The subject this time? A senior by the name of Lana McLeod, living in Brandon, Mississippi. Considering the quarantine, I pondered my options before grabbing my iPad and opening iMessage and sending her a message.
Sitting in her room, surrounded by dice, maps, and artwork, Lana answers my message and agrees to the text-interview without question.
What classes are you taking this year?
“I’m just here for the Belhaven High Scholars college credit program.”
How many siblings do you have?
“Two brothers – Jesse and Levi, ages 16 and 8 – and one sister – Maggie, age 14.”
What is your personality type and three words to describe yourself?
“INFP-T. Words? Fun, geeky… silly?”
What are your flaws & strong points?
Typing and pausing several times before finally sending a message, Lana replies, “Hang on, I gotta go ask for help with this.” Several minutes later, the typing commences again and responds with an actual answer this time. “Strong points? Good secret-keeper, unbiased (I make a point to look at both sides of an argument before coming to a conclusion), determined, compassionate, empathetic. Flaws? Lazy, procrastinating, keeps things to myself.”
Tell me about your favorites.
She pauses and types after a moment, “Don’t do this to me. I can’t pick.” Eventually, after much deliberation, she answers. “I’ve got two favorite book series. The first is the Dragons in Our Midst series by Bryan Davis. It’s Christian modern fantasy fiction with dragons – you should read it. The second is the The Mark of the Lion Trilogy by Francine Rivers, which is Christian historical fiction about a Jewish girl in Rome shortly after Jesus’ ascension. It’s incredibly historically accurate, it doesn’t skirt controversial topics, and it’s just an all-around wonderful Christian trilogy. I definitely recommend.”
“My favorite podcast is The Magnus Archives from Rusty Quill. It’s a horror audio fiction drama – listen to it and join the cult.” A moment later, she corrects herself. “Fandom.”
“As for a TV show, there’s this awesome Chinese period drama on Netflix called The Princess Weiyoung that I’m absolutely binging right now. My favorite animes are currently In/Spectre, Cells at Work!, and Mo Dao Zu Shi (which is technically called a donghua since it’s Chinese, not Japanese, but it still counts).”
“My favorite class is College Art Appreciation and my least favorite is History.”
What are your favorite bands and songs?
“For a band, I would have to say Imagine Dragons, The Score, TobyMac, and Table For Two. For a song? “Andromeda” by Table For Two, or, honestly, anything by this couple. They’re an amazing Christian couple; look them up please.”
What are your favorite Bible Verses?
“Psalm 19:1 and Job 41.”
Do you have any catchphrases?
“‘Valid,’ ‘big brain time,’ and ‘bold of you to assume [insert something relatively more outrageous than what you just said].’”
How about hidden talents?
“I can touch my elbows together behind my back? I don’t know. My shoulder joints are hypermobile, that’s why.”
What is your biggest accomplishment?
“Winning a silver medal at an international taekwondo tournament.” A moment later, she adds, “Completing a short story, which you can find on the TPS Forums in a blog called ‘The Death of Ferrian D’Mure.’ Yes, that’s a shameless plug.”
What are you known for?
“Well… having a large knowledge of apologetics, having a large repertoire of completely random facts about a plethora of things, and being a D&D, anime, MCU, and Tolkien nerd.”
Do you play sports or instruments?
“I’m a 2nd degree level 3 black belt in taekwondo and I play piano and a little bit of guitar.”
What are some of your hobbies and talents?
“My hobbies are reading, writing, sleeping, watching anime, cosplaying, taekwondo, drawing and making art, sleeping, Dungeons & Dragons, video games, and did I mention sleeping? My talents are playing piano, practicing taekwondo, and creative writing.”
What languages do you speak?
“English and Spanish, enough to play hide-and-seek with kids.” She recounts an occurrence with a laugh. “Also enough to get roasted on my pale skin by a 6-year-old. She told me I was white as a coconut. It’s been three years since it happened and I still crack up about it.”
What are your goals, or what are you interested in pursuing?
“For goals, I’d say publish a book, travel to a number of places, learn a couple more languages, get married and have a family. I want to pursue creative writing. What career that will take me to, I don’t know.”
Do you have any pets?
She sends several laughing emojis before replying: “I live on a farm; you’re gonna have to be more specific. However, I do have a cat. Her name is Mittens and she is an angel. She actually just had kittens, and my dad said I could keep two of them, so now I have three cats total. One of the kittens is named Mipha, and I haven’t thought of a name for her brother yet. Currently considering Sidon, Admiral, Tabax, as well as other suggestions.”
Where have you traveled?
“I’ve been to seven different states and traveled through more than that. I’ve also been on one mission trip to Honduras and two mission trips to Cuba.”
Any embarrassing memories you’d be able to share?
“Bold of you to assume I have enough dignity to be embarrassed. In all honesty, I can’t think of anything.”
And finally, any particular advice you would give your younger self?
“Please hold on for a bit. It gets better, I promise.”