Howdie, Elena Gehle

By Stef Ortiz, Sports Editor

IMG_4237SO: What’s the origin of your last name?

EG: It’s German.

SO: But I thought you were Hispanic?

EG: I’m half-hispanic, one quarter German and one quarter British. So technically I’m half-white and half-hispanic.

SO: So your dad’s German?

EG: Yeah, half-German half-British and my mom’s Mexican.

SO: What do you identify as?

EG: Honestly, I don’t know. I’m still confused on that. I like being white and Hispanic.

SO: You speak Spanish too right?

EG: Yeah I’m fluent in Spanish.

SO: How did that happen? Do you speak Spanish at your house?

EG: Yeah. My dad, he lived in New York when he was 8 and then he moved to Chile (in South America) until he was like twelve and then they moved to Mexico city and he went to high school there so even though he’s white he’s perfectly fluent in Spanish. So my parents have always spoken [Spanish]. Actually, Spanish was my first language but I never learned how to perfectly write it so I’m perfectly fluent in it but that’s why now I’m in Spanish how to perfectly write it.

SO: What Extracurricular activities do you do?

EG: I do track, cross-country, and also UNICEF and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and I’m joining Save Our Strays (the animal shelter club) and then outside of school I used to play Volleyball and I tutor kids now. I do horseback riding too.

SO: Your main sport is cross country though right?

EG: Yeah. Cross Country and Track

SO: What do you run [in track]?

EG: Well, what I think I’m going to run is the 2-mile, the 3200 meter and maybe the distance medley relay and the 1600 meter.

SO: What is it about cross country and track that you like?

EG: It helps you a lot with even school too. It teaches you to push yourself even when you think you can’t do it. I’ve played pretty much most sports—soccer, tennis volleyball—cross country and track is the only that’s actually been challenging to me. Like in Volleyball I made the national team the first time I tried. Cross Country and Track is hard and you have to work at it and it’s just not given to you.  And most of the stuff I have is given to me so it’s something that’s not.

SO: So you like the challenge of it?

EG: Yeah.

SO: How long have you been running?

EG: I ran cross country in 8th grade but I was injured most of the season because of Volleyball so I quit Volleyball and now I’m just doing running

SO: Why did you decide to focus on it?

EG: Because—overall—the team was just a better atmosphere. Everyone was way more interesting and nicer. Just better and nicer and we just get along better than volleyball girls do.

SO: What injuries did you get when you were in 8th grade?

EG: I lost most of the cartilage on my knees. I have patellar tendinitis, patellofemoralis. I’ve torn all of the ligaments on my left ankle and two on my right ankle. And I just injured my ankle again. I’ve had cracked shins—fractures on my shins—and I’ve fractured my kneecaps. And I would dislocate them in volleyball.

SO: How long did you play Volleyball before you quit?

EG: One year.

SO: And you got all of thos injuries?

EG: Yeah. I mean, I played it with the school in junior high then I started playing competitive and I made the national team in 8th grade and I got that all in one year pretty much.

SO: Are there any other clubs you’re planning on joining?

EG: Yeah I’m going to join the Asian club because I had one of the [Foshan] Exchange students and I really liked her. So I’m going to join the Asian club.

SO: How was the experience with the exchange student?

EG: It was awesome. It was kind of sad because she was the nicest person I ever met and she’s not from here, she’s from China. She’s just so nice and I really learned a lot from her, more than what I would have thought. Definitely their culture wasn’t what I thought it would be and she really helped me learn more about a different country.

SO: What did you learn from her?

EG: Well, emotionally, she’s so nice to everyone even if she doesn’t know them or they may not be the nicest person she’s still super nice to them. She just taught me to be nicer and not judge people before I meet them.

SO: What was the best experience you had with her?

EG: Well, we went to a lot of places but apart from going places—shopping, moody gardens, George ranch—we had a cross country party with just the cross country team and she loved that and that was really fun for her, and me, and everyone else.

SO: What do you want to be?

EG: I’ve been struggling about this, but for sure I know I want to be in Medicine. But particularly I want to be an orthopedic surgeon because I have all these problems in my joints and everything so I know how it feels like and I know how I want it to be (without the pain and all that) so it’d be kind of nice for me to be able to help other people with that. And if not I’d want to be a pediatrician.

SO: Why a pediatrician?

EG: I’ve always liked kids and I always babysit and I tutor kids like I said and being with kids is just easy to me. And a lot of things can happen that you can prevent when they’re little so it’s good to be able to help them with that.

SO: What subject do you tutor them at?

EG: I tutor them in math since I’m in algebra II, in sciences, and in English a bit. But mostly in math and science.

SO: Are those your favorite subjects?

EG: My favorite subject is science. Biology. I love biology.

SO: Why Biology?

EG: I’ve always really really liked animals and I don’t know if you heard that announcement that [Nemo Cazares] completed that veterinary assistant thing, well I did that too and I had to stop it for volleyball and I did about a year of it—a year and a half. So I did a whole year of it and I had to quit.

SO: You didn’t want to?

EG: My practice times—I practiced every day so it conflicted. But while I was in it I got to do a lot of cool things. I got to go help with the vets and watch their surgeries and watch c-sections of dogs and stuff. And cows giving birth. So I would definitely consider veterinary medicine still but not as much as orthopedics.

SO: You already named so many activities, do you have any other hobbies?

EG: Well, I used to be in band.

SO: What did you play?

EG: Clarinet. This year I was going to be in band but I decided not to do it with cross country and everything that I was doing. But I made first chair honors band [in junior high]. I really enjoyed it in junior high. Occasionally I still play the clarinet just so I don’t forget it.

I’m pretty good at art too I think. I love painting a lot. And sculpting. I love sculpting.

SO: Have you taken an art class?

EG: I don’t have time for art classes, but I’d like too.

Oh and next year, I’m going to take this course at Harvard that’s this medical course and I’m going to go away in the summer for a few weeks and do that. It’s a summer camp and it’s like a medicine camp and then there were some other schools—Stanford was one, Rice… I’m going to go to different camps just to see how the colleges are and really motivate me just to do better in school.

SO: What college do you want to go to?

EG: Rice [University].

SO: Why Rice?

EG: Well they seem like a really well rounded school and everything. Harvard and Yale and Stanford would be nice too but for now Rice. I’d go to A&M too or UT but I prefer Rice.