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?
Being the eldest can be tough, but it is really such a blessing that anything bad just fades away. I get to watch all of my younger siblings go through life’s great stages, and as they get older, I can help them get through a rough spot because I have some trial and error-learned tricks up my sleeve. I get to babysit everyone when Mom leaves the house, even though I have a brother that’s about that age. I love it when my two oldest younger siblings and I turn on a CD, eat some chocolate chips, and just hang out an extra fifteen minutes past bedtime. Having a large, homeschooling family definitely strengthens your ties with everyone in your family. Our family is closely knit, and that will help in years to come when we’re all adults living on our own. I also feel like having a large family helps you gain life skills and a very practical way of thinking – to name a few, how to make the most of something, how to use something again, how to do something as efficiently as possible, and how to keep your head in a stressful situation. Plus, when I babysit someone’s kids that aren’t my own siblings, I know what to do if something isn’t going right.
This is your 7th year with Calvert and your siblings use Calvert as well. What have you found in Calvert homeschooling that has kept you going with it for this many years?
The curriculum itself was so vigorous when we first started out. My first year was undoubtedly rough; long story made short, we started homeschooling around Thanksgiving, so it took me a school year and a half to finish Third Grade. But to be truthful, that’s what I like about Calvert so much. Once I was used to it, the workload was just enough to challenge me, but not so intense that I was working through the summer and just barely scraping by. Although the work gets harder and the workload increases, it grows proportionately to me so that I learn time management skills. This is going to be really helpful in college, I can tell you that right now. It’s the workload and the books that do it for me. Each grade brought new surprises and special books that I look at and think “Oh, I remember ‘A Child’s History of the World’. That was a fun history book.” Or “Oh, ‘A Single Shard’! That was a really great book.”
Besides being talented at playing the piano and organ, are there any other instruments you enjoy playing? Do you play them anywhere other than at home?
Nope! Piano and organ are what I do. I’m considering teaching myself how to play guitar via my brother, friends, and YouTube, but piano and organ will always be my primary instruments. I’ve had a lot of recitals that my piano teacher put together, but just this past year, I’ve done some accompaniment. I played the piano for an elementary school end-of-the-year concert and I also played the organ at my church on Memorial Day weekend and the last weekend in May. These may not seem like much, but each of them are learning experiences for me to see what went well, what didn’t, and what I can do for next time.
What are your goals for the future and what would you like to do after high school?
My siblings call me “Doctor Professor Grammar-teacher Scientist” because, apparently, I ramble on and on when trying to explain something. Regardless, I want to be an English Literature teacher for middle school-aged kids. I don’t know if I have the patience to teach someone how to read and I just love kids that are that age – old enough to “get it”, but young enough to still possibly take in something new. When I can legally get a job, I hope to be an organist/cantor (singer) at my church. After that, who knows? The future holds endless possibilities.
Thank you so much, Emma for taking time for this! It was a pleasure to interview you! Is there something you would like to add that we haven’t yet spoken about?
I included a photo going up my piano’s keyboard at home, but I didn’t get a chance to photograph the organ at church. So I included some pictures of my mom’s flowers: the single pink one is a close-up of a strawberry flower, and the low-growing flower next to the wall is phlox. I have no idea what the blue ones are, but I do know that they are pretty to look at!