Christine Deakers on What Really Matters: Questions

This is Christine Deakers. She’s California born-and-bred (Go Bears!) living in San Francisco for a few years now. Today she's a professional storyteller as a writer and content marketing manager for technology companies at an integrated communications agency called Eastwick.

At MMSF, she’s vice president of Creative Strategy for the MMSF Marketing team and loves to join in on the Saturday session fun when she facilitates creative writing workshops.  

According to Christine Deakers, here's what really matters: 

Ask more [challenging] questions.


Why did you join MMSF?

Education changes lives. To me, it’s also the center of culture and the driving force for progress and building strong communities. I’m so happy to be a part of a collective group of mentors and exceptional students who believe in education’s power to make the world better.  

What do you think really matters right now for students?

For any student, any person, the most important thing is to follow the questions you may have. What piques your interest? What do you want to learn more about? When you follow your curiosity, school and life will always be more engaging. Questions help people connect.

Looking back on your own education and growth, what’s one piece of advice you’d give?

If I could go back to my high school self, I would  remove “should” from my vocabulary. I wish I delved deeper into my passions rather than pursued extracurriculars that often felt like a chore, and didn’t really serve me in the end.

Challenge yourself at all times because you’ll grow and reap the benefits from your effort, but if you don’t have a strong “why” behind what you’re doing, reframe or shift your priorities. Your time is a valuable investment!

What brings you inspiration?

Rainer Maria Rilke, a Bohemian poet and novelist, still resonates with me today, and after years of reading his work, his words have become a personal mantra:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Any recommendations?

You don’t have to be a poet to gain insight and delight from Letters to a Young Poet. This epistolary novella (a.k.a. short book of letters) is filled with life lessons and “ah-ha” moments. It’s the type of book you can read right before bed, or maybe on the bus, as a great way to start off your day.

I also live by the Dear Sugar podcast, brought to you by Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, and Steve Almond, senior editor of the It’s an advice column in audio format that provides thoughtful and literary responses to some of life’s most complex scenarios.

Anyone at Minds Matter, or beyond, can appreciate these two recommendations. To me, they provide a self-education, beyond the traditional things we learn in the classroom. They both have helped me figure out who I was and who I want to become!


What do you think really matters to high school students today? Share your thoughts and advice on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtags #whatmatters #MMSF.