Eero Kennerly, Junior - Interview Conducted by Nora Wagner
Friday, December 3, 2021: It’s lunchtime at College Prep, and excitement builds all around the music lawn. The winter formal is tomorrow, and students exchange plans for their dresses, their dinners, their dates. It’s a chill, brisk afternoon, so we make our way towards a patch of sunshine. As I begin this semester’s twelfth (and final) interview, I click record. “Welcome Eero.” The interview has begun…
Nora: Have you ever had a bad accident while skateboarding?
Eero: Hmm…I don’t think I’ve had any particularly bad accidents while skateboarding. The worst was just when I went a little too fast, and the skateboard started to wobble more and more. I had no option but to fall off and roll. Fortunately, I didn’t suffer anything more serious than a scraped elbow and ripped pants.
Nora: What job would you be terrible at?
Eero: I would probably be a terrible actor. Y’know, to pull that off effectively, I’d have to overcome self consciousness and have a certain degree of…outgoingness *laughs*. Both of those would be very difficult for my current self to pull off to the necessary degree.
Nora: If you could change one thing about CPS, what would it be?
Eero: Definitely the volume of work. Not just because it would allow for more time to pursue hobbies or interests outside of school—which it would—but also because having fewer assignments means that you’re able to put in a deeper level of thought and sincerity. Right now, there’s just too much to do for every class for that to be plausible. At least in my personal experience, I’ve found that having a higher workload is just more stressful. It means that there is a higher quantity of output, but the quality and…interest is greatly diminished. Like, while I may be able to finish the work, I am less likely to retain any of it and apply it to other aspects of my life. However, with a deeper and more essentialist workload, I’m less stressed and more able to engage deeply in a subject. I think this also means that it’s, like, better to have a smaller number of classes that you are very interested in rather than having busy-work courses that you’re only taking to fulfill a requirement.
Nora: Quick, only one can stay: literature, film, music, and visual art. What are you choosing and why?
Eero: Hmm…difficult! These all have their pros and cons, but for me personally, I’d say music. It can fulfill such a range of disciplines. In my opinion, it can be super similar to literature, because they both convey narratives. Like, lyrics are essentially poems, just with another medium involved. I mean, music just conveys so much emotion. It can be adopted, which means everyone can carry their own personal meaning.
Nora: Who is the teacher that has had the most profound impact in your life? What did they do or say?
Eero: I might have to say my middle school drama teacher, because I hated everything about drama class. I hated that I was required to take it, mostly because I had absolutely no interest in that. I was pushed so incredibly far outside my comfort zone to the point of panic. This, *laughs* as you could guess, did not foster a particularly good relationship with my teacher. It caused some rather uncomfortable *laughs* salty interactions and conversations. This teacher had quite the impact on my life—though not a good one—weekly for several years. I think this experience, although by no means was it pleasant, was definitely a point of character development. More than anything, I think that him and his class were just something that cemented who I am today.
Nora: How did you envision your highschool life when you were younger? How is it different (or similar)?
Eero: For much of my life when I was younger, highschool just felt incredibly distant. It wasn’t until middle school that I became aware of the notion and that I would eventually be going. I think my understanding of it was initially shaped by the romanticized narrative pushed by the media and 80s coming of age rom-coms. They definitely painted highschool as carefree and drama-abundant. My view of it shifted when my friends and my older sibling went to high school, because I saw highschool life through their eyes. It gave me a more realistic and up-to-date understanding of the experience. Now that I’m the majority of my way through high school, I see that the romanticized media portrayal is not completely accurate—for instance, *laughs* the amount of work—but it still became more and more true as my highschool experience progressed.
Nora: What do you think is the biggest change you underwent during quarantine?
Eero: I think the most apparent change that I went through during quarantine was my personal style or fashion choices. Throughout middle school and freshman year, I hadn’t really put much consideration into my clothing. For one reason or another, during quarantine, I think I developed more of an interest in that. I became more aware of what I liked. I started dressing according to my taste as it evolved.