I begin my last interview of the school year with Emma Schilling. She is 17 and in 11th grade and lives in Memphis, Tennessee.
“Hi Emma! Thanks for agreeing to this interview. For the first question, do you have any hobbies?” I start the ball rolling.
“I love to bake. I’m really into writing, singing, reading, knitting, and crocheting,” she says.
I nod. “These are great hobbies. How many years have you been with TPS?”
“This is my 5th year.”
“Oh wow! What are some of your favorites?”
“I really like Greek mythology– I’ve been reading a lot about it lately. Anything and especially speaking French, absolutely love journaling, and making Strawberry Shortcakes. For music, I like Wallows, Twenty-One Pilots, The Weeknd.” She thinks for a while before adding, “Other favorites of mine are Facebook memes, my nieces, chess, cottage core, Lore Olympus, eyeliner and blush, and Crunchwrap Supremes with extra Nacho Cheese.”
“That’s a lot. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?”
“I really like Ephesians 6:10-18, which is about the armor of God, and 2 Corinthians 12:9.”
“Those are great verses. What is your personality type?”
“I am an INFP-T, and my Enneagram is a 2.”
“Also, do you have any siblings?”
“Yes, I have 3 older brothers and 2 older sisters.”
“What are a few fun facts about yourself?”
“I’ve moved around 6 times by now. I can speak French pretty fluently since I have taken it for around 2 years. I am also really into baking and am trying to learn how to make my own butter and bread. Sometimes I write poetry, but I don’t really share it anywhere.”
“How lovely! Since you like baking, what are some things you’ve baked that you are proud of?”
“Probably the time I homemade Strawberry Shortcake for my brother’s birthday because it was a lot. I also made these Sourdough Blueberry Scones that were very hard, due to having to make the sourdough starter. For Easter last year, I made a Raspberry Lemon Curd Three-Layer Cake.”
“All those sound really good! Why do you like knitting and crocheting?”
She effortlessly explains, “I like making things with my own hands, such as blankets and hats. I’ve given them as gifts to people. I remember making a baby blanket for my niece, and my sister-in-law was so excited when I gave it to her during the baby shower. I saw how literally just a yarn and a hook could make her so happy and mean so much. It’s so special and sentimental to make something with your own hands and give them to people.”
“Aww yes, it’s like customized just for you. Summer is approaching, so what are some of your plans for summer?”
“Not much, maybe look for a summer job, go on a trip to the beach since my family and I do that every year. Just hanging out by having less plans and being more spontaneous.”
“That’s the best part of summer. Since you’re almost a senior, are there any university majors or career pathways you want to go into?”
“I’m really interested in Law and would like to go to law school. I’m also interested in psychology as I took AP Psychology this year.”
“Nice! What is the worst gift you have ever received?”
“When I was around 7 or 8, on Christmas Eve, my grandparents had sent a box of gifts, two for me. My family usually opens one gift on Christmas Eve, so I chose the smaller gift to save the bigger one for Christmas Day. It was an electric toothbrush because my grandpa was a dentist. I was very sad that night, and, as I was so little, it was kind of pointless,” she laughs as she recounts the incident.
I grin. “Well, that sounds like a typical gift from a dentist! If you had the chance, what would you tell your younger self?”
“First and foremost, do not procrastinate. It is so bad. It seems so hard at the time but, looking back, it would have been so much better. Probably put more time and effort in a relationship with God. Be careful who you trust. I think these are the three big things.”
“Yes, agree! Do you have anything else to add before we end of this interview?”
“‘You can never be overdressed or overeducated’ is my favorite quote by Oscar Wilde.”
“What a great way to wrap up. Thank you for this interview!” I wave goodbye to Emma as she logs off the video call.