March, 2021. The name on my list this time is 蓝舒羽, also known as Esther Lan to the students of The Potter’s School. She is fifteen years old and in ninth grade as of this year. Living in Guangzhou, China, she comes to me in an online call.
I greet her gladly. “Hello, Esther! Thanks for meeting with me. I’m going to go ahead and ask you the questions now, yes?”
She nods. “Hello!”
“Okay, so first question. What are your favorite subjects, music, and anything else that you love?”
“So, my favorite subjects are English and geography. I like pop and classical music in general, and Hillsong is great too! I love Haribo gummy bears, skittles, the beach, sunshine, and making friends.”
“Awesome! What classes are you taking with TPS this year?”
“So… I’m taking English 2 Unlikely Heroes with Mrs. Fred
erick, Geography with Mr. Monfreda, Physical Science with Mr. Ream, and Algebra (Honors) with Mrs. O’Hearn this year.”
“Ah, those were great classes! Good luck with the rest of the school year.” I flip a page, looking for my usual next questions. “Oh, here we go. What is your personality type, if you know it? Myers-Briggs, I mean, and how would you describe yourself in three words?”
“My personality type is ESFJ-T, and I would describe myself as energetic, playful, and friendly.” She grins at me.
“Aww, nice.” I snap my fingers. “Alright. What are your hobbies or talents?”
“Ooh. I love photography, painting, and acting. I like swimming, vlogging, painting, making slime, eating, hanging out with friends, and baking! I’m a big fan of airplanes and aviation.” She glibly reels them off.
“Impressive! Aviation is great. What is your biggest accomplishment?”
“I flew to Singapore alone when I was eleven. And I finished a five hundred paged book in one day once.”
“Oh, wow – flying solo at eleven? Nice. What are you known for? Like, in your friend group or such, you know?”
“Ooh. I’m the queen of typos. I’m a fashionista, a pro
crastinator, and an athlete.” She grins.
“I can relate to the typos. Alright, what are your pre-college goals?”
She thinks for a moment before replying. “I want all my subjects’ grades above 90% throughout high school. I’d love to visit the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and England. I want a vocabulary bank of ten thousand words. I want to read forty to sixty books per year. And I want to read the Bible three times by college.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Oh, wow, impressive goals. I wish you all the luck! Okay… what sports or instruments do you play? And do you speak any other languages?”
“I speak both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, English, and I’m currently learning the dead language known as Latin. I do swimming, workout, basketball – I play the piano and the ukulele.”
“Nice! Oh, do you have a specific catchphrase you’re known for?”
“‘Wait, I’ll do it later!’ Procrastinatio
n, of course.” She laughs.
“Oh my word… relatable. That’s me all the time. Where have you travelled to before?”
“I’ve been to Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and obviously China. Where I live.”
“Ooh, Asian countries, very cool. I’d love to go to Asia someday – I haven’t been to China since I was one. Do you have any advice that you’d want to give to your younger self?”
“Mm, when I was ten, I didn’t know how to study well for tests – but now I learned how to handle my tests really well with great methods for studying! I would want to let my younger self know how to use those.”
“Oh, that is good. Do you have anything random you’d like to add?”
“I swallowed a bucket of skittles when I was twelve.” She grins proudly. “And my best friend is YoYo Wang – I just want to give her a shoutout.”
I say, “What! That’s impressive, I mean, but what! Well, I’ll finish here with asking you your favorite Bible verse.”
“That would be John 3:16 – ‘For God so loved the world t
hat He gave His one and only Son, that whoever lives in Him shall not perish and but have eternal life.’”
“Amazing verse, something everyone should always remember. Thank you for coming!”