Q&A with musician and DHS alumnus Ripken Walker - Class of 2019!
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Name: Ripken Walker
Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Waycross, GA. I grew up in Jasper, GA, Kingsport, TN, Dahlonega, GA, and I have lived in Dalton for 2 ½ years.
Elementary School: Harmony Elementary School (Jasper, GA), Andrew Johnson Elementary School (Kingsport, TN)
What were you involved with at Dalton High School? I was mainly involved with music in high school. I also played baseball for two years but stopped playing to pursue other activities.
High school achievements, highlights, or awards: Although I have been dual enrolling at Dalton State College since I have been in Dalton, my favorite high school highlight has been playing in the marching band with my friends.
Plans after graduation (work, college, summer jobs, trips?) After I graduate, I will continue working at Dalton Parks & Recreation Department for the summer. In the fall, I will be attending Georgia Institute of Technology.
What do you plan to major in and why? I am going to Georgia Tech for music technology (it is a newer undergraduate major). I really love everything to do with music, and the music technology program at Georgia Tech will help me understand the intricate technologies behind many different facets in the music industry.
I choose my post-graduation plans because... I want to increase my knowledge of music and the technologies behind it.
What did you enjoy most in high school? My favorite activity in high school was playing in the DHS drum line with some of my best friends.
Favorite teacher and why? Mr. Ronald Waters (DHS percussion instructor) would have to be my favorite teacher at DHS. He is someone I consider a friend and I am thankful to have worked with him for the past 2 ½ years.
Favorite subject or class and why? My favorite subject is (not) surprisingly music. Music is a very important component in our society, and fortunately, I will be able to pursue music it college.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment so far in my life is graduating from Dalton State College with my Associate of Science in Computer Science.
What has been your greatest challenge? My greatest challenge has been balancing my job, music, and school.
The thing I'm most proud of is... getting accepted to Georgia Institute of Technology. The past 12 years of my life have led up to getting accepted into college, and I am extremely proud that I will be able to continue my education at a prestigious university like Georgia Tech.
Who will you miss the most? I will miss my best friends I have made in band (they know who they are) and my parents. Luckily, Atlanta is not a far drive so coming back to Dalton to visit won't be too difficult.
Something people know me for is... Drumming
What do you do in your free time? I enjoy producing my own music and playing disc golf.
Person who has influenced your life most and why? My dad has influenced me the most. He really cares about my future and I am glad I have the relationship I have with him.
If you knew you could not fail, what would you do? I never plan on failing in anything I do, but if I knew I could not fail, I would become a touring musician.
If money was not a consideration, what would you do? I'm not really sure what I would do if money wasn't a consideration in my life. I would most likely pay off my college costs and then pursue other hobbies that I enjoy.
My favorite high school memory is... Being involved in band for all four years of high school; I have really enjoyed playing and teaching others about music.
In five years, I hope I... will be done with possibly a Master of Science in Music Technology from Georgia Tech. If not, have a job in the music industry.