Looking back to the beginning, was there a specific moment you realized this was going to be a big deal? Oh yeah, oh COVID. I remember very -- I remember exactly actually. It was mid March, and I guess that's not exact, but I remember it was one day until my state meet for my synchronized swimming competition. And we had been practicing for months and months and months. And the next day was going to be our meet. And I remember at school, they started talking about this whole COVID thing, like, "oh in a couple of weeks we might take a week or something off." And I was like, "okay, yeah, whatever, taking a week off is chill." And then that was on a Thursday and then that Friday like there was no school. I remember I had a physics test that Friday and I was so happy there was no school 'cause I did not want to take the physics test. But I was super, super upset because we also didn't have our state meet. I was like, "wait, what? So are we rescheduling it? What is going on?" So then just like that, like a week went by, and I was like, "okay, well, they did say a week," and then I started watching the cases and they just kept going up. And I was like, "wait a second, wait a second. This is not -- this is not what supposed to be happening, you know? This is like something that happened so far away, like why is this affecting me? Like, I don't understand." And so, I went through this like state of confusion, I guess.
This week has been exciting, but it's also been a little bit sad. I was taking part in the American Legion Auxiliary program for Girls' State Michigan. And it was fun, it was exciting. And I made a lot of great friends and learned that I probably will want to go into law for my career. But I was also sad because I didn't get into Girls' Nation and I didn't get scholarships that I wanted to get. So that part has been pretty upsetting to me, but I am glad that I made some friends, even though they are scattered all around the state, including the Upper Peninsula. I probably won't be able to see them very much, but I'm glad that I at least now have a new group of girls to talk to. So that's -- that's pretty fun. Yeah, having to deal with the feeling of not being good enough to win the scholarships and to win Girls' Nation has been something that I've really been struggling with over the past two days. Even though I've known that I've worked hard, it's tough for me to see other girls who have worked just as hard as I have get it and wonder like what could I have done to be better? What could I have done to actually achieve the goals that I want to achieve? It's been really difficult for me but hopefully I can move past this feeling and work hard and possibly even harder in the future to work towards what I want to do.
Further into Corona when we went on a hybrid schedule... so two of our days would be in person and then the other two would be virtual, I was nervous obviously cuz I didn't know who was gonna be there. And when I got into class, I didn't know anyone very well because this was the first time that I had taken these classes in person. And so I remember having to stretch myself very outside of my comfort zone in order to start a conversation with those around me and get out of my comfort zone and just talk to people that I wouldn't have normally talked to. And I remember, my -- one of my really good friends now, we didn't know each at the beginning of Corona, or we didn't know each other that well, like, we were acquaintances. But we never talked much. And so I had to take a leap and I just struck up a conversation with her one day in our German class, and she turned out to be very friendly and very nice. And she's one of my closest friends now and I'm really grateful for Corona because I had had anxiety over social situations before this and I feel like the Coronavirus really pushed me to create social interactions and to just lean out of my comfort zone and discuss things with people that I wouldn't normally discuss because we have nothing else to talk about and to create those new bonds and to create these new friendships. And I -- I feel like that's one of the ups that this pandemic has really shown me is to get over my social fears of possibly being rejected or just tons, tons of different things that I was afraid of that the pandemic has kind of shown me that no, you don't need to be afraid of this cuz everyone, everyone is afraid of it. And so that is one of the things that I am actually thankful about the pandemic for.
How has your clothing style changed over time? It really hasn't. I still own and wear clothes that I see pictures of myself in from, again, decades ago when I was in my teens, twenties, and I still wear them and I still, luckily I guess, they still fit, I guess that's one way to look at it. And they're still in pretty good shape, which I guess you couldn't always say. But stylewise I really couldn't care less about the style. Again, as long as it's comfortable and it's still fits, I will pretty much still wear it. Maybe with a few exceptions, when I was a kid I remember probably -- I don't know -- this would have been the early to mid nineties, my sister and I used to love Hammer pants, so the big billowy pants that MC Hammer wore. My sister and I had several pairs of those and we loved them and we used to wear them all the time. And I don't know that I would really wear Hammer pants now. They're probably back in style, who even knows. I don't have any idea, but I don't know that I would wear those again. That's one big thing that I can think of that I used to wear and probably would not wear again, even if I had a size that'd fit me.
This brings me back to the days when I was working as a coffee roaster and we'd get to try the new coffees before we bought them, which was always fun and relied a lot on my taste buds and we'd have to do tastings with new employees at the coffee shop and some people are very stringent in their methods of note taking of what they taste and how they taste and I've always been a little more liberal when it comes to things like that. If -- you know, if I taste something and all of a sudden I get, like, my mind's eye goes to like a fluffy bunny, it's not wrong, that's just my experience. And, that's just how my brain is wired. And I -- you know, like I associate fluffy bunnies as a good thing. Some people might not. If it -- I mean I might not want like bunny fur on my tongue but that's not what I was getting at. So, when I would hold the tastings, I would -- I would let people know that everybody, you know, has different taste buds and likes different things and they're not wrong. They're -- it's just how they perceive things.
What's the spiciest food you've ever tried? Oh, so I got a story about this. I was working in Palo Alto, California for Ford Motor, and at our Halloween party someone brought these one chip challenge things and I tried it when I was later at home, but basically it's a one -- one chip coated in like pepper seasoning. Ghost pepper, Carolina Reaper, et cetera. And you're supposed to like just eat it and film it. I didn't film it, kind of -- maybe I should've, but it was super hot and basically, I ate it all in, like, one bite. It was like the size of a Doritos chip, maybe a little bigger, and it was -- I instantly regretted it. I was like, "Oh no," 'cause I didn't have any milk, I don't think. I don't even -- I didn't have any like, bananas. I might've had like one slice of bread, I don't know, I don't think I had a lot of bread. All I had was like some beer, some peanut butter, or maybe some jelly, I don't know. I was -- I just remember feeling like "Oh no. Oh no. Oh no." Luckily, the pain subsided not long after but I thought my lips like looked sort of different somehow. Like there was like a ring around the outside or maybe it was just my perception but it looked slightly different color and I don't know if I'd do it again, but that has to be by far the spiciest thing I've ever had, the one chip challenge.