Returning junior Shirene Khandpur is back for her second year at Nordic as Opinion Editor. She can’t wait to apply new skills while learning more in...
Sailing into summer: student and teacher summer plans
Jun 21, 2023
Caitlyn Richter (she/her), senior
Q: What are your summer plans?
A: I’m going to go to Europe with my dad, aunt and brother. We’re going to go to England, France, Germany and Italy. It’s about two and a half weeks. Other than that, just family visiting and maybe some camping trips.
Q: Is that your graduation gift?
A: I mean, I’ve been gaslighting my parents about this for three years, and unfortunately my brother and my mom can’t come, but I’m super lucky that my dad is taking me. But yeah, it’s a graduation thing.
Q: Why do you like traveling?
A: I feel like the meaning of life is appreciating beauty. Like in things — it doesn’t have to be travel. You can appreciate stuff in your own life. But seeing other cultures in a deeper way and not just a touristy way is enriching.
Q: Anything else you’re looking forward to for summer?
A: I’m seeing Taylor Swift on July 22, which is three days before my birthday. I’m also happy that I get like three extra weeks this summer because UW starts so late. It’ll be nice to watch my brother go off to school while I get to stay at home.
Q: Do you have any advice for underclassmen?
A: Try to work a bit on college apps and do some work, but you’re gonna get burnt out if you spend summer working. So just use [summer] as a break because you need it.
Robert Flye (he/him), art teacher
Q: Do you have a bucket list?
A: I’ve got several buckets, I don’t know whether I’ve got a list in them. Lopez Island, we’ve got a place there and so we tend to spend some time up there and then I’m still doing work up there. So that will be on it. I would love to get in here [school] and have some fun for a week just kind of do some art. I’d love to get out and just ride for fun. I have a secret art project to make. And then for photography, it’d be fun to build a large camera — a film camera.
Q: How did you spend your summers in high school?
A: When I got a bike in my senior year, I was working. In high school, I was the science club president, so the science club ran the concession stand for basketball games. [Such a] fun time. So, I met this girl from Camas which is way down just on the Oregon border like Vancouver, Washington, so 50 miles south from where I was growing up. So I’d ride my bike 50 miles south on I-5 and back. There were no cell phones. I didn’t even call. It was just like, “Maybe she’ll be at home, maybe she won’t be at home.” It was always an adventure.
Q: Do you have any advice for students for summer?
A: I mean, it’s a great time to do all the things that you don’t get to do during the school year, right? Have more fun with friends, have extended trips and vacations, get into something that doesn’t fit in the school day, some hobby or interest or whatever. Or maybe come back to. It’s really interesting. If you take a class and you’re crunched into this timeframe and even something really cool, then it’s just this pressure cooker, right? And so sometimes it’s fun to take a look at something and again without that pressure. Sometimes it’s just kind of interesting, like I get into research, and I love learning and so things where I get to investigate, but at my own pace. I want to say have fun. Do something to destress.
Joanna Walker (she/her), English teacher
Q: What are your summer plans?
A: I’m getting a hip replacement because I have early onset arthritis. So, I’m going to have a bionic hip. That’s at the beginning of the summer, and then my goal is to just walk as many miles a day as I can after that. I like to grow flowers and vegetables in the backyard, so that’s going to be one of my focuses this summer. I have some mizuna, and I planted some cosmos and different flowers that I haven’t tried before.
I have a daughter who lives in New York, so I always go to visit her. New York is so hot and muggy in the summer that last summer, we met in the middle, and we went to Mexico. We’re chatting now to decide if we’re going to meet somewhere, or if I’m going to New York.
Q: Favorite summer memory?
A: One of my favorite summer memories is [with] one of my good buddies. I grew up in California, and her mom and dad decided, while they were remodeling their house, rather than just getting a hotel, they rented a beach house just right smack on the beach in Newport, California. I was going to go and hang out with her for a couple of weeks, but I ended up staying for over a month. It was only an hour drive from home, so a couple times, I drove home and had dinner with my family. We spent over a month just playing on the beach. It was really nice; I really enjoyed it.
Q: Summer advice for students?
A: Junior IB students should work on their extended essays and finish them. Spend time with family — that’s pretty precious. Especially because juniors’ and seniors’ family time is gonna shorten when you go off to college. I feel like we’re really lucky — I think the Pacific Northwest is absolutely beautiful. So get outside. No matter what the weather is, plant something and watch it grow. I don’t know how many high schoolers do that, but it’s so fun to watch things grow and nurture your own garden.