TPS Seniors 2020

Andrew Berry – TPS Senior 2020

Andrew Berry is a (fairly) nerdy, (at least from what he can tell) friendly, (from his experience and that of others) energetic, (kind of) goofy and (very) happy 17-year-old guy from Michigan. He has two awesome younger brothers, Joseph and Michael.

Andrew has taken three classes with TPS: Chemistry with Mr. Riesen as a sophomore, Physics with Mr. Middleton as a junior, and Advanced Composition with Mrs. Yagel as a senior. He has greatly enjoyed learning and having fun with these amazing teachers and his hilarious, encouraging classmates. He has especially enjoyed Advanced Comp and spending time writing silly stories with his classmates.

Andrew plans on attending Lawrence Technological University in the fall and majoring in Transportation Design, a four-year degree that will qualify him to sketch, sculpt, and digitally render new concepts for automotive companies. He lives in the Detroit area, an ideal location for this job. It is, after all, the Motor City.

Andrew enjoys a myriad of activities. He loves playing basketball, dodgeball, and ultimate frisbee. Also, he likes writing stories, especially in the fantasy and comedy genres; a strange duo, but he likes it nonetheless. In addition, he enjoys art. He likes drawing, especially cars, weapons, and armor, as well as digital art and painting watercolor landscapes. Last but definitely not least, he loves going to church and youth group and spending time with his friends and with God.

Also, Andrew is quite a Tolkien nerd. He has read The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings (including the appendices!), as well as watching all six movies. They are far and away his favorite movies, and he is eager and willing to debate anyone who says that The Hobbit trilogy is stupid.

Andrew has a varied taste in music. His favorite artists are for KING & COUNTRY and Bizzle, who is a Christian rapper. Also, he loves the soundtracks from LOTR and The Hobbit. The top five songs that he recommends all TPSers listen to are the following:

  1. “Amon Hen” by Howard Shore from The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. “Shoulders” by for KING & COUNTRY
  3. “The Forest River” by Howard Shore from The Desolation of Smaug
  4. “Do This” by Bizzle
  5. “Edoras” by Howard Shore from The Two Towers

Andrew has only had one pet, which was a corn snake named Cornelius. Years ago, to Andrew’s grief, Cornelius escaped and was never found again. If he were to get a pet nowadays, though, he would like a tortoise and would probably name him Ironfoot. If the TPSers have any other name suggestions, they are welcome to give them.

One of Andrew’s more humorous, somewhat embarrassing childhood memories is from when he was about ten years old. While wearing his favorite t-shirt, gray with galloping horses on the front, he went down into the basement and saw a bottle of shoe polish sitting on the washing machine. Being the extremely curious boy that Andrew was, he decided to try to open it. He couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to open, so he yanked hard on the lid. It broke off and shoe polish sprayed everywhere, ruining his shirt and permanently staining the wall. Let’s just say his dad was not happy.

While hoping to avoid any more shoe polish disasters, Andrew is thrilled to graduate this year and looks forward to seeing the plans that God has for his life.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I was obsessed with dinosaurs and spending my life digging them out of the ground sounded like an absolute blast.

Favorite Bible Verse

One of my favorite Bible verses (currently) is Proverbs 18:10, which says that “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” (ESV) This verse is especially important to remember with all that’s happening with COVID-19. If we put our trust and hope in doctors, social distancing, the President, or even our own state of health, we are liable to be disappointed. But if we trust God, we can have assurance that God will always do what he knows is best for us.

Favorite Catchphrase

I don’t exactly have a catchphrase or motto, but one quote that I love is from Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”


  1. How is liking writing in the fantasy and comedy genres strange? Thats me too

    • They aren’t very similar

      • As far as I can tell, they go together pretty well. Fantasy without humor is ok, and humor without fantasy is fine, but putting them together makes so much sense! Just my opinion, maybe I’m completely wrong…

        • I agree. Writing fantasy with a little bit of humour certainly makes the story richer. I speak from experience ????

