Below is a Teen Talk interview with Sophia Emrah of Norwell High School.
What grade are you in?
I’m a senior.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you lately?
Hm… I don’t know. Something funny that’s happened to me is that my friend Addie told me this story about her first day of school. Well first, let me explain. I wasn’t here for the first two days of school because I had strep throat, which of course during this whole coronavirus thing, I get Strep throat. So I missed the first two days. My friend Addie told me this story about how the first day of school, she sat in the wrong class for like 15 minutes. I’m like, “You’re a senior in high school and you didn’t know where your classroom was and you couldn’t find it?” I don’t know. It was very, very funny to me that she sat in a personal finance class instead of in her AP statistics class for like 15 minutes without even realizing. The teacher did attendance and was like, “Are you supposed to be in here?” She was like, “Oh. No.” And then she had to ask where the classroom was, even though she’s a senior and the school isn’t that big.
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
I would say I think it would be really cool to go to Italy or Greece. Because right now, I’m doing a culture project over Greece, specifically Athens. I just think it would be so cool to go and see all the historical stuff there. And it would be cool to go to Rome. It would also be cool to go to the Catacombs; that would be cool too. That’s in France, but you know. It’s OK. I’m hopping all over.
You’re given a day to do whatever you like with no limits on money or reality. How do you spend your day?
I think I would like to go to a lot of different food places. I think it would be cool to try a bunch of foods from, like, everywhere, so I guess if I have no limitations on anything, I guess I’d just eat a lot of different foods from a lot of different cultures all day long with my friends. That’d be interesting. That’d be a fun day.
What’s your most used emoji?
I don’t know. Let me check. Honestly, I would say probably… I like to use the thumbs up emoji; I’m not going to lie. That’s probably the one I use the most. I also like the peace sign one. I use the thumbs up and the peace sign the most. Or I use the one that’s just the two eyes, like no emotion, it’s just the two eyes.
What is something that you are proud of a parent or relative for doing?
My mom just recently won Teacher of the Year for her school (Heritage Junior-Senior High School), and then she won teacher of her district. So I thought that was pretty cool. It’s pretty awesome. My mom’s also not letting me forget it, because she’s like, “Tori Emrah, Teacher of the Year.” She’s been saying that a bit since she didn’t get to celebrate or anything because of the coronavirus. That kind of sucks but it’s cool that my mom got that, because that’s a huge honor.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
I’d say when I was younger, I had a really bad reading disability, and I’ve had an IEP (individualized education program) my whole life. I had super bad ADHD when I was little, and I still have it now but not as bad because I’ve grown out of it. It was hard for me to do school when I was younger, but in middle school, I became like one of the first kids with an IEP to be in honors English. I worked really hard to get where I am. Not that school is, like, super hard for me, because I’m in like all honors classes and stuff, but I definitely have to work harder than some kids. I guess that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome is just my academic ability. I study all the time, and my friends don’t study at all. It’s OK. I’m glad to be where I am.
Do you have any pets?
I do. I have two cats. They’re sisters, and their names are Flossy and Frankie. They are my children. I love them with all my heart, even though they are kind of jerks sometimes. But it’s OK.
What is your favorite class in school and why?
I guess my favorite class right now is probably government because I like anything that has to do with history. American history is just really cool for me, and honestly, world history is cool too because I think it’s fun to learn about history. And that’s so weird because I know a lot of people don’t like history because they think it’s boring, but I think it’s interesting because, really, if you think about it, history repeats itself so much. So if you really just study old history, not like you know the future or anything, but things can happen and you’re just like, “That happened like five years ago.”
Are you involved in any activities, related to school and otherwise?
Yeah, so I’m in show choir, and I’m in both groups so that’s where I spend most of my time. And I’m in National Honor Society, and I’m in Student Council.
What is your favorite game to play? Why?
I would say I really like Clue. Clue is an awesome game just because not that it’s hard to be good at Clue because you can. There’s certain strategies you can use and stuff, but I feel like Clue kind of gives you an equal opportunity to, like, be able to play with people. I don’t know. It’s fun just trying to figure out stuff.
What did you want to be when you were a little kid?
I actually have a funny story for this one. My brother is like almost four years older than me. He was a senior when I was a freshman, and we’re very different. He was eight, and I was five at the time. My mom asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he was like, “I want to be an engineer.” She asked me, and I said I wanted to be a princess puppy dog ballerina. That’s definitely my favorite thing to say. That’s what I wanted to be when I was little: a princess puppy dog ballerina.
What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?
Probably just seeing my friends. Just because they are one of the most important things in my life. I can just be having a bad time, and then I see my friends and I can just tell them what’s wrong. It just makes my mood enlightened.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I think it would be really cool to control all of the elements. I don’t know if that’s a super power, but I think it would be awesome just to like control the elements. I don’t know why. It’s like an uncommon thing to say but I’ve watched a lot of Avatar recently so maybe that’s why.
If you had to eat one thing for every meal going forward, what would you eat?
This is kind of more of a practical answer. I’m going to say potatoes because you can eat potatoes in a lot of different ways. You can eat mashed potatoes or you could eat french fries or you could eat hashbrowns. There’s just a lot of things you can do with a potato.
If you could have one exotic animal and it was OK ethically to have the exotic animal, what would it be?
I think it would be cool to have some weird lizard thing. I feel like that’s such an odd answer so say but I feel like lizards are weird and cool and fun to look at. It’s like cats; cats are just fun to watch. Lizards are just fun to look at. I don’t want to have, like, a tiger or a lion because I feel like that would just be a bad situation. Some sort of weird, cool, exotic chameleon type lizard thing would be cool to have.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years and how will you get there?
Hopefully, I’m doing something in the music field because that’s what I want to get into. I don’t know what I want to do exactly in the music field, but I know that’s where I want to be. So hopefully, I’m somewhere happy and successful, doing what I love with music. No matter what that is, because I still haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe have a cat. I don’t know. That sounds like a good time.
What else should I know about you?
My favorite color is red. That’s kind of weird; I feel like there isn’t a lot of people with red as their favorite color. Well not a lot of 17-year-old girls have red as their favorite color. There’s that. Oh, I really enjoy sunglasses. That’s something kind of weird about me. I don’t know what it is about, like, weird pairs of sunglasses, but I’m all for them. I wear them all the time to the point where people don’t even question it anymore. I have big sunglasses; they look like Elton John sunglasses with rhinestones all over them. And they are big and just awesome. I have a weird sunglasses obsession.
Teen Talk is a service supported by Southern Wells Community Schools, Northern Wells Community Schools, and Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District to promote dialogue and community among area high school students.
Interviewer: Devan Filchak, The Bluffton News-Banner