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Seniors of CPS: Ansel K.

Interview conducted by Grace T. '24



11:11am: It’s a hectic Tuesday. I find Ansel in the courtyard, and we wander up to the oak tree by the Scott building for our interview. I click record. 


Grace: So, tell me about something that you're passionate about.


Ansel: Okay, that is a great question. I have many things I am passionate about. The top two that come to mind are violin and ballet. I have been playing violin for 12 years now, and it brings me so much joy. It's what I've always wanted to do with my life. I am currently applying to college for violin. And then about, let's see now…nine years ago I started dancing ballet at Berkeley Ballet Theater, where I get to be in the Nutcracker every year. And that is also really a joy. I had a bit of a slump there in the middle, but I finally got past the years of hard work, and now it's just all fun all the time. 


Grace: Why do you like those two things?


Ansel: Violin…music just brings so much joy to my life. It's really wonderful. Ballet…it's really nice to get to move, it's really nice to get to do something that's not practicing violin, and I find that violin and ballet kind of influence each other. I can apply what I've learned in violin to ballet and vice versa, and it's really cool. 


Grace: How so? 


Ansel: So in violin, when you get to a certain level, once you've learned the notes, that's just the first step. After you've learned the notes, you have to put feeling into the notes. It's the same deal in ballet. After you get to a certain level, once you've learned all the steps, that's really just the first step. You're not there yet; then you have to convey something through those steps.


Grace: Okay, what's one of your favorite songs? Or one of your favorite pieces, because you like classical music? 


Ansel: Today I will go with Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. I was listening to the radio recently—the classical station, of course—and they started playing Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. I first played that when I was in seventh grade, when my school got to go on tour. We went to Pittsburgh, Rochester, Buffalo, and Toronto, and it was really fun. I really love that piece and every time I hear it, it brings me back to seventh grade orchestra rehearsal. 


Grace: What's one thing on your bucket list?


Ansel: Oh, easy. Drive a golf cart. So, there are golf carts all over campus. Are we allowed to drive them? No. Why not? I don't know. Sometimes they even leave the keys in the ignition. It would be so fun, just one day—and don't worry, Chabon, I'm not actually going to—but it would be so fun to just get into a golf cart and drive off into the sunset! I have always wanted to drive a golf cart.


Grace: Real. Okay, how would you say you've changed during your time at College Prep?


Ansel: I’ve gotten more sure of myself. One thing that I'm doing, especially this semester, is I'm talking in English class, which is really wild. Yeah, it's a good question. I guess I'll say speaking up more.


Grace: Nice. And then, what's your favorite College Prep memory?


Ansel: When I was in Mamma Mia! I was in the pit orchestra band, and that was really, really fun to get to work with Chiorini and Kenji and all the other musicians (notably Loula Barnes). 


Grace: [Heck] yeah. 


Ansel: And it was really, really fun to be in a production. I don't really have time to be as involved as I would like, because I am dancing ballet so much and I'm playing so much violin when I'm not dancing ballet. But to be in the production was great. 


Grace: Awesome! Thank you. That's all.


Ansel: One more thing. 


Grace: Oh!


Ansel: I am disgruntled that “What's your favorite movie?” was removed from the list of questions, so I will just tell you my favorite movie. 


Grace: Yeah, do it. 


Ansel: Paddington 2. Paddington 1 was okay. Then I saw Paddington 2. It was life changing. I won't give any spoilers. Except for the part where he hides in a trash can. That's pretty great. I like Paddington 2. There you go. 


Grace: It was life changing!


Ansel: Oh, yeah.


Grace: How would you say your life changed as a result of having—


Ansel: For the better.


Grace: [Laughs] Thank you! Bye!


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