Math whiz finds joy in life’s simpler pleasures

By BEN HAVENS/Montana State News

My boss, Matt Welch, leads his life based on unique and simple philosophy.  One might assume that a straight-A former Montana State University student with a degree in math who now works in retail at Hastings is the result of a tragedy or some vice. But in fact he believes that he’s living life to the fullest – and he means it.  He doesn’t say so ironically or to cover up hidden disdain.

I’ve had the occasional pleasure of discussing Welch’s life with him.  When I ask Matt why he’s never sought a job using his degree, he always responds, “I have a job.”  This begs the question: Why would a person bother to get a degree, particular such an academically strenuous degree, if they have no desire to work in that field.

“I never would have gone to college had it not been free,” was his response.  Welch went to MSU on a free-ride on a presidential scholarship.  He’s proven himself time and again in an academic environment and yet now he has no personal use for the benefits that academia returned.

So without the financial compensation and the opportunity to contribute to the world of mathematics that a job in his field would have provided, how does Welch get the most out of life?  He finds friendship in his colleagues, never missing an opportunity to socialize and engage in witty banter.  He follows a number of contributions from nerd culture.  Never does an issue of the Uncanny X-men or Walking Dead go by that he doesn’t savor.  Every game gets played and reviewed with scrutiny. And of course the latest episodes of web series don’t go unviewed.  To put it briefly, Welch is a master of soaking up the simple pleasures of life.

– Edited by Noah Bostrom

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