Alexander “Ike” Valenti Eichenbaum, age 17
What inspires you?
Different things inspire me everyday, you know? Sometimes it’s the fact that I have art first thing in the morning. Sometimes it’s a praying mantis I find on my backpack. Sometimes it’s seeing my girlfriend on a warm august evening. Most of the time, though, it’s the chance to better myself and make someone else’s day better that gets me up in the morning.
What is your favorite subject in school, and why?
I love English. I like to think I’m good at it, but hey, I’m open to criticism.
If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I’d probably reform education in America. I feel like we could do better, and we can always do better, if we had a push (or a grant?) in the right direction.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
I’ve always wanted to travel to India and ride the Darjeeling Ltd. It seems like it would be an adventure, you know? I’ve never had an adventure before.
What is your dream job?
Ideally, I’d like to be a prison therapist when I get out of college – I’m working towards a Psy. D. – and I’d also like some medical training, but if dreams could actually come true, I’d totally take a job working the Med Deck on the Starship Enterprise. Or be a movie star. Any of those.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things could you not live without?
I wouldn’t be able to live without food, water, and some signature good luck. Luck’s pretty important, when you come right down to it.
I think my all-time favorite book is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, but I also enjoy the works of John Green and Edgar Allan Poe immensely. Also, there’s this one author – he’s Swedish, I think? Anyway, he writes really cerebrally twisted and in-depth stories about the lives of stuffed animals. The books I’ve read by him, Amberville and Lanceheim, are really, really good.
Something that makes you smile?
I know it sounds dorky, but my girlfriend makes me smile. She’s just really something else, you know?