Fist Bumps at East Doors:

Student Teaches a Lesson on Random Acts of Kindness


Noah Olson gives his signature smile and fistbump at the east doors just before 5th period. He says that“It’s always nice just for people to do that [random acts of kindness] in general.”

Isabella Hammond

Teachers see it all the time. Students file into class minutes behind the bell claiming to be delayed by the busy foot traffic in the hallways or extra precaution on the icy roads. Most of the time, there’s little merit behind the excuses— but what if there was someone with a worthwhile reason?


He’s not someone a student hurriedly scurrying by would notice. A student perhaps occupied with the test they have in their next class or an assignment they have to finish by midnight.


Between the light blue jeans, the humorous graphic tees, and the neat gray sneakers, Noah Olson looks like any other teen in the building.


Except he makes himself known.


It’s not entirely uncommon to see random acts of kindness displayed throughout the school. Maybe it’s picking up a piece of trash or helping someone gather their dropped supplies. But Noah is far from ordinary.


Students with classes in the mobiles or who pass through the east doors often may recognize him as the kid who holds the door for everyone. It’s with a smile on his face and a fist bump along the way.


Every single day. Every single passing period.


“It was just the nice thing to do, so I thought I should do it,” comments Olson, keeping it simple, “I just did it out of the blue.”


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“I thought it was super unique because that doesn’t happen very often,” remarks Ms. French-Jurgens, his World Studies teacher, “Or kids will hold the door and then they kinda get stuck, they didn’t intend to hold the door. But Noah specifically holds the door and fistbumps and says hello to everybody.”


Talk to Olson for a short while, and one can see why he doesn’t need a deeper reason to hold the door. It’s just the kind of person he is. On top of risking tardies, Noah walks around the school recycling bottles and other trash left around the school during his off-hour.


“I just thought it was nice that he was holding the door open for people,” says Julia Hayes, a junior who’s taken the time to get to know Olson.


His kindness has been extended to the smaller creatures on our planet, as he works to add a bit of positivity into as many lives as he can.


“Another thing I do is I take roly-polys off the ground so they don’t get squashed, and I just take them outside,” Olson explains, “If you were small… it’d be kinda messed up for giants to step on you.”


Students and staff are beginning to truly take notice of these actions, and his continued favor has become a part of many people’s daily routine. 


“It’s become a part of the day that I look forward to,” says Mr. Fleischman, a teacher who walks through the doors every day, “The best part about it is like, the fist bump is great, but he’s always smiling and he holds the door for everybody. So it’s not like he’s waiting for me or for anybody in particular, he does it for everybody so it’s like a heartwarming thing to be able to see somebody for whatever reason decide to do that.”


Dan Djalilzadeh, a junior who passes through the east door often, points out that “Noah really radiates a positive, healthy vibe I feel like. He’s that kind of person to really make a difference in someone’s day that decides whether it’s a bad day or a good day. Even the smallest things like holding the door for someone can really make a difference.”


Olson’s actions bring into question the importance of random acts of kindness on the culture and the general atmosphere in Legacy. Between students who stand in the middle of the hallways and students who walk by trash abandoned recklessly in the hallways, finding someone who focuses on bringing up other people is a pleasant, and even unexpected gift. 


“To have one person who his motivation is not self-centered and not to be egocentric, but really to try and provide a pleasant day for other people is pretty unique,” states Ms. French-Jurgens.

I think the exterior doors being locked is so new that we just don’t think about it yet in terms of changing those kinds of protocols.”

— Ms. Marx

As outstanding as this act is, this year presents some challenges that could frustrate some teachers. Legacy’s new security system is one example. The idea is to have students scan their ID any time they enter the building, so when someone like Olson holds the door, it creates a bit of concern for the staff. 


Ms. Marx, the principal, gives her thoughts on the matter; “I like the idea of holding [the] door for one another, a welcoming atmosphere, all of that, [but] I think in terms of what we’re trying to do now with keeping the exterior doors locked and secure and students using their ID, I would love it if he was one set of doors in.”


Another issue with Olson holding the door is that he stays there throughout the entirety of the passing period. A student who happens to be leisurely walking to the commons or running late might find Olson rushing down the hallway to make it  on time, sometimes unsuccessfully, to his next class. 


But is punctuality something worth sacrificing? 


On the one hand, every second of class time is important. Olson explains some of the pushback he’s received for his tardiness, saying that, “The teachers are like, ‘You can’t be doing that,’ [but] I think it’s hard for them to get mad at because of what I’m doing.” 


Ms. French-Jurgens agrees that Olson can be excused for being tardy, assuring that, “I think he’s just a little bit late and gosh-darn-it he’s doing really wonderful and very nice things.”


“I have kids showing up tardy every day who aren’t doing things as nice as he’s doing, so I wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Mr. Fleischman adds.


Olson begins this passing period with a calm and cool energy as he prepares for the large flow of students. He was soon surrounded, yet undeterred, by the bottleneck traffic.

One thing’s for sure, most students are starting to take notice and appreciate the continuous positive energy. Other students quickly walk past and forgo the fistbump. Should Legacy be making a greater effort to show appreciation for Olson? 


“I think it’s important to notice all the kind people at our school opposed to all of the mean ones and how he is trying his best to do something to make people’s day better,” comments Hayes, who knows Olson by name and returns his energy. 


Djalilzadeh, who is also familiar with Olson explains that “I always see him every day [and] I make sure to thank him, call him by name, and wish him a good day, just to return that mutual respect.”


If a student does take the time right before a free period to talk to Olson, they’ll find a laid back, genuine, and amusing individual.


Olson generally only has one thing to say about what he does, “I just kinda like doing it, I’m glad people appreciate it.”