The Inner “Nerd”

By Priscilla Joel

She looked outside and saw nothing but white, puffy clouds drifting by. Her seatbelt strapped firmly around her, 10-year-old Maria Michalski was riding an airplane for the first time in her life. Michalski was on her way to her new home in the United States, unsure of what lay ahead.

Born in the cold city of Gorodov Ikovsk in northern Russia, Michalski lost her birth mother to tuberculosis at a young age. Michalski was then taken into the care of her parents Christine and Brent Michalski with whom she lives amongst three brothers and a sister.

At school, Michalski is well known for her participation in athletics. She has been running track and cross country for North since her freshman year.

“The teams are amazing,” Michalski said. “You just walk in and you feel like you’re in a family.”

While many may know about Michalski’s interests in athletics, it is a little known fact that Michalski views herself as a “nerd.” One of her various hobbies includes drawing. Maria started drawing when she was admitted in the hospital for cancer to pass time.

“I just sit down and forget everything else,” Michalski said, “I just draw and then after you’re done, you feel good about it because its something you did.”

While she illustrates many subjects, she prefers to draw people of all sorts, varying from Adele, all the way to Justin Bieber. Michalski’s most proud of a picture she drew of a girl holding a camera.

Maria spends a lot of her time off and weekends by drawing. These drawings can take anywhere between 15 minutes to two days to complete. Some drawings take longer for Michalski to complete because she like to draw intricate pieces with many details.

“They’re really good,” Michalski’s friend Melissa Baker said, “I feel like it’s really good because she hasn’t really had any practice and she’s like, already really good at it.”

Another one Michalski’s favorite pastimes is writing. She is currently working on an autobiography about her journey through life that she was encouraged to write by her friends which she is hoping to have this published by her senior year.

“I just sat down one time,” Michalski said, “I wanted to write something cool and it turned out really awesome and I wanted to write more and more.”

Besides her autobiography, Maria also enjoys writing poems that she often gives to people.

“I like to write stuff for other people,” Michalski said, “Just to make them feel better and put a smile on their face.”