Henry Dickmeyer

Zinc tutor Henry Dickmeyer graduated as an economics major from Occidental College in 2015 with minors in mathematics and psychology. Having grown up in Seattle and gone to Los Angeles for college, he moved across the continent to obtain a Master’s Degree in the Teaching of Social Studies in 2016 at Teachers College, Columbia University. Outside the classroom, Henry loves to read literature and history books, write poetry, and travel. Henry is a volunteer at the Ali Forney Center, and recently completed a 150-mile bike trip from Harlem to Montauk to raise money for the center’s programming.

An experienced instructor who currently teaches in the NYC public school system, Henry often leads SAT and ACT classes at Zinc. We asked Henry about great advice, the college process, and making it through the pandemic.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

During college, I read John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and ran across a line that stopped me in my tracks: “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” This helped validate the feelings I had of not being enough, or not doing enough. The sentence alone has lifted seismic burdens off of my shoulders.

What’s one thing that’s helped you get through the pandemic?

Honestly, many days I was barely making it through–and it’s okay if you’ve felt that way, too.  I’ve had my stuff stuff–an amalgamation of TV, podcasts, Twitter, thick history books, obsessive bike routes to tour the greater NYC area. But what really got me through was the time and patience to simply be with loved ones on video calls and walks without noise or distraction.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were going through the college process?

I wish I’d been asked to reflect on the following questions:

  • What matters to you in life?
  • Rather than what impact you want to make on the world, what changes, outside of yourself, do you want made to the world?
  • What kind of environments do you thrive in? Will this college support that need?
  • Who–financially and emotionally–is impacted by this decision?
  • Does [College X] sufficiently align with your answers to these questions?

Henry hiking and taking photographs on the Hidden Lake trail at Glacier National Park.