Joshua Yu, clandestine laptop-constructor, steals through a small alleyway lit only by thin rays of moonlight. Adjusting his pink wig and his tie-dye hoodie, he raps on what seems to be the wall. A small door opens, revealing a blue-lighted laptop workshop. He enters.
After spending several hours building a laptop, Joshua’s eyelids droop. Suddenly, a flash of neon yellow appears in his peripheral vision. Is it heading toward me? Slowly, Joshua turns his head. A teenager, clad in neon yellow pajamas and a pair of dark sunglasses, darts through the mass of other laptop builders laughing at him.
As the neon yellow abomination descends upon him, Joshua becomes alarmed. He waits for the person to arrive, hoping to repel him quickly.
Sitting down, the abomination speaks.
“Hello, Joshua Yu! I am Nicholas Shey.” Joshua opens his mouth to ask how this newcomer knows his name, but is cut off by a rapid question.
“How many years have you been with TPS, what grade are you, and how old are you?”
Joshua resigns himself to his fate.
“I’ve been with TPS for three years and I’m currently a rising junior. On a tangent, how does this terminology make any sense? You’d think it meant that I was a junior that’s rising, thus being a senior the coming year, yet it’s not. I’m not exactly an English Major though so I’ll let it slide. Anyways, I’m currently 16 with my birthday being in December.”
Nicholas only nods, as he is not an English Major either. Taking a quick glance at the yellow notepad, he continues:
“What are your hobbies?”
Joshie takes a deep breath before responding: “I have a variety of activities I’d consider hobbies. I play tennis and enjoy it a ton, but my skill level is decidedly mediocre. I also enjoy tinkering with computers and other tech stuff, messing around with music production, wasting time on YouTube, and other wonderfully nondescript pastimes.”
Nicholas looks disappointed, having hoped that the person who wore the most intriguing clothes in the room might also have the most intriguing life. However, he continues his interrogation.
“What is your favorite quote and Bible verse?”
Joshua thinks for a moment, pulling his answer from the deep annals of his mind: “To be frank, I’m not big on quotes. In fact, I ended up resorting to scanning the TPS Quote Book for ideas. One lovely quote that stood out to me was from the immortal words of Justin Phillips: ‘I am so hot, girls would melt if they DMed me back.’ A truly poignant statement. Anyways, as for my favorite Bible verse, Romans 8:28 is a standout for me. It reads: ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’ Life gets tough, and it’s always an encouragement to be reminded that even among the trials we face, God always has our back and directs us towards the overall best outcome for our lives.”
Nicholas continues with the next question, hoping to uncover more about the interviewee.
“If you could be an animal, what type of animal would you be?”
“I’d probably wanna be an eagle or hawk of sorts. You’re an apex predator that can fly. What more could you want?”
Nicholas nods in agreement. He quickly asks the next question.
“What is the most important item on your bucket list?”
“I feel like this is a given with every TPSer, but I wanna hop into a van and go visit every single TPSer I possibly can. That would be an absolute blast and it’s something I’m really hoping to do a few years down the line.”
“Wow! That seems like a very lofty goal!” Nicholas comments on the question before continuing.
“Would you rather be a donut or a bagel?”
“There’s no question, I’d much rather be a bagel. Bagels are just so much better than doughnuts. I’m aware I’m gonna get a lotta flak for this, but can you drown a donut in green onion cream cheese? I didn’t think so. Next.”
Before Nicholas can continue, however, a large ball of anti-aircraft fire slams into Joshua, almost knocking him off his chair. Unperturbed, Nicholas continues.
“If you had the opportunity to live underwater, would you do it?”
“I think it really depends on how underwater we’re talking. Middle of a tropical lagoon with colorful fish and a cozy base? I’ll take it. Pressurized pod at the bottom of the Mariana Trench? I think I’m gonna have to pass.”
Nicholas shakes his head, disagreeing. A pressurized pod at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a perfect opportunity to see anglerfish, which is Nicholas’s life goal. Nevertheless, he asks the next question.
“What is your favorite word?”
“Nice is my favorite word. It’s just so universally applicable and… well… nice. Very nice.”
Nicholas nods. “Nice” is a very good word.
“What is your MBTI type?”
“I’m currently an ISFJ-A, although I used to be an ISTJ. I evidently used to be cold and calculated but then meeting TPSers happened. Oops.”
Although unsure what the “oops” means, Nicholas moves on to the next question.
“If you could be a color, what color would you be and why?”
“I would be yellow, just as I am now. Gotta rep my East Asian roots, y’know.”
Joshua fiddles with the CPU of his almost-finished computer.
“What is your favorite movie or book?” Nicholas asks.
“I’m honestly pretty undecided. I don’t watch many movies or actually read that many books either nowadays (I definitely should though). But I suppose one movie that stands out in recent memory is Dunkirk. This is perhaps correlated to the fact that it was the last movie I’ve seen in a theater (Yes, I haven’t been in a movie theater since 2017). As for books, one series that captivated me particularly when I was smaller was The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. A lot of y’all TPSers should be familiar with him.”
“Do you like dogs or cats better?”
Joshua snaps on the display, almost the final component of the laptop. Without glancing up from his work, he answers the next question.
“By now, everyone’s probably gathered that I’m the epitome of indecisiveness. Compounding the issue, I don’t have either so I’m not entirely qualified to judge. I’m not gonna complain about cuddling with any of them so…”
“What is your favorite subject?”
Joshua takes a second to respond as he admires his finished computer.
“Maybe math? Maybe science? Maybe computers? Anything STEM related is up my alley, and my favorite subject can vary among those depending on the specific course I’m taking that year.”
“Do you like fiction or nonfiction better?”
“As I mentioned earlier, I don’t read nearly enough books (oops). But on principle, I’d say fiction is more enticing because it limits the story line less and provides for much more literary potential.”
Nicholas nods his head, agreeing that fiction is better.
“What’s your passion?”
“My passion is one thing relatively straightforward about me. I’m really into anything technology related, although currently my interests greatly revolve around computers. I’ve assembled several (it’s really not as difficult as it sounds, I’d encourage people to give it a go), and love doing related research and tinkering with parts. Assuming I’m still interested several years down the line, I’d hopefully like to carry over this passion to my career in the form of a major like computer engineering.”
“Wow!” says Nicholas. “That sounds very ambitious!”
Joshua grins as his laptop starts up.
“One final question: what is your catchphrase?”
“I don’t know. Was that a catchphrase or a genuine admission? I don’t know either.”
“Awesome catchphrase! It deserves its own space in the TPS Quote Book!”
With that, Nicholas departs from the room.