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I hate socks. I wear them, sure, and I do find a certain thrill in combing through a bag of laundry trying to find a matching pair (I have a tendency to give up the task quickly, though, so I often find myself wearing two completely different socks). I even understand that they should be valued because they keep the insole of my shoes nice and clean. But generally, I detest socks to the point that I consider my abhorrence to them so important to my character that I am willing to introduce myself with "I hate socks," instead of what my name is, Ariel, for the record—and not like the mermaid.

Now that is clear, hello! As aforementioned, my name is Ariel, and I am nineteen, an optimist, and a student at City-As School (CAS), where I take classes on Tuesday and Thursday and work at an internship Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I transferred to CAS from Hunter College High School last year, and it's been an amazing experience. I've worked at the Animal Medical Center, at a funeral home, with an independent art curator, and at Groundswell Mural Project, a group that employs teens to paint large-scale murals around the city. I will be graduating this year, and I will be going on to earn my BA—and then my master's—so that I can be a high school English teacher, which has been my dream job since fourth grade.

Except for socks, The Scarlet Letter, Nicolas Cage, the movie Serendipity, and the ticking of a clock, I love just about everything. I love writing, TV, Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, Shakespeare, the internet, punctuation (properly used semicolons are like little bursts of happiness on a page), The Cure, Mumford and Sons, José González, Surrealism, advocating for the LGBTQ community, video games (I'm a total N64 and XBOX-fanboy), soundtracks, drawing with black ballpoint pens, animanga (Naruto is my favorite series, by far), doing nothing with friends, and making too-long lists that are interrupted by random, parenthesized factoids. I also love Ulysses, but I've recently been told that people only say that to sound smart; so, I thought it would only be fair to put this in a separate sentence so you can judge for yourself if I actually do love it (hint: I really, really do).

And finally, and perhaps, most relevantly, I am truly honored to have been accepted into the Youth Insights program. I am so, so excited and hope to make the most out of this amazing opportunity!

Ariel’s Artwork