I am a witty 16-year-old with big hair who likes to figure out how things work so I can use them in my own way.
I hail from Columbus, Ohio and moved to Massachusetts seven or so years ago. I was enrolled into the public school system in Grafton, Massachusetts from elementary school to high school (Grafton High), where I participated in and even led numerous clubs. During my freshman and sophomore years in high school I participated in service organizations such as Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) and Family Community Leaders (FCL), as well as more casual groups such as Creative Writing Club, Chess Club, Pep Band, Grafton Globe (school newspaper), and Math Team (it’s much more fun than it sounds). Apart from these groups, I, as well as a few other students, created our own string chamber group since the school did not offer options for strings in their music department. We had regular practices and even performed classical pieces along with pieces I composed for the group. Check out a mini Christmas duet I wrote for violin and viola (I wrote this the night before the concert and we perfected it in the 2 hours before our performance.)
Unfortunately, my transfer to Mass Academy has forced me to leave many of these groups as well as the close friends I had in them. However, the curriculum and potential friends at my new school makes the future look promising.
I currently attend Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science, which is more commonly referred to as Mass Academy. This high school consists of one hundred students split between two grades: juniors and seniors. Juniors apply to the school during their sophomore year at their sending schools. Those who are accepted participate in preset courses until their senior year where they enroll in the classes (of their choosing) offered by WPI. Mass Academy takes a very unconventional approach to learning: their educators focus on the depth rather than the breadth of each student’s understanding. Instead of bombarding students with test after test, Mass Academy encourages its students to apply their knowledge to real life situations and problems; thus, creating a rigorous curriculum that far exceeds the conventional AP high school courses offered in other schools. Feel free to browse my site or the official Mass Academy site for more detailed information on the courses that Mass Academy offers.
I enjoy spending my free time drawing, animating, 3D modeling, playing instruments, composing music scores, taking photos, sleeping (yes this is a hobby), and gaming—basically anything I can put my own creative twist on.
I’ve loved art my entire life. Whether it was drawing, writing comics, or photography, I was doing it 24/7. More recently, I have gotten into digital art which has really improved the quality of my photos and comics. While a majority of my creations are for friends and family eyes only, it is my goal to someday post my works and comics online.
After familiarizing myself with digital art, I discovered how many more things I could do digitally if I just had the right software. Able to draw on the computer, I became greatly interested in animation. I dabbled in frame-by-frame animation in Adobe Flash and modeled 3D models (many of which were sadly dysfunctional) in Blender to animate with in the MMD software. On top of animating, I also became interested in game creation and have spent many hours formalizing concepts and character designs but have never actually finished a complete game due to lack of time.
Similar to my experiences with art, music has been one of my main interests since youth. After starting piano at age 4, I gave it up after one year to play violin. I have played violin for 11 years but I never fail to practice piano when I have time. Violin has led me to become a part of a number of string groups including the Joy of Music Program's Youth Orchestra (JYO) where I execute my role as the Concert Master (Listen to one of our performances: here!). In addition to violin and piano I have also played clarinet for 7 years, participating in Concert Band and Pep Band from elementary school till my sophomore year. Apart from just playing instruments I enjoy writing songs and composing pieces. I have written parts for a variety of string instruments and have performed them on several occasions. I mainly use noteflight to write parts.
All students attending MAMS are required to complete a certain amount of community service. For my community service, I was a participant in the Interactive Media and Game Development (IMGD) extracurricular. This experience was offered by a WPI research group that was researching educational games and their ability to engage young kids while helping them learn new educational topics. The background they offered on their research explained how when receiving instruction in a classroom setting and then approaching learned topics from different perspectives with the help of interactive games, new topics are solidified in their minds. They had us play demo games, offer feedback, and create our own games. Throughout the process, we used what we learned from the researchers about effective game development as well as our own insight on the interests of younger kids in order to complete our games. Overall, I believe that this opportunity was fulfilling. This is because I was able to learn a lot about game development and the impact games actually have on the young mind.