Mikey Hassner, Sophomore - Interview Conducted by Phoebe Shin
Tuesday, October 12, 2021: It is 3:30 pm—the end of the school day! The sun is shining, the breeze is light, and students are walking around in various Disney dress-ups (including Mikey in his wonderful pirate costume), anticipating the Women’s Volleyball Senior Night. The mood is light, and the Human of CPS makes small talk as we get ready for the year’s first student interview. I click record. “Welcome, Mikey.” The interview has begun…
Phoebe: What is your favorite CPS memory so far?
Mikey: Ooh… good question! I really enjoyed sophomore retreat recently—rafting was super extra awesome, and I had a super great group for rafting, and got to spend a lot of time with my friends. Swimming in the pool was also super interesting because there were actually a lot of kids that I haven’t swum with before. Because usually as a grade you have pool parties and stuff, but we haven’t really had that, so it was super fun. Eating with other people was also fun—I had dinner with Chabon once, which was fun.
Phoebe: What did you want to be when you grew up? Has that changed for you?
Mikey: When I was in second grade, the teacher asked all the students to tell the parents what we wanted to be when we grew up as part of open house. And all the other kids were talking about how they wanted to be biologists, doctors, and then little Mikey went up and said he wanted to be a bus driver, much to the amusement of all the parents. Interestingly enough, I don’t really want to be a bus driver anymore, and I’ve changed to being a bit uncertain about what I want to be.
Phoebe: What is your drink of choice?
Mikey: Boba. I’ll be more specific—my favorite place is Ucha in Berkeley, and I like to get the Taronado there. I’m a big taro fan; I have a close connection with all the other taro people out there. I’ll go to Boba Guys and RareTea after school sometimes.
Phoebe: What is your favorite childhood memory, if you have one?
Mikey: There was one rainy season, I think it was 2018, and all the neighbors on our street went to the hill where there was a really big gutter filled with water, and we made boats in our houses. We spent like 3 hours making little paper boats out of all sorts of stuff, and our neighbors brought out little capsules inside little Kinder Eggs and taped them to the paper boats. And we raced the paper boats down the big hill—it was super fun.
Phoebe: Are you usually late or early, and why?
Mikey: Early because being late is not cool. Don’t be late!
Phoebe: What is something that you are known for among your friends and family?
Mikey: Well, I got a job over the summer. I was working at this car dealership, and a lot of my friends didn’t get jobs, so they were sort of mock-jealous of me for getting a job. So I teased them a lot about my job, and so they were making fun of me for being show-off-y about it. Also… bad jokes. People make fun of me for making a lot of bad jokes. But that’s fine. It’s not that bad.
Phoebe: What inspired you and Roven to make Champion of the Soul a thing last year?
What have you gained from it?
Mikey: Awesomely excellent question. We were going to Molly’s non-awkward Zoom, you know, Molly’s very very awkward Zoom, *laughs* and it was super fun. So it would just be me and Roven, maybe Riya, and some other people, and Molly told us about this “Champion of the Soul” thing, which she had found at her elementary school, and started at CPS in the late 90’s. And then Tran brought it back around 2004, and then it went extinct. So after around 15 years, she inspired us to bring it back, and we thought it would be a great idea since as freshmen, we were looking for a place to fit in the community. And Roven and I both sort of unite over the gift giving and really appreciate that. And I think Champion of the Soul just makes the community such a happier place, and I enjoy seeing people smile when they get a shout-out, or when one of their friends gets a shout-out—I just think it’s awesome.
Phoebe: Lastly, what is your go-to spot to eat in the Bay Area?
Mikey: In the Bay Area?!… Because I really want a burrito right now, I would say Cactus, but I think the best burrito place is Gordo. Not the one on College Ave, because I’ve never been there, but the one on Solano. This actually reminds me of a big dispute my friends and I had—one of my friends calls it Gordo’s, and I call it Gordo. Because "gordo" is an adjective, since it means fat. And so I don’t know what the answer is, but I see it as, like, saying “fats.” But I think the true name should be Gordo, like, “I’m going to go to Gordo.” But maybe I should actually consult someone official about this. I haven’t even searched it up,* but it would be really interesting. But yeah, I’d go to Gordo (singular) for a burrito. But I want boba as well… since you know, boba and a burrito are always a good combo.
I also really like pizza. So I used to go to Gioia Pizza, on Hopkins, and now I go to Sliver Pizza. They’re kind of my new favorite because after Gioia switched ownership, the quality of the pizza—everything about the pizza—declined. The slices, the crust is less fluffy; it’s really disappointing. But Sliver is consistently very good. You know, with the little green sauce, it’s very nice.
*We searched it up online afterwards, and the full name is Gordo Taqueria, so… maybe Mikey’s right after all? :)