Java with Jess and Viry: Natalie Pontikes

Jessica Mora and Viry Ayala Java with Jess and Viry comes to you this week from before Winter Break when we interviewed junior Natalie Pontikes. Multi-talented Natalie let us know her take on junior year, as well as a few things everyone might not know about her. It seems that every 11th grader is usually stressed to the max by this point in the year, but not Natalie. She said that junior year “has a lot of hype, but I’ve enjoyed it a lot.” In particular, her favorite classes have been English with Mr. Lombardo and Bio, even though she says she’s “never been good at science, now its one of my favorite classes.” Just goes to show how things can change! Though we envy Natalie’s laidback approach to junior year stress, she thinks she’s “too relaxed about the college process—I mean there’s no point in stressing yet, but then there’s our peer stress.” Oh yes, the current 11th graders have a bit of a reputation for stressing out, which just makes Natalie’s stance all the more admirable. Moving away from the pressures of school, when asked about what she does outside of it Natalie revealed her multi-talented side. Not only does Natalie play the guitar and sing, but she can also play the ukulele and the banjo—on top of participating in Field Hockey, Hockey and Soccer at Latin. She states that the ukulele is fun to play and easier than the guitar, but that the banjo requires more intricate picking than strumming. What many lifers may remember about Natalie is her infamous yodeling performance during the fifth grade retreat. She laughed when questioned if she could still perform, and stated “Everyone brings it up to me! I can’t do it anymore, I couldn’t really do it to begin with, but I don’t know, I’m trying to learn again, maybe I can bring it back senior year.” We hope so! To conclude our Starbucks chat with Natalie, we asked about how she would like to be remembered one day after leaving Latin. She replied with a smile, “I’d love to be remembered as someone who was open to talking to anyone, who was open to being friends with anyone, and who was passionate. I like seeing people who are so into what they’re doing, I hope people can see me doing the same thing.” We definitely think so. We’d like to give a big thank you to Natalie for the delightful chat!]]>