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Seniors of CPS: Eliot Huang

Interview conducted by Joseph S. '24

Eliot: Your thing spelled my name wrong.

Joseph: It’s fine, we’ll edit it. So, OK, if you could choose only one song to play every single time you walk into a room for the rest of your life, which song would you choose?

Eliot: Mysëlf by Yeat. 

Joseph: Why would you choose that song? Is there a reason why—OK, go to the lyrics first and then also go to the emotional connection.

Eliot: Uh, I don’t really understand the lyrics. I don’t think that’s the point of the song, you know. 

Joseph: That is the point of the song!

Eliot: We’ve been friends for a while, you know, it’s feel-good music, that’s what I’m on—

Joseph: But for the broader audience—

Eliot: The point of the song? 

Joseph: Yeah, or like everytime you walk in a room, you want people to think I’m being myself. Is that what it is or—

Eliot: Uh, I think part of it is the lyrics are somewhat un-understandable, unintelligible. And now, I understand some people associate the music with uh, degeneracy [laughs]. 

Joseph [Dryly]: We’re keeping that in but OK. 

Eliot: I, I think the point is that you know, it’s music that’s really easy for you to get lost in. I’m not focused on the lyrics, it’s something that just plays in the background kind of and it’s easy for me to get into a prepared mental state where I’m able to concentrate. And I think this past year especially, I started work, and I’d listen to that song before going to work, along with a lot of songs, it was like an hour-long drive so there were a lot of songs there, but that one was, for me, it might not necessarily be my favorite song but it’s the first song where I could easily slip into my thoughts and like I’m not so focused on everything around me and you know, I’m able to lock in a little more mentally.      

Joseph: How long have you been listening to Yeat?

Eliot: To Yeat in general? I don’t think that long, I’m not like a big Yeat fan, honestly. I think his music sometimes doesn’t make sense but his beats are crazy, they’re feel-good, you know what I mean. But like, it’s just the song for me. But I think also in part he says some interesting questions because of forever, part of me really went with that one first, because I think some of my other favorite songs revolve around lyrics and lyricism, [coughs and laughs] and some people condemn Yeat for the lack of lyrics.  But honestly, I think it’s just the fact when you start hearing lyrics too much, it gets a little, like, repetitive or whatnot. And so the fact that I’m not like listening for lyrics [ laughs] is almost an added benefit. 

Joseph: Good answer, good answer. 

Eliot: You can scrap that question.

Joseph: No need. [laughs] Next question. What is something unique about you that your classmates might not know? So this could be a talent, skill, maybe something you’ve done in your life…

Eliot: Um, I don’t know if all of them know this. Well, my sister is part deaf. I don’t think it’s as pervasively inherent to my life as some people think–it’s definitely something important, it shaped my outlook a lot. I wrote my history term paper on disability rights and that type of thing. It hasn’t just shaped my outlook, but also, even my aspirations to some extent and what I want to do in the broader context of the world. And also, I just kind of figured traditions really. Every year, I go on this walk, a fundraiser for an organization I’m part of, the Center for Early Intervention of Deafness, based in Berkeley, shoutout to them. I just think of traditions kind of and that also correlates more specifically to my sister. Yeah, I don’t think everyone knows that about me and I think it’s a pretty important part of my identity. 

Joseph: Yeah, that’s a good answer. I like that answer more than you. [laughs with Eliot] Alright. Next question: Looking back on your experience at CPS, what’s something you’ll never forget? So it could be an event, an experience, a memory, maybe a person, or group of people…

Eliot: … I think I’ll never forget the first time I came to this campus. And aside from the brief moments where you’re touring campus, or whatever, aside from those, like the first true moments that I was on the campus as a member of the CPS community—I think, obviously, our year is a little bit unique in our perspective in the sense that we came during COVID. And for a lot of people, that meant they were online longterm, and then we were online for the majority and for some people, that also meant they were online for the entirety of it. You know, those last two months, where we came back and we were at Seneca—I think, yeah, it’s a high school experience, you’re cultivating something. But it, I don’t want to say these moments, but it also felt a little bit…shallow in a sense, not shallow, I don't think shallow’s the right word. But it was limited just cuz of the nature of it, right, we were limited to a certain group and obviously while we were all new and I was excited to meet new people…I think what really stuck out to me was that last day of school, I had to come to the actual campus for some reason, I don’t remember exactly why. And the actual campus, just music bumping all along the music lawn, my soccer teammates I could see across the lawn and whatnot. And that’s really the first memory that stood out to me at CPS because I think the biggest difference between middle school and high school was the sense of you know, there is more opportunity both socially and academically and in the first moment, that really hit me. It just felt like the world was open to explore, CPS was open to explore and I really felt that the first time I stepped on campus.  

Joseph: Good answer, good answer. I like that. Yeah, I think especially for our grade, what you’re talking about is pretty accurate. What are you looking forward to in the future? So this could be college, or maybe you're doing something else, or maybe it’s something this year.

Eliot: Something I’m doing currently that I’m looking forward to in the future?

Joseph: Yeah, it doesn’t have to be something you’re doing currently, it could be like a place you’re going, maybe during summer, or during your undergrad, just something you’re gonna be doing.  

Eliot: …No, I think trips are a bit of a …[laughs] cop-out kind of, cuz—

Joseph: Yeah I get they’re something you are looking forward to– 

Eliot: I’m especially looking forward to, and I think it’s something that will eventually happen. But I think to the brevity of their nature, it’s a little harder for me to feel like, I think with trips and this is more of a larger theme, but I think just exploring larger cultures is something I really want to do and that’s why I’m really happy with our project if we ever actually get it done—[laughs]---I think that’s something I kind of want to join with because it’s something that allows you to immerse yourself in a pool of unknowns in a certain sense. And I know you can apply that to a lot of things, but I think there’s a certain beauty in being immersed in a culture. There’s like different outlooks almost on the same things… and it challenges the pillars that I feel like we’ve built a lot of our like ideological foundations upon in certain ways. And so, even though I think trips, like a singular trip or whatnot might be a little bit too brief to capture that idea, I think you know, really it’s studying abroad which is obviously a very particular opportunity, or doing something maybe within national relations or something along those lines. I’m excited about the opportunity to think about people and places that are completely different from the ones that I’ve grown up in. And I think it would be a really interesting opportunity.    


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