Brady Streiff

Grade: Senior.

Age: 17.

Art focus: Brainerd High School Creative Writing.

Adviser nomination: “Brady is a talented writer who used symbolism and figurative language to weave a profound childhood tale into a powerful message.”

Memorable fine arts achievement: “A persuasive essay I wrote in English last year about the legalization of marijuana.”

Artist most admired: Tyler Okonma, an American rapper.

Why do you enjoy writing: “I don’t really enjoy it, it’s just something I feel I can do. It is interesting to try to form an idea in your head and put it down into words onto paper. I don’t write in any journals or anything, just write in class. I wouldn’t say its my passion, but I can see myself going places with it for a career or something. It got me here (as Fine Arts Student of the Week) so I guess I am decent at it.”

What do you enjoy writing about: “I like persuasive essays. I like to find evidence and build it up to persuade somebody into thinking a certain way, is kind of powerful. Telling stories is kind of hard because you can tell any old story, but it needs to have a theme or a message and something that really connects like all around. A good story is like a circle, the beginning needs to connect in the end in some way.”

Your Creative Writing assignments: “We are on our third, or fourth assignment. The first one we were supposed to write about our favorite mistake we made. Mine was the night I got a minor when I was with my friends, when I was a sophomore. It was a funny, stupid story and the whole theme was that kids do stupid stuff and you learn from that -- failure is our greatest teacher.

“Our second one was our watermark event. Like when it floods in a town, it leaves water marks that are there forever — so we had to write about something that impacted you and made you for who you are today. I didn’t want to write about this, but it was the easiest one to write about, I wrote about my parents’ divorce. Divorce is really a sad thing and I didn’t want to write about it because it is a sad thing. I wanted to come up with something else that wasn’t so down or sad, but it was the only thing that was on my mind. I tried to have a childhood innocence to it when I started writing it as no kids think their parents will get a divorce. It was a shock to me when I was younger. … The whole story is not all true, as I dramatized it. It wasn’t like this tragic thing that happened, but I spun it around that way for the sake of the paper.

“It helped me to write about. This was the only time I really tried to write about it and try to get my feelings out. It sucks, but it’s going to be OK. I wouldn’t say my parents getting a divorce didn’t greatly affected my life, it did. I mean I have two houses now, but it doesn’t change who I am.”

How has writing helped you with your other classes: “It helps me put my thoughts down on paper. Your brain is a muscle and you need to exercise it with literature, metaphors and similes and it gets these ideas of language in your head. It makes you more witty.”

“I always thought it would be cool to be a novel or be a journalist -- see where it takes me.”

After high school plans: “I know where I am going, but I don’t know what I am going to do. I plan to attend Mesa Community College in Arizona State University. (I’m going there because) it’s far away. I have friends and family down there. I want to have a fresh start. I’ve always really liked that, especially in stories, too. People just leaving and creating their own lives like Jay Gatsby. He started his whole life over and I respect that.”

Favorite subject: Creative Writing.

Favorite movie: “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.”

Favorite TV show: “That ‘70s Show.”

Favorite books: “The Hobbit” and “The Great Gatsby.”

Favorite song: “Walking on a Dream,” by Empire of the Sun.

Favorite band: TLC.

Favorite restaurant: Zorbaz on Gull Lake.

Sports: Lacrosse.

Last video game you played: “I played ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.’ I don’t even like it, but my friends moved to Arizona and go to school there and we do online gaming. I’m not good at it at all, they whip me.”

Biggest pet peeve: “People who are dishonest or they be disrespect just to be disrespectful.”

Parents: Mary Streiff of Brainerd and Brett Streiff of East Gull Lake.