Interviewed by Fatima Az-Zahraa Dadou
Good evening, Emma! Congratulations for being chosen for the Student Spotlight! Firstly, please tell the CV readers about yourself.
Well, I’m the oldest of seven kids. I really enjoy music, as I’ve played the piano for nearly nine years and the organ for about six months. I’m almost a black belt in Tang Soo Do, and I love to play Ultimate Frisbee and soccer with my friends. I’m in a group of homeschooling families that get together for group projects or just to hang out! I really enjoy reading, writing, watching movies, and just being outside in my yard. So when we plant a garden, I like being outside and taking care of the tomatoes. I’m the kind of kid that likes to get my hands dirty; for me dirty hands or body equal hard work done. I’m also the kind of kid that says to someone stressing out “HEY! Relaaaax…”
You are the eldest in your family of 7 children. Would you please share some of the best things of being the eldest and living in a large family?
Interviewed by Fatima Az-Zaharaa Dadou
Chloe, it’s a pleasure to be meeting with you today. You are a Calvert Virtual High School student that attends a private school. What are some things you enjoy about Calvert?
I love the flexibility that Calvert gives me. I can spend a whole day in the studio recording a song and still get all my schoolwork done. I also love the fact that there is so much one-on-one attention at Calvert; this is both the first year I’m being homeschooled and the first year I’m getting straight A’s!
You had your own record label at the age of 14! That is something very impressive. What are some of your other major achievements so far?
When I was just thirteen, my song “I’ve Had Enough” was featured in an ABC Family television show called “The Vineyard”. My songs have gotten radio play in places such as the U.S., U.K., and Australia. I have done interviews for many radio stations, both local and international. I have been featured in a pilot for an upcoming music-based reality show called “Welcome to the Barn” and I was the subject of an independent documentary about my songwriting process for the Jacob Burns Film Center! Also, my EP is scheduled to be released in either May or June.
Some artists have special or certain times they write their songs. Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I find my inspiration for songs from pretty much everywhere. Whether it’s a situation from my real life or a storyline from a television show, I can always find something to write about. Ross and Rachel’s relationship on “Friends” fuels many of my song ideas.
Could you describe the process from the time you have an idea for a song to transforming it into a video? What’s your favorite part of the process?
Interviewed by Fatima Az-Zahraa Dadou
Thank you Daniel for joining me today! It is a pleasure to get to know you. Firstly Daniel, tell us a little bit about yourself and your life in New Zealand.
Thanks, Fatima, for considering me for the Student Spotlight for this issue of Calvert Voices -it was a real surprise.
I am not sure what to tell you about myself. I just turned sixteen – it was my birthday last month. I was born in Cali, Colombia, South America. My dad is from Colombia and my mum is a Kiwi – from New Zealand. I have a younger brother, who is twelve, and a much younger sister, who is seven years old. I live in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Recently, we’ve been living in an apartment in downtown Auckland. I have really enjoyed living in the center of the city. Downtown Auckland is going through a major overhaul – they are opening up the wharves for recreation with cafes, restaurants and lots of public spaces so there is always something going on. Most recently the yachts from the Volvo Ocean Race were here on a layover and it was just one big party. I consider New Zealand my home – although my family has moved about quite a bit – it is where I have spent the most time. I have always been homeschooled but we only really started studying with Calvert this year. Before that, we used lots of different things -including some Calvert- in a pretty eclectic way. I am a competitive gymnast and spend quite a bit of my time training. I hope to do collegiate gymnastics in the United States when I finish high school. I enjoy reading and listening to music.
Living in New Zealand sounds very interesting. Can you tell us some of the things you enjoy in or about New Zealand?
Interviewed by Emma Anderson
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Are you originally from the United States?
I am from the Planet Earth, Venezuela South America. My parents are from Spanish, Europa.
I know that you are fluent in Spanish, are you fluent in any other languages besides English?
I am trying to get better at French and I understand a little Italian and Portuguese. I took French and Italian courses in the past.
What do you like the most about teaching in a virtual school?
I love the people I work with and the students. The students are amazing and really care about the classes. I also like the live online classes very much, it is amazing what you can accomplish working online with students from all over the world.
What is your favorite part about being a teacher that you could share?
My favorite part of being a teacher is when students learn and understand their material.
What sorts of benefits in life have you experienced after becoming a student teacher?
The most important benefits that I experience are when I watch the student’s learning progress increase during the classes.
I know you have started a Spanish club, what have you found most difficult about creating a successful club? Has your club started out well?
Having created the Spanish Club has been an amazing experience. It allows the student with the guidance of the teacher to explore Spanish cultures. Explore other accents in the Spanish language and use more vocabulary to increase the development of Spanish sentences. It also allows us to hear and practice more different pronunciations. One small difficulty is that I wish I had more time to see and explore more.
Is there anything that you have experienced as a virtual school student teacher that has changed or inspired you as a human being?
To be a good and effective teacher you have to be humble. You have to like to help people and have patience to delivered knowledge to students. As a human being I realized that in simple terms we are all humans and we need to make sure to have good education for every student. Education is extremely important for the success of our society.
The first photo is of a shrine from “Narita-san” （成田山）, which is a famous Shinto shrine in Japan. The second photo of a tower is of the “Sky Tree” （スカイツリー） in Tokyo. It’s a 634m tall communication tower, and is considered a pretty important landmark in Japan! That’s basically the “old” and “new (modernized)” Japan that I put into pictures!
Interviewed by Fatima Az-Zahraa Dadou
I’m sure the Calvert Voices’ readers would love to know more about the diverse Calvert high school students, so let’s start by getting to know a little bit about you.
My name is Erika Marie Smith. I’m 15 years old and I’ll be 16 next month. I have been studying with Calvert since the first grade. I’ve been playing the violin since I was two years old so that’s a pretty long time. I used to be a competitive swimmer for about 6 years. But right now, the only things I’ve been doing consistently is Calvert and playing the violin. Besides that, I was born in Japan and I’ve never actually traveled outside of Japan, even though I want to.
Living in Japan has surely provided you with some unique experiences that our readers would love to hear about. Could you share with us your favorite things in Japan?
There’s a lot of interesting foods in Japan. I really like things like Soba and Tempura. Tempura is kind of like fried vegetables and fish. I think that’s a really cool traditional Japanese dish. It’s kind of hard to pick out what I like just because I’ve never really known anything different from here.
As for holidays, we do have a holiday called Golden Week in May. It’s a couple of days. It changes yearly just because of the weekend. There’s all sorts of holidays in Japan. Up until now, I have never really had those holidays because the Golden Week was always taken up by swimming camp and the like. But they’re actually interesting if I literally take them as holidays. Sometimes it’s like an entire week off so that’s pretty cool!
Are you able to read and write Japan’s official language, Japanese, as well as English?
By Fatima Az-Zahraa Dadou