Jeremy Peters: An Icon of Self-Expression

Barbara Saunders and Joaquin Arig

FOOTHILL — Gushing in awe of a vibrant yet peaceful community, many new students often walk by the Hubert Semans Library, right in the heart of Foothill College in windy Los Altos Hills. Megan and her friend, amidst a busy fall quarter, decided to stop by to pick up textbooks and a TI-84 calculator, a classic for students studying calculus. But for most, the juxtaposition of stress coupled with a calm afternoon breeze is a routine that they would have to take on as students.

Megan and Jay would meet Jeremy Peters, who assisted them in checking out their items. Jay’s attention would be held by Jeremy, dressed as Albert Einstein for Halloween, who pushed through midterms and lived in his mind rent-free. What a fun human being! Jeremy Peters brings to life the stories that are enclosed in books. For him, it was a matter of expression — a niche brought about by his past and a present that he wants to share with the world.

Jeremy started working as a library technician at Foothill two years ago, a job that he calls his best one yet. “For the first time, I actually enjoyed coming to work every day after having bad jobs for years. It’s a good feeling to love your work,” he said. While the tides waved in his favor, it wasn’t meant to be this way. He finished his geology degree at UC Santa Cruz during the pandemic, and the opportunities for jobs just weren’t there. It was not until his friend, Dan, encouraged him to pursue a program that would qualify him for a library job.

He is still passionate about his rocks, though! After naming and identifying all the rocks and minerals he could ever imagine in his mineralogy class, Jeremy fell in love with them, developing a healthy relationship with his son when they go hiking and a rock collection that serves the stone geek in him. There is a good chance you might catch him by the front desk during an on-campus event, flashing his rock collections as he beats you in chess.

Heading into their third quarter at Foothill, Megan and Jay would often stop by the library to talk to Jeremy, a personality that has otherwise become a shining light for students. This time, Jeremy wasn’t dressed as a jedi — he proudly wore his Warriors gear, even though his team was trailing at halftime against the LA Lakers. He embodies the idea that to be happy, you don’t have to be simply a Jedi, a geologist, or a rapper. You can be all of it.

Recovering from a heart condition, bringing on the most difficult time of his life thus far, it is not apparent to the eye of the beholder. That said, expressing himself was not hindered by this experience; it made Jeremy Peters much more authentic.

As he was orchestrating a series of moves that would put Jay’s queen and bishop in danger, it became ironic that it was Jeremy who decided to be vulnerable. He spoke to Jay about his heart condition, a coronary artery disease that sidelined him for weeks of recovery after a double bypass. He explained to Jay “It took me a while to recover, and I’m actually still in recovery, but I’m getting better every day, and I feel like I’m better than ever. A 2.0 version of myself.”

Authenticity is one of the biggest prerequisites for giving advice, and Megan surely caught on to this idea. When she asked Jeremy about the things he would say to his younger self, he gave a surprising answer: he said his younger self wouldn’t listen anyway. For starters, artists like expressing themselves creatively. A lot of Jeremy’s thoughts are also predicated on his self-written lyrics for rap performances. His advice for people who want to enter a music career was to “keep pushing and don’t get discouraged.” You shouldn’t be afraid to jump on opportunities. Sure, you’ve heard the quotes “dream big” and “don’t give up!” but Jeremy has shown this by pushing forward despite setbacks in his career.

Other than his impressive ability to rap, his diverse repertoire and hobbies have something everyone can take home with them at the end of the day. Megan and Jey were about to leave, but as proof of his truth, Jeremy not only helped them check out their items, but he continually gives a part of himself in every interaction with students and staff. As steep as the climb may seem and as they might encounter difficulties along the way, Jeremy said, “Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t get discouraged when things knock you off the course.”

 “There’s all these forces that are against you, and you’re the only force for you.”