By Ross Markman
Imagine taking an aptitude test one that most high school students dread more than a six-hour lecture on the practical uses of advanced calculus and liking it.
Now, imagine scoring 1,430 out of a possible 1,600 points on that test, earning you the status of National Merit Scholar finalist and doing it with ease.
That's Ty Lundman.
It's also Tyrell Lundman, depending upon the Havre High School senior's mood.
"I haven't decided which name I want to use yet, but I sign Tyrell to my checks," Lundman said Thursday, sitting at his usual table in the school library. "It's just a name. Sometimes when I'm feeling more friendly, I go by Ty."
Just a name, but one Lundman has made the most of.
"You set precedents for yourself in grade school. I just got in the habit of doing my schoolwork," he said. "That's half the battle. Doing the work you're told to do," Lundman said.
The other half loving to learn seems to come natural for the 18-year-old Havre resident.
Lundman said he has eased up on the difficult courses during his senior year, but is still enrolled in advanced placement English. And, in an effort to diversify his high school resume, he's also taking calligraphy and Spanish II. Lundman has never taken Spanish I.
"I think of the simple act of movement as education. From that aspect, I consider everything education," he said.
That includes playing the piano, which Lundman has been doing since he was 3. In addition to playing in a school jazz group called The Hi-Liters, he has been playing the organ at Our Saviour's, a Lutheran church on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, for the last five years.
But music, Lundman said, is only a hobby, not a goal.
"I don't want to make a career of it," he said. "I tend to enjoy things more that I'm not required to do."
Which brings us back to that aptitude test, the SAT, a test required for students wanting to attend college.
"I thought the SAT was kind of enjoyable. I was surprised in hearing that I scored that high," he said.
"I wasn't working to become (a National Merit Scholar), so it's not a sense of accomplishment," Lundman added. "But it's nice. It's going to open lots of doors and is an excellent thing to have on a resume. It gives people a good impression of your work ethic."
Lundman said he will likely attend the University of Montana in the fall, and is considering majors like psychology, sociology and linguistics.
"I don't have a clear enough idea of what I want to do yet. Maybe I'm looking for my people answers through science," he said.
The answers may be found on the university's Missoula campus, an environment Lundman referred to as "honest" and "realistic."
"(College) is just a good all-around place to get my life started," Lundman said.
It's also a place where he hopes to succeed and make a name and perhaps pick one in the process.