  2. Hey Andrew – I loved your serial this year! Keep writing – you’ve got lots of talent.
    P.S. I also love all things Middle-Earth. Elendil and the RIng-bearers forever! (I have Bilbo’s conversation with Smaug memorized lol)

    • Thank you! I’m planning on writing some more. 😀
      For Frodo!!!!!!
      wow that’s more than I can say lol (having Bilbo and Smaug’s conversation memorized)
      is it from the book or the movie? (or both)

  3. Heyo Andrew,
    Being in a Comp class with you has enlightened me somewhat as to your character. You’ve always either lightened the mood or brought the house down with your jokes. That’s a good thing don’t worry.
    In all seriousness, live on that quote. Always remember it once you leave home and start studying at college. God takes good care of his property: once you’ve given your life to Him, you’ll never have to worry again.
    Godspeed and may swift riding be yours!
    May the sun be always at your back,
    May God bless the fields you sow with great harvests.

    • It has come to my attention an embarassing 2 hours later I did not specify what quote. I meant the catchphrase: Jim Elliot’s quote.

      • Thanks man! I really appreciate it. 😀
        I don’t even know how to describe what you’ve done for our class. Let’s just say you make it absolutely rock.

  4. Leanne Zuiderveen

    I’m surprised you’ve lasted this long with clay, Andrew. From propagating myths about our SE dictatorship to encouraging riots, your only saving grace was the popularity of your serial story. Congrats on surviving… and graduating, of course! All the best with Transportation Design!

    • Hmmm… I wonder if also spreading rumors about multiple alter egos and a lot of lawsuits scared you into not firing me. 😛
      Thanks anyway! I think Transportation Design’s gonna be a blast! 😀

  5. Yes, Howard shore is the BEST film composer EVER. IV ???? & ???? is ok lol. Also, I had great fun spamming a few threads with LOTR references with you lol. Good luck at college!

  6. Congrats, Andrew!! Thanks for making Advanced Comp a blast! Don’t forget to send me the Berry 2000 when you’re famous xD
    In all seriousness though, keep trusting God and shining His light. And never put punctuation outside the quotation marks. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

    • Lol, that was so funny. How did you guys make that picture? It looked pretty good. (Btw, I’m still working on that paper lol, I’ll get it finished someday. (I also might change the subject matter cause it’s rather controversial.))

      • @Mari thanks! 😀 You were a huge part of Sec1’s awesomeness! (yep I haven’t forgotten. I’ll make sure I send you one of the first off the line.)
        @Matthew I actually drew it in Autodesk SketchBook, a computer graphics program. I drew it all from scratch except for the grille texture. (and of course the Markiplier face 😛 )

        • Wow, that’s impressive. I am/was an aspiring engineer so I use Solidworks for fun and for robotics comp. Autodesk is (if its what I’m thinking of) a very good program as well and (I think) I know some people who use it (who knows I might be wrong lol).

        • Oh I just remembered that your doing automotive design. Good luck! I actually once recreated a small toy car on solidworks for a college class and it took me 3 days lol.

          • ooh cool!
            Yeah Autodesk has multiple programs. I use SketchBook which is just art-based. I think Autodesk has CAD programs too, that’s probably what you’re thinking of.

          • oh..ic. Well, if you don’t know CAD already, have fun learning it. Also, if you get to choose, use solidworks. (Quick hint: 3D splines always fix everything on college assignments lol.)

          • I’m looking forward to using Gravity Sketch for Transportation Design. It’s basically 3D modeling using virtual reality, so you “draw” your 3D design in the air and it shows up in VR.

          • Cool! I have heard of it before. Have fun!

    • Oy back off the Berry 2000 is mine.

      • Dude don’t worry, it’s not like there’ll only be one. You and Mari will get the first two off the line.

        • there will be two assembly lines running at the same time and both will come off at exactly the same moment. So you will both get the first Berry 2000.

  7. Eeeeeyyyy Andrew!!! Congrats!!! Don’t forget us when you’re rich and famous????

  8. Hey Andrew!
    It’s been so awesome being in comp class with you this year! I wish for you the best in your life’s coming adventures. LotR fans unite!!!!!!!!!
    God bless you and keep you.

