Interview conducted by Grace T.
11:05am: Sophia and I wander in search of a quiet spot to conduct our interview, first abandoning the courtyard in favor of the Hill building’s upper level, then wandering over to the oak tree outside the Scott building. We sit down on a slightly soggy bench, and I click record.
Grace: What’s something you’re passionate about?
Sophia: Ok, first I’m gonna ramble [about] why this question is hard. I feel like it’s hard to, like…passions are so…What does it mean to be passionate about something, you know? I feel like there’s a difference between an interest and a passion. So if the question was like, “What are my interests?” I feel like I would have a bunch of answers. It’s hard for me to think of something I’m, like, passionate passionate about. Like, something that I wouldn’t lose over time. Because I feel like that’s what I see as the difference, is like…I have a lot of fleeting interest but not a lot of things that I’m consistently passionate about.
Grace: I mean, you could also tell me about some of your fleeting interests.
Sophia: Oh yeah, sure. I have a lot of fleeting interests. That is easier. So, not talking about my passion right now. So, my fleeting interests…Actually, this is an enduring—actually, no, this is a passion.
Grace: See?! We did it!
Sophia: One of my passions is definitely Spanish, and just learning languages in general. Even just learning accents I really like, even just, like, English accents. I think it’s just interesting to…I don’t know, I feel like through learning languages you learn so much about how people see the world, too. Like, even how vocabularies are different in different parts of the United States, you learn so much about how people experience the world and see things. Obviously, that’s true of languages, too. I guess I really value the ability to communicate with people who come from different backgrounds than you. I think language is all-around really cool, especially because they’re so applicable. Like, of everything I’ve learned at CPS, I feel like Spanish is the one…maybe, like, one of two things that I can actually take out into the world and use today and it’s not like, “Oh, hypothetically, one day this will earn me money. So that’s my final answer. Passion. Something that I’m passionate about.
Grace: Have you started learning any other languages, and/or what languages would you like to learn in the future?
Sophia: Ok, so I was gonna start learning Mandarin Chinese this semester. I still have to get on that. And it’s still early in the year, so I still want to do that this semester. But I feel like it’s such a big undertaking. It’s kind of hard to get started, especially because I’m not in a class, and Laney does not want to let me enroll. But yeah, that would be the next language I’d want to learn. Either that, or if I’m looking for something more easy to segue into, like Portuguese I think would be cool, too. ‘Cause like, most colleges, it’s like, Spanish and Portuguese, so it makes sense and it’d be cool to go to Brazil, Portugal…other Portuguese speaking countries as well.
Grace: Absolutely. What's your favorite song?
Sophia: I’m gonna go with…ooh! I really liked McKinley Dixon's album. It's “Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?” the album, and my favorite song on it right now…I'm gonna have to say “Live! from the Kitchen Table” by McKinley Dixon and Ghais Guevara. Very good song. It's a combination of jazz and also rap on top. I love any genre-bending types of songs.
Grace: Nice! What’s one item on your bucket list?
Sophia: Okay, see, this I can answer because I have a bucket list written on my phone. I think I actually wrote the bucket list after I read the first Humans of CPS and I was like, “Why don't I have a bucket list on my phone?”
Grace: We're out here inspiring people every day! Wow.
Sophia: Oh, one thing on my bucket list is to hop a train hobo style. I don't know why. Probably not to actually get somewhere. But just the idea of hopping on a train and just going somewhere. I think [it] would be pretty cool. I've also seen videos of this guy who made one of those, like, homemade pumping carts. I don’t know how to explain it. You know what I mean?
Grace: I do know what you mean.
Sophia: Yeah! And then he, like, goes on abandoned railroad tracks and just rides it around. And all the comments are like, “The train’s gonna come and run you over.” That would be cool too.
Grace: That’s so scary! Please don’t do that!
Sophia: I don't think I could build the cart anyways, so I don't think that's a possibility for me, but like, definitely hopping a train I think would be cool.
Grace: How have you changed during your time at College Prep?
Sophia: I think I've changed a lot socially, mostly. Like freshman year I was very much like, “I don't care about making friends. I'm only gonna be here for four years.” I had this idea that four years is really short. It's really not. It's felt so long. I think also with the pandemic time just went so fast. It felt like two years was, you know, over so fast. I was like, “Oh, well, if the rest of high school is that fast, it doesn't really matter to put myself out there.” But then obviously we went in person and everything moves a lot slower. And there's time to get to know yourself and get to know other people. So I feel like, yeah, definitely just like putting myself out there more and saying yes to things and experiencing new experiences.
Grace: What's one of your favorite College Prep memories?
Sophia: Um, I would say Intraterm last—everyone says Intraterm. But I'm gonna say Intraterm last year. I went to Mexico, and before I went—like, I'm not a kid person. Kids don't really…well, I don't know if kids like me. I don't usually like kids. But then after going to Mexico, it was just so much fun, and I've never actually had immersion like that. Also, just interacting with the kids. It was like, even apart from the language, I feel like now I can get along with kids—like, English speaking kids better because of the experience. And I guess just getting to know people outside of a school setting was fun. I don't know. I've never traveled with anyone other than my family before that, so it was cool.