot of kids sat next to Gesme over the years. This quiet kid who never has much to say was elected by his classmates to be one of two student speakers at tonight's commencement ceremony for Cannon Falls' class of 2006.
The recognition caps off a month of honors for Gesme. He also was chosen by the faculty to be this year's male inductee to the Hall of Fame.
The inductee is meant to be a student who takes a challenging course load, contributes to the quality of life at the school and is a positive role model. Also, the Cannon Falls Masonic Lodge awarded Gesme a $2,000 scholarship based upon academic record, citizenship, character and sense of purpose.
Character is another word people use often in talking about Gesme. "He's really just a flawless gentleman," said Pat Senjem, high school counselor. Senjem sat on a number of school board committees that Mike served on as student representative. "He's highly respectful of others and I think he receives a high degree of respect from his peers."
After a trip to Italy this summer with the Humanities class, Gesme plans on attending St. Olaf College in Northfield and pursuing a liberal arts education. "For now I just want to learn what I'm interested in; learning what path I want to take," Gesme said.
Gesme plans on continuing with band at St. Olaf. "Music is really the universal language," said Gesme, who chose St. Olaf partly on the school's emphasis on study abroad.
"I think you learn a lot about yourself when you learn about other people," he said. "I've even thought about the Peace Corps a little."
The son of Steve and Deb Gesme, Mike will live on campus at St. Olaf, but says hopes to stay involved with the Cannon Falls debate team as a coach. Maybe he thinks he'll miss all the noise.