    • Thanks so much Bronwyn! I’ve enjoyed being in class with you too. 😀
      Yass LOTR FTW!!!

  9. Congratulations @Beren. LoTR and the Hobbit are both my favourite books and movies. Unfortunately, I have not read the Silmarillion yet, but am planning to soon!

    I love for KING AND COUNTRY as well! And Howard Shore. “The Breaking of the Fellowship” is definitely my fav, and I love the “Last Goodbye” as well.

    • Thanks! 😀
      Oh goodness “The Breaking of the Fellowship” is just beyond words, it’s so good. I was considering it for the top 5 list.
      “The Last Goodbye” is amazing too.

  10. Congrats, Andrew! It’s been fun to read your novella this year – keep up the great work!
    Lol, now the Beren makes so much sense. Hooray for LotR! And, of course, The Hobbit movies are excellent. Not canon to the book, of course, but excellent all the same.

    • Thanks so much! 😀
      yep Beren was an awesome character
      (sorry imma go on a bit of a Hobbit rant lol)
      I think the changes actually made a lot of sense. They were necessary for the story to take on a more mature tone, akin to LOTR. And much of the additions were actually canon, taken from the LOTR appendices. Tauriel was a complete invention, but she fit into the storyline well and added a lot. I’ve seen a lot of complaints about Legolas, but I honestly think that’s silly. His dad is literally a major character in the book and it makes sense for Legolas to be there, besides explaining why he’s tramping around Middle Earth in LOTR instead of staying in his kingdom. The one change that I don’t quite get was that in the movie Azog did not die at the battle of Azinulbizar, as he did in the book, where Dain Ironfoot actually killed him. I think Bolg would have done just as well as Azog in filling the role of Thorin’s nemesis, while remaining canon. The only explanation I can think of is that Jackson and maybe others wanted a big rivalry for Legolas. However, they could have worked that in a different way. So that one doesn’t really make sense. Also I was a little disappointed at how Biblo was kind of sidelined during the final movie. But other than those gripes (as well as too much CGI), I absolutely loved The Hobbit.

      • Who cares. It doesn’t feel like the book, and the book the Hobbit works perfectly fine with the books the Lord of the Rings. sorry if that was blunt, thats my opinion????

        • I loved the movies too! However, the one thing that didn’t quite sit with me was how Thranduil tells Legolas to go and search out Aragorn. At that point, he was only 10 years old, and certainly not a Ranger yet lol. Being in the middle of a “book” about Aragorn’s childhood, it is slightly annoying to see how the movies wrongly portray this, BUT I can totally understand why Peter Jackson put it in.

          I agree with what you said above as well! ^^^^

          Go LoTR & New Zealand!

          • @Anon M. I’m a bit confused by what you’re saying, do you mean that you don’t like the movies?

            @Lilwen Well if I remember correctly, Aragorn was 80 years old in LOTR. The Hobbit was 60 years previous to LOTR, so Aragorn would have been 20.

          • @Beren, Aragorn was born in T.A. 2931. The Battle of the Five Armies happened T.A. 2941.
            But yes, in LoTR, Aragorn was in his eighties, 87 to be exact. The year was T.A. 3019, so it was 78 years since the Hobbit.
            So the Hobbit movies were shifted at least ten years forward to make Aragorn old enough to be a Ranger. It was around twenty years of age that he found out about his destiny and rejected it, choosing instead to become a Ranger.
            It is a little confusing lol ????.

          • ok well I’m thinking about the movies, where Frodo DIDN’T hang around for 15 or 20 years or so in the Shire before heading out with the Ring.

          • So it fits into the movies well.

          • Also I think he already was a Ranger by default…

          • Ah that makes sense! Sorry I thought you meant the difference between the Hobbit movies and LoTR books lol. ????

