Interview with Shelby Thompson, Senior at Southern Wells High School.
How old are you?
I’m 18. I’m almost 19.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
Last summer, I accidentally got three jobs. It was kind of crazy there for a month. I had an internship that I was applying for. They had given it to someone else, but I had applied for another one that I had forgotten about. I figured they had already found someone so I applied for another job because I wanted two jobs for the summer to help save up for college. About a month before school started I got one of the internships, but I already had two jobs. It was a funny situation to where I had three for a little bit. I was like, this is stressful, but I will kick through it!
It’s good you could keep a sense of humor about it.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go?
I would choose to go to Australia to the Great Barrier Reef. I would definitely take my family with me. My parents have their scuba diving licenses. I have always wanted to go there. I just think it would be so beautiful.
It would be! Awesome.
You have found a suitcase containing $1 million. The authorities say it’s yours to keep. What do you do with it?
I would definitely give about half to charity. The one charity in specific is the Shriner Hospital. I am personally involved in groups that help with them. This weekend the Shrine Circus is happening. I volunteer there on the week that it happens. I would definitely give half of it to them and then save half of it. I would probably invest half to help myself and my family out.
Good plans! It is fun volunteering at the circus?
It is so much fun. It’s probably the highlight of my year. I like seeing how the little kids faces light up when they ride the elephants or go on a pony ride, jump in a bouncy castle. You can see it in their face. It’s like magic to them. It’s just great.
That is really cool.
Tell me something about a parent or relative that you find awesome and you hope to accomplish someday?
I definitely think it would be my dad. He just got his Realtor license actually and he just turned 50. So even at that age he is still trying to get to his goals in life and it’s nice to see that. No matter what year in life you are in you can still have goals and have them come true.
He sounds very inspiring.
What are you proudest of?
Probably the fact that I have set myself up in a good situation to where I don’t have to go into loans already. I know college is coming up so you are going to have to do loans, but my whole goal is to get most of it paid by scholarships and tuition and stuff like that. I want to pay as little as possible for my college.
That is something to be proud of. Great plan.
What do you wish that you knew how to do that you can’t right now?
Probably to be more positive. I can be kind of a negative person. Like, the glass is half empty. I wish at some point I would be more positive which is something I know I can probably change. It takes a little work.
Good for you.
Do you own a pet?
I do. I own two cats. Their names are Hemi and Fender. They are two boys and they are about 5 years old. I have a Bearded Dragon named Mac.
Hemi and Fender sound like car names is that right?
[Laughing] One of them is. Hemi is the one I got first, but I named him that because when he was a kitten he would non-stop purr. He sounded like a Hemi motor. My dad helped me name him. Then my other cat was named Fender after Fender Guitars because his tail has six lines on it like a six-string Fender Guitar, which was my first guitar.
Oh wow! And what about Mac the Bearded Dragon? How big is he?
He’s probably about from the tips of my fingers to my elbow right now. He’s about a year and a half. My first one that I used to have, Mooshoo, was from the tips of your fingers to the middle of your forearm or upper arm.
A big one.
Can you tell me a joke?
What do you call a pig that does karate?
Hmmm. Not sure.
A Pork Chop!
[Laughing] Oh, that’s a really good one!
What’s your favorite class in school and why?
Right now, it would have to be accounting because that is what I want to go in to. It’s not necessarily a hard class, but it’s not an easy class either. Types of math classes are my favorite.
Are you involved in school sports, music or other activities?
I’m not in sports, but I used to be in choir. I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule the last two years. Unfortunately I had to stop being in choir, but I loved it. I am involved in several clubs. Student Council, BPA, Bio Club, Sunshine and Tabletop Gaming.
That’s a lot! Awesome.
What about outside of school activities?
I’m in dance. I do jazz and hip-hop. It’s been really fun. I’ve done it the last four years. This year I get to do a senior solo in jazz. It’s going to be a little secret for my mom because it’s for her and for my grandma who passed away a year ago. She didn’t get to see my senior year.
Oh I’m sorry. I bet your mom will love it. You mentioned guitar too, so do you play? Are you pretty good?
Yes. I’m more into the electric, but I have an acoustic just so when we camp I can play it around the fire. I would say I’m decent. I don’t play as much as I used to just because I don’t have a lot of time with my job and everything. I do try to get it out when I can.
Do you think it’s important to speak and understand other languages?
I think it is. It’s definitely something that you should try to learn at least one basic level of some language. Whether it be sign language, Spanish, German, French, just any of those. If you go some place or meet someone from a different place you can talk in their language and understand basics. If you get in a situation you can possibly help yourself get out.
Yes! That is important.
What is your favorite game to play and why?
It’s going to sound really weird, but Minecraft, just because I’ve connected and played with my friends. At my firend’s house we just bought the Minecraft for the PS4. We were playing with it and I was teaching my mom. I connect with my sister when we are on our phones. My dad used to play it with us several years ago. We’d have family game night and play it.
That’s neat! I like it.
Who is one of your friends that makes you laugh all the time?
Definitely my best friend, Morgan. She makes me laugh so much. She is just a funny girl. Some of the stuff she does you have to laugh at.
[Laughing] So everyday there is something new from her.
Yes, there is. It’s her stories and how she talks and the things she says.
Who is your most academically inclined friend?
That would be my other best friend, Jess. She is already in college. She is already doing college work this year, senior wise. She is down to one class this year at Southern Wells. She is doing online Ball State classes. She is taking four of them. After she is done with this senior year she will already have one year done of college.
Good for her! She is getting ahead of the game.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years and how will you get there?
I see myself as a CPA. I want to move south somewhere. Like Kentucky or Tennessee. That’s where my family’s from. My grandfather moved up here in the sixties. I want to go back south just to get back down there. I want to get away from the whole snow all the time and weird weather. I know they have it down there a little bit, but not as much as her. I would have a husband by that point, maybe a kid. Right now I am working on getting through college to get my CPA. Definitely that will help me get there. I’m going to start at Ivy Tech and get my Associates. Then I’m going to find another college for the last three years to get my CPA.
Good for you! Sounds like you have some great plans and a good future ahead of 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, Ind.