Autenrieb: Philosophy of a door-holder

Autenrieb: Philosophy of a door-holder

Sophomore Alexander Autenrieb holds the door for students during second lunch every day.

Jacob Smithe, Staff Writers

When a kid stands holding a door for more than five minutes out of his 30-minute lunch break every single day, he probably has a good reason for it. The philosophy of sophomore Alexander Autenrieb is as simple as wanting to help people in every way possible.

“It started around third grade,” Autenrieb said. “Our class would get into a line and we would have the leader, the caboose, and the door-holder. I wasn’t one of those kids who wanted to be first out of the door or first in line; I was just more concerned for other people instead of myself. The jobs would rotate around, but since no one else really wanted to be the door-holder, I’d just be like ‘I’ll do it, I got this guys.’”

Even as the rules and restrictions fell away with age, Autenrieb’s character remained. Not only at lunch, but seven periods a day, eight on cap days, Autenrieb is still making sure no one is locked out class before the bell rings.

Despite the great promise he shows in the field, Autenrieb says he will continue to hold doors throughout his career only “as a hobby.” In keeping with his ambitious nature, Autenrieb has much greater things in mind.

“I want to study engineering,” Autenrieb said. “I’ll probably be a mechanical engineer after that. But my ultimate goal is to become an inventor.”

And he means Inventor with a capital ‘I.’

“In elementary school my friends would laugh at me for this,” Autenrieb said, with a pause long enough for a smile to steadily stretch across his face. “But one thing I want to invent is a hover-board, made in a way so that it can be mass produced and available to a lot of people.”

And even amid his dreams of illustrious commercial success, Autenrieb’s thoughtful character seems to somehow slip in between fame and fortune.

“I also want to improve on prosthetic limbs,” Autenrieb said. “A normal person has 25 ‘freedoms’ that let us move our arms and hands like they do. Right now, prosthetics can only mimic five of these freedoms. I want to develop this so that eventually people with prosthetic limbs can do anything that a healthy person can.”

Despite visions of hover-boards for the masses and prosthetics that can fist-bump with impunity, Autenrieb’s dreams are still tempered with a dose of reality from his past.

“The elementary school I grew up in was supposed to be a pretty good school, but really, if you could name a crime, it had probably happened there,” Autenrieb said. “Noticing at a young age that I couldn’t help everyone was kind of a shock. But even after that, I still try to help people. You know, ‘strive for perfection, settle for superior.’”