Birthday Surprise

Unforgettable Gift for Unforgettable Teacher


Submitted Photo

Mr. Jon Swanson’s classroom door was decorated on his birthday.

On Jan. 24 GHS celebrated a school-wide holiday. History instructor Mr. Jon Swanson celebrated his birthday, and one of his students surprised him with a gift he will never forget. Junior Faith Leiting took the time to contact basketball players for the Oregon Ducks. Chis Duarte, Shakur Juiston and Chandler Lawson all took the time to send a happy birthday message to Mr. Swanson.
“I emailed one of their coaches,” Leiting said. “Which is how they got my email to send me them (the videos) and then I DM’ed one of the basketball players I was just like ‘Hey is there any way you could get a video saying happy birthday to Mr. Swanson, it’s his birthday and he loves the Oregon ducks.’”

Mr. Swanson is a proud Oregon fan, his classroom is even littered with Oregon paraphernalia. Consequently, he was shocked when the athletes sent two videos wishing him a happy birthday.
“It took me a second, mainly because I’m an old man now, to figure out what was going on,” Mr. Swanson said. “Chris Duarte who’s in the first one, he’s from Dominican Republic, I think, so it took me a second to understand what he said and then I was like ‘Oh my gosh’ like ‘You gotta be kidding me’ and then she played the other video, with Justen jumping down off the rim saying ‘Happy birthday Mr. Swanson’ holding up the ‘O’ and I was like ‘This is crazy’.
He was amazed by the gift. He showed all his classes, family and even friends in Oregon. However, the situation did make him realize something.

“So yeah I was completely shocked and it was a very original idea,” Mr. Swanson said. “Nothing like that had been done. It was very cool and it also made me realize that I am probably maybe a little overzealous when it comes to my Duck fandom that I have students now, doing things like this. Also, there’s some duck basketball players who probably think there’s some middle-aged manic duck fan that’s stalking them. But no it was very very cool, and it’s something I’m gonna keep.”
Overall, he was very excited about the gift he received, and will not forget it. Now he is just waiting to see what he will be surprised with next year.