Calista Gerard

How old are you? 

I’m 18.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

We host exchange students. When I was in the bathroom Mina, our exchange student was doing her homework and all the sudden I hear her say, “Aaaah, I hate everything!”

So she was getting frustrated with her homework?

Yes. (Laughing)

Oh that is funny!

Where is Mina from?

Okinawa, Japan.

 If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

I don’t know. Hiking through Europe maybe. I’m not a fan of the water, but I would go to the Caribbean. I’ve been to Hawaii. I love that place. I would just lay on the beach.

You have found a suitcase containing $1 million. The authorities say it’s yours to keep. What do you do with it?

I’d pay for college and I’d give part of it as a tithe. Like the 10% or whatever. Then I think I would get my mom a house and whenever I get out of college, me too.

Those are great plans! What are you going to college for?

I’m going to Purdue for Biomed Engineering.

Wow, you are really smart aren’t you?

I don’t know.

You must be.

Tell me something about a parent or relative that you find awesome and you hope to accomplish someday?

I’m proudest of my brother He came from a not-so-great situation and he has done something with his life. He now has a daughter and he is the best dad. It’s so cute. He’s just a really great parent. I look up to him.

What are you proudest of?

I’ve been told I’m a good hugger. I might be proudest of that. I have really good friends and I’m proud of them.

What do you wish that you knew how to do that you can’t right now?

Sing. I’m so bad and I do it so much anyway. I think other people would appreciate it if I knew how to sing.

(Laughing) That’s great!

Do you own a pet? 

I do not at the moment, but we are getting a dog soon.

Do you know what kind you are getting?

No. We’re getting one from the shelter. A medium sized dog.

Can you tell me a joke?

There’s pressure! 

No Pressure.

My face. Just kidding. I can do this. Ok. A Priest, a Rabbi and an Imam walk into a bar. They all hit their heads.

Haha! Too funny.

What is your favorite class in school and why?

Lunch! I’m just kidding. My favorite class I’ve taken is AP Chem with Mr. Weinert. He’s great! The thing about Norwell is that there are so many great teachers that it’s hard to pick. Like, I’m so bad at English. It’s not one of my strengths and Mrs. Bower is amazing. Mrs. Ross is amazing. Mr. Newton was new last year and he is really good at teaching math. All the teachers I have are amazing. Like, Mrs. Casto, I’ve never been her actual student, but I’m her intern. She’s amazing. So many great teachers.

That is really awesome that you like your teachers.

Are you involved in school sports, music or other activities? Any outside of school activities?

This is a long list. Student Council. National Honor Society, I played soccer and I’m currently in softball. I go to youth group and I’m part of the worship team at my church. I do 4-H. I play travel softball with the Summit City Select.

Wow! You stay busy!

Do you think it’s important to speak and understand other languages? Is there a language you want to learn?

I do. I’m OK at Spanish, just OK. I want to learn like Russian or something like that too. 

Why do you think it’s important to be able to speak other languages?

We aren’t the only people here on Earth. There are so many different kinds of people and people that value different things than you and even language is a huge part of that. It’s really important for everyone to understand that, yeah we’re different, but in reality we are not that much different. Like all the exchange students here, they might come here and you might feel like the shock. But it’s really important to remember that whether it’s like Colombia or Canada, or Indonesia or Malaysia or Germany, we are all the same and all value our lives.

So, it’s important to be able to communicate with each other?

Yes.

Good answer.

What is your favorite game to play and why?

I like softball. My favorite card game would be Apples to Apples or Things. They are really fun.

I’ve never heard of the game called Things.

You get a card and it will say something like, ‘Name something that is blue,’ and you write answers. One of the cards I got was ‘Name the busiest place in the house’ and I was like ‘The bathroom after Taco Tuesday.’

(Laughing!!!) Oh that is great!

Who is one of your friends that make you laugh all the time?

Emily. She is just herself. She’s funny. Whenever I’m down she always makes me laugh about something. I could be crying and she would say one word and I would be laughing.

That’s a good friend.

Yeah, she is.

Who is your most academically inclined friend? 

Gabe. He is just a really smart dude. He really thinks everything through.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years and how will you get there?

I see myself being some kind of missionary and having a family. That’s one of my goals. I want to be a missionary that lives there for a few years.

Anywhere in particular you would like to go?

I don’t know. Wherever God takes me. I also want to make prosthetics for people in countries that don’t have access to them. When I was in the Dominican Republic in February of 2018 that was one thing I noticed. A lot of people had missing limbs and they didn’t have any good way to deal with it. This one guy in particular came to our worksite everyday and he only had one hand. We were moving loads of dirt. He couldn’t grab a wheelbarrow so he grabbed a bucket. It was a lot smaller than the wheelbarrow, but he still did his best to help us out and it was really cool. He had a big impact on me, whether he knows it or not.

Anything else you want to tell me?

I’m on whatever ride that God gives me.

You have so many good things going on and interesting things to talk about. Your future is really bright!

Teen Talk is a service supported by Southern Wells Schools, Northern Wells Schools, and Bluffton Harrison Schools to promote dialogue and community among area high school students. 

News-Banner, Bluffton, Indiana

Interviewer: Amy Serafini