EDMONDS — Catrien de Boer, 17, is a student leader at Edmonds-Woodway High School who also is involved in the academically challenging International Baccalaureate program.
Question: Tell me what you’re involved with this year.
Answer: Right now is mostly Link Crew. It’s a new program we started this year. It’s focused mostly on the freshmen. I just finished an activity — I did cookie decorating with all 420 of them. … I made I don’t even know how many cups of frosting.
I’m also in ASB. I’m an interhigh officer this year. We just did Macho Volleyball, a fundraiser, and we also do the district talent show.
… I also was on the swim team. I was a girls swim captain this year. So that took up a lot of my time at the beginning of the year because I was involved with homecoming planning and also trying to get the freshmen integrated and then also being a swim captain. So fall season was pretty hectic.
I like being busy all the time, and it gives me motivation to try new things.
Q: What’s been your favorite?
A: I think probably planning for homecoming has been my favorite. We start planning for it in spring, and then we worked all through the summer. So we planned for six months. That was fun, just doing all the decorations. We all get really competitive with (homecoming), and it also brings all the classes together. That was the first time I really saw our entire senior class working together. Everyone’s dressing up, and everyone’s involved.
Q: You’re in the International Baccalaureate diploma program. Tell me what that is.
A: It’s an international course load. A lot of the classes are two-year courses — my English, history and chemistry are my three higher-level classes. Then I have three standard-level classes, which is French, I tested in “Global Politics” last year, and then math studies this year.
In addition to that, there’s an extended essay which is a 4,000-word research paper that you do for 11 months. The due date is Jan. 15. We’ve had all this time to work on it but everyone’s still stressing out at the end.
And then we have to earn 150 CAS hours — you have to do 50 creative, 50 activity and 50 service — and then you also have to do a CAS project, which is an additional 40-ish hours.
There’s also TOK, which is the “theory of knowledge.” It’s basically how do you know what you know? It’s a very abstract course but it teaches critical thinking. Within that you have an essay and a presentation.
Also there’s an additional project you do for each class. Like for history, it was a 2,200-word research paper. I’m about to start my math one now.
Q: So it’s just a little bit harder …
A: (Laughs) It’s a little bit harder. But you don’t start IB classes until junior year. Before that you just do pre-IB or the honors classes freshman and sophomore years, which is also what I did. … It’s really stressful right now, but it does pay off in the long run.
Q: So what are you doing for your extended essay?
A: I’m looking at how there are societal pressures to look and act a certain way. I’m focusing mostly on young girls and young adults. I’m using two different novels, “The Clique” and “Uglies.”
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’ve actually committed already (to the University of New Mexico). … They’re giving me the Amigo Scholarship, so they’re giving me in-state tuition and paying for a little bit more above that and giving a stipend for books. I thought about it for awhile, and then we went down and visited and I just fell in love with it. … I want to do political science and pre-law.
Q: It was your first time visiting New Mexico?
A: I had never planned to apply in-state. I wanted to go somewhere new, try new things.
Q: You’ve done that a lot, including going alone to a Mock Trial program at UCLA, with help from a local Rotary grant. Is that how you got interested in law?
A: I always kind of watched the TV shows and thought it was cool growing up. … (The Mock Trial camp) was really fascinating and overall a great experience. It solidified my desire to continue on that path.
Q: Your father is from the Netherlands.
A: He and my mom met on a cruise ship. He was a chef and she is a nurse. All my cousins live in Holland still. As often as we can, we like to go back and see them. I don’t really like the farms and countryside — I’m more of a city girl — but it’s still fun to see family, and I got to visit Amsterdam once. We like to travel. … I’ve been to France and Germany. I also have family who live in Belgium from my mom’s side of the family. We stayed in Luxembourg for a night.
Q: Where do you want to go that you haven’t been?
A: I want to go to Thailand. That would be my dream destination. I want to go there and ride an elephant and stay in a little hut on the beach. I told my mom I want to go on vacation where I don’t have to wear shoes and where I don’t have to learn anything.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3432.