Ruby Liles Recognized as "Star Student"
Ruby Liles Recognized as "Star Student"

Congratulations to sophomore, Ruby Liles, for being named "star student" by the Germantown News. Read her interview below:

Name: Ruby Liles

Family: Stinson Liles (father), Patty Liles (mother), and Jasper Liles (brother)

Grade and School: 10th grade, St. Mary's Episcopal School

Favorite subject: It's hard for me to deny that I have a very real love for each and every class I've ever taken, though the reasons for which I care about each class are extremely different in that they are unique and specific to that class. I think really I just have an affinity for learning new information; I've been called a sponge before for my proclivity to soak up as much as possible and the genuine fulfillment I get from that. But if I had to discern one class as my favorite, I would probably single out History. At the moment I'm taking both AP US History and Art History, but in my academic experience thus far I've found that any history class never fails to intrigue me because above all else they're classes about people and their choices, and I find that to be both fascinating on an academic level and on a personal level- it's endlessly revealing and causes me to think.

Favorite sport: Running. Though I have dabbled in a couple of sports throughout my lifetime, I've never run cross-country or track, but I don't think I'd ever want to for fear of making competitive an activity I've always found therapeutic and challenging in a good way. At the moment I'm also on the swim team, which I love as well.

Who is your hero and why?: My band teacher, Dr. Millen, or the man more commonly known as Doc. He is a guy filled with such obvious and contagious joy and passion that you can't help but smile when you speak to him. I have the utmost respect for teachers for their inherent choice to dedicate their lives to the enrichment of others, but Doc goes above and beyond in every respect of his life. Not to be cliché, but he has taught me so much more than how to play the Euphonium. In addition to living his every day life in a way that I can only hope to emulate, he is also the utterer of my favorite quote in the whole world: "Subtlety is for weenies."

What career interests you and why?: I've always figured I want to work in communications in some way for the same reasons I love history: I love people and want to spend the rest of my life learning about their unique stories, choices, goals, fears, et cetera. I've always wanted to be a journalist because I feel like that's the career at which my interests and my skills meet and mesh the best, but I'm open to letting that dream change as my life changes. I've also been considering working on political campaigns, teaching, advertising, or even therapy.

What is your favorite song?: This answer is nearly always changing as both my taste and what I need to hear at any given point in time is almost constantly fluctuating, but my go-to is any song by the band Arcade Fire. A song I find myself coming back to rather regularly though is Sprawl II: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Arcade Fire. I find it to be the perfect balance between poetic and real, and over time I've found a million different meanings in it.

What is your favorite movie?: La Vita e Bella, or Life is Beautiful. It humanizes and gives new life to a story that has become distant, one which now only a few can say they lived through and retold oftentimes only in the technical language of textbooks. The movie tells the story of a Jewish man and his son as they are taken into a concentration camp during WW2, but more importantly we the viewer get to know and love a man named Guido Orefice. We see his bravery, resilience, humor, imagination, kindness, and deep love for the people he is surrounded by in spite of the circumstances he has been given. The movie reminds us that the historical events we read about in class are not isolated; they were the stories of real people, just like us, and their just as real lives. The movie is so grounding and humbling in a way I could never articulate perfectly.

Who inspires you the most?: My parents. They inspire me in love: I'm reminded how lucky and blessed I am to have grown up with this perfect example of what happiness and love looks like every day when I come home and we gather for a meal and a conversation. They inspire me in living: both are so in touch with what it means to be good in such different ways, and neither fails to share their goodness with everyone they meet. Both my mom and dad are so smart, yes in an academic sense but also, and I would contend more importantly, in that they have a knack for understanding that I can only hope to inherit. I try not to say anyone is perfect, but they're just about as close as it gets.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?: I think that too many people today have bought into this notion that the pursuit of "political correctness" will somehow stymie their pursuit of success, which is a notion that to me is not at all true. I think a lot of people feel threatened by the thought of having to consider the opinions and feelings of people outside of their own bubble because they don't want to feelvlimited. While I totally identify with the very human sentiment of wanting to feel heard and free, I wish beyond wishing that more people would devote a bit more of their time to listening as well.

What is your goal for the rest of the year?: At the beginning of this school year I resolved to make decisions based on what I know would make me happy and let friendships follow. I think I've followed through with that pretty well, and I find myself now surrounded by amazing people. I want to continue with this goal for the rest of this calendar year and for every calendar year after that as well, but I also want to set the goal to trust myself and others more.