Interview with Shelby Koteskey, junior at Norwell High School.

How old are you?

I am 16.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

My friend and I were on our way to a class at Bluffton one morning. We got pulled over because her taillight was out. It was just funny because she told me the day before, ‘If we get pulled over don’t freak out. It’s because my taillight is out,’ and we then she was freaking out.

Too funny. So she tells you not to freak out, but then she does. Ha ha.

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

Anywhere with mountains.

Have you been anywhere so far with mountains?

We’ve been to Tennessee and Kentucky. We went to the Great Smoky Mountains a few times. We went to Honduras, and we were in the middle of like a bunch of mountains.

Wow, nice! Why were you in Honduras?

For a mission trip. It was with our youth group.

That’s cool.

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

Probably buy a lot of Taco Bell. I need a new wardrobe too.

[Laughing] Why Taco Bell?

I love Taco Bell. 

Good for you! 

Do you work at Taco Bell then?

No! I don’t want to because I don’t want to ruin it for myself.

I understand that.

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

My dad, he was a youth pastor and then he just turned into like a normal pastor. He knows how to talk to children and teens really well. I want to be able to communicate with my kids and their friends like he can because he does that very well.

That is very cool. I like that.

What are you proudest of?

I’m in the marching band and I’m in winter guard. We started the winter guard my seventh-grade year and we have gotten better and better every year. We went to state and got third last year, then we went to state the past two years with marching band. 

Awesome. That just amazing to be able to go to state! Marching Band is so cool to watch and hear.

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

I think sewing. I don’t know how to sew very well. My parents have to sew a lot of my things because I break them, they rip.

Ha ha. What are you doing that’s ripping your clothes?

You gotta have a dance party every once in a while.

I love it. You crack me up. What would you sew? Your own clothes?

I mean, I wouldn’t hate it. 

Do you own a pet?

Yes, Maggie. We don’t know what kind of dog she is because we got her from the shelter. She doesn’t like me very much.

She doesn’t? Why?

I don’t know. I’m like, ‘Maggie, come here,” and she looks at me for like 15 second, then turns around and walks away.

[Laughing] Are you being mean to her or something?

Nooo! I just want to hug her.

That’s great! Ha ha. 

What is your favorite class in school and why?

I like my anatomy class. Just because I get to learn about all the parts of the body and how they work.

Do you have plans to go on to school for something medical?

Yeah, I’m taking that HSE class which I will get my CNA by the end of the year. So I was thinking more nursing, but now I’m thinking more like physical therapy.

That’s is a great thing to get into.

Can you tell me a joke?

I have one that’s kind of morbid.

OK. As long as it clean.

Yes, it is. [Laughing]

My therapist told me to write letters to all the people I hate and burn them. But now I don’t know what to do with the letters.

Oh my gosh! That is really good. That’s a new one.

Are you involved in sports, music or other activities?

I’m in marching band in fall. Winter guard in winter. I do tennis in spring. Not very good, but I do it.

Anything outside of school?

I’m really involved in my youth group. I like doing that. Other than that, I don’t really have time for anything else.

You stay really busy.

Do you think it’s important to speak and understand other languages?

Yes. I have been taking Spanish the past three years. When I was thinking of nursing, I thought about getting a Spanish minor so I could use that more. I really like it. Not necessarily because I can speak it fluently, but it helps me understand more of Spanish culture and to think of things differently.

That’s a really good answer.

What is your favorite game to play and why?

I like to play Dutch Blitz.

What’s that?

It’s hard to explain. Everybody has a deck of cards from 1 to 10 in four different colors. You set a row out and you have to fill three cards over at a time and make different piles with all threw numbers. Whoever gets through the pile of cards first wins. Our family plays a lot of different games.

That’s good. I like family game nights.

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

My friend, Hallie. She goes to Adams Central in Monroe. Whenever we get together, we aren’t not laughing. We just crack each other up.

Love it!

Who is your most academically-inclined friend?

My friend, Sage. She just tries so hard and it makes me feel dumb. In our anatomy class when we take notes on our iPads, she takes them all on a certain notebook. Then she has like a whole notebook of everything we’ve done in class. When we have study guides, she writes in all the margins. 

Wow! She is dedicated. That is great.

One time I got higher on a quiz than her and I still rub it in her face.

[Laughing] So she usually gets the better grade, but you are like, ‘But there was that one time…’

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

Hopefully with a family. I’m very big on the family thing, and dogs.

Ones that like you right?

[Laughing] Yeah. And hopefully it will be soon after I get my doctorate.

You will! Do you know where you will go to college?

I’ve only toured one in Ohio, but I have a lot of time to look at other ones. I think I’m going to get my bachelor’s in Physical Therapy or Exercise Diet. Then I will go to a school that has the doctoral program.

Very good. That is awesome. I am sure you will have a very successful future. It was a pleasure meeting with you!

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.

Interviewer: Amy Serafini News-Banner, Bluffton, Indiana