The Final BlogDown: Tyler Kastantin



Grady Gallagher | Blogger

For all the humor I attempt to write with, there’s always a times in life when being funny may not be the answer. This is almost one of those times. As you probably noticed in my last blog, I only talked about four of my suitemates when I said (and everyone at BV knows, you live with 5). No, I didn’t forget someone (seriously, who would think this?), and no, I wasn’t’ about to leave my roommate an easy way out. A special person deserves a special blog. While most roommates might thank each other with a present or couple free drinks downtown, my roommate gets a blog. This blog is about my roommate, Tyler John Kastantin. (“T Kast”, “T”, “Sweet T”, “DC’s Finest”, “Grandpa”)

T Kast and I first met near the victory bell on the first day of freshman year. (I sound like a married person telling their kid a lie about where they met. I swear it’s true.) We were the only two freshman basketball players that were taking part in the Dean’s Fellows Program. (Greg, I’m sorry if A. you were in this or B. you weren’t in this and it still stings.) The only thing I remember from our first meeting was his response to my question if he had a girlfriend.

“Do I have a girlfriend?” he spat back. “Who gets a girlfriend? This is college.”

Geez bro. He seemed almost offended. And, if you’re keeping score at home, he’s been tied down this entire year.

We did our thing freshman year apart. Sweet T had back surgery to fix/remove a herniated disk in his back which cut his b-ball season short. Hence the nickname, “Grandpa” was born.

Then, things got real. We teamed up sophomore year and he’s kept my room clean ever since. We initially agreed to switch top and bottom bunk each semester. He’s never slept a night on the bottom bunk. We also mutually agreed to share everything. Since that point, he’s never stopped eating my Cool Ranch Doritos and I’ve never stopped using his shampoo for weeks after I run out, without telling him, of course.

Roommates can sometimes ruin a college experience. I’ve told people that I’ve been lucky to have mine. I hit the jackpot. Three years, and honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever even argued. Not once. Yes, we’ve had disagreements, but reciting Spongebob and Remember the Titans line for line can make up for those pretty easily.

Earlier this year, T went through something I honestly can’t even fathom. The loss of his father. Our entire suite was devastated, as well as the basketball team. Why do bad things happen to the best people? And through all of it, I couldn’t believe how well T Kast handled it. The strength he showed in his composure and his actions was far greater than any big shot he swished or anything I had seen from him before. His speech at his dad’s funeral had me in tears and I’m positive I wasn’t the only one. Really, him, his brother Zach, and twin sister Beth all had tremendous speeches that day. I could hardly imagine being able to speech on the stage as they did.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that T has been the most consistent member of our suite. In a way, he’s kind of like the “dad” of our suite. He is caring, he is a teacher, and he is a leader. No, he’s yet to wash one of our mouths out with soap, but he’ll let you know if you can do better. He also is not afraid to let you know about his displeasure if the trash is not taken out.

If you know T Kast, I would bet he’s affected your life in a positive way. Not only will he be a fantastic teacher at DCG for years to come, but the Dallas Center community is regaining its pride and joy.

For every JT song I played over and over, for every time my alarm went off multiple times in a morning, and for every conversation about Bob Gerink and Tim Lauck, I have Tyler Kastantin to thank.

I wish I had some really cheesy closing, but that wouldn’t be our style. So I’ll end with a quote:

“Tyler Kastantin, I’ll miss you next year boy. Have a nice life.”

-One of T Kast’s 5th grade students