          • oh lol ok

          • Right, the LotR movies messed with the timeline a bit, to make all four hobbits the same age. This isn’t too obvious in the first movies (except for the weirdness of why Bilbo faded so much more quickly than he did in the books), but does mean that the Hobbit movie dates are off by twenty-ish years, I think.
            @Beren, I like the changes in the Hobbit movies, and I’d love them if they were actually in the book, but I do think that possibly too many liberties were taken. That said, I do love Tauriel. If only her story had been better concluded!! And, if I remember correctly, Bilbo was kind of sidelined in the final few chapters of The Hobbit, anyway (though it’s been ages since I read the book), so I didn’t mind that too much.

          • @Emmeline I agree! I really loved the way she was added in. I think she is my fav. character from the Hobbit

          • I actually expected Tauriel to die in Battle of the Five Armies.

          • I’m glad she didn’t, though. It would be really cool if we could know what happened to her afterwards.

          • ikr

          • I mean that though the movies are fine, they utterly fail at capturing the spirit of the book, which is what I think is important when making a movie based on a great book.

          • @Anon I don’t mean to rag on you, but what do you mean by that the movies didn’t capture the spirit of the book? In that the book was for kids? In my opinion, if the movies HAD captured that sense of the book, they would have been a flop because everybody would have gone into the theater expecting something like LOTR and come out like “WHAT THE HECK, THAT WAS THE SEQUEL TO FROZEN”

          • Yes. I think that the film producers had to try to come up something that would measure up to what they had with Lord of the Rings, or to even make it better. So a lot of action and new storylines were added. But I think it made it really awesome!

          • Speaking of movies, I think there should be a film attempted about what happens after RoTK from the information from the appendices. That would be amazing!

          • Who cares if they didn’t like it, they could have made it better. (I’m half kidding). And I didn’t mean that its for kids, they just didn’t make it as lighthearted as they could (I mean should) have. The Hobbit movies are less lighthearted than the Lord of the Rings ones, and that is totally backwards compared to the books.

          • @Anon M., I know what you mean. I think quite a lot of people were surprised at how dark the movies were, compared to the book, when they came out. Still, LoTR tops them all!

  11. Elisabeth Thuemmel

    Congrats, Andrew!!

  12. Thanks for contributing amazing articles month after month to clay. Wishing you the best in your future endeavors!!

    • Thank you! 😀
      Thanks so much to you and Leanne for making clay amazing this year! (despite the little dictatorial hiccups lol)

  13. Howard Shore and John Williams are the best movie composers, in my opinion. And Allan Silvestri is really good too.

  14. It’s been so fun working with you this year! You’re super talented, so keep on working hard. Congrats on your graduation!

  15. LOL
    it’s all the LOTR and The Hobbit arguments

  16. Amon Hen is such a good song!

    Other good ones are:
    Minas Tirith
    The battle of the Pelinore fields
    the lighting of the Beacons
    a journey in the Dark
    Forth Eorlingas
    And the Hornburg.

  17. Congrats, Andrew, and good luck! 🙂

  18. Beren Erchamion


  19. @Andrew hahaha yeet ????
    @Lilwen hahaha ok I need a fake name now.. ????

  20. Hey, great job Andrew! I have no doubt you’ll crush it at Lawrence.

  21. Jasmine Mailand

    Congrats, Andrew! It’s been fun to read your serial this year! You are very talented! Keep up the great work!
    For King & Country is one of the best artists!
    Yay, I’m not the only TPSer from Michigan!

  22. Congrats on graduating Andrew!

    • Beren Erchamion

      Thank you! 😀

      • The article says you like to write, but do you like to read as well? And what do you like to read(if you do)?

        • Beren Erchamion

          I do like to read. I like the Bible (of course), historical fiction, and fantasy. 🙂
          what about you?

          • That’s good! My sister is hoping to get her book published this summer. It sounds like something you might like. It’s called The Thrall’s Sword and is about a girl named Siri who was a slave in the Viking age. Its a Christian book and is (in my modest) opinion amazing! I have not been allowed to read the whole book yet because, well if you know about the Viking age you know why.
            I like reading Christian romance, especially those by Melanie Dickerson. I prefer Christian because I know it will be clean romance.