Hi, this is Kiernan. I am going to tell you about Esme Harp, alias Mouse. She is a student at Distelrath Farms and a thirteen-year-old girl who loves birds.
Stick around to hear more about her!
Q: What do you think about school?
A: I think this school is awesome! We do a lot of hands-on learning and I get to spend a lot of time outside.
Q: Tell us one fact about yourself.
A: I like chickens -- mostly because of they way they look. To me they are cute.
Q: Do you own any chickens?
A: Yes. I had six chickens, but three were killed so now I have three.
Q: Why do you love birds?
A: I have always been interested in birds and the way they fly.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Watership Down.
Q: Do you have a hobby?
A: I like drawing a lot of stuff, mostly dragons and chickens. Lately I have been drawing cats.
Thanks for reading. Tune in next month for another student interview!
Kiernan Longo, 9 years old
Ashley D. Shufflebarger
Age: 24 years old
Relationships: Boyfriend Paul Waltz, Sister Cassidy Shufflebarger, Best Friend Andrew Distelrath
Role: Vice President, Program Director and Educator at The School at Distelrath Farms
About: Ashley--or Mama Llama as we like to call her-- is an amazing educator and a really cool, funny person. Mama Llama started at Distelrath Farms in the summer of 2015 as a co-op member on Thursday evenings. After talking with Andrew about his vision for the school, Ashley offered to teach a newsletter writing class. Now, she writes and sends out our weekly newsletter and helps the high school students to write and run their monthly newsletter. She is also the head of the background work at our school, runs our Facebook page, and built our website. Keep reading to see some interesting facts and responses to the following questions.
Q: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
A: That is a difficult question. I am a poet but I hesitate to use that word because it sounds pretentious. I love the outdoors which is one of the reasons I was drawn here. I love working with kids, and people in general. I have had a variety of jobs over the years working in camps and child care programs. Those kinds of jobs are way better than being cooped up in a cubicle all day. I don't think I could handle that.
Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: Llamas, of course!
Q: Which would you choose, flying cars or a city on the moon?
A: Flying cars. I feel like there is still so much to see here before moving on to another planet. Plus flying cars would be so cool.
Q: What is your current favorite genre of music?
A: So I have this theory that a bunch of modern musicians are bringing back old styles of music, and they are all friends. Tune in to A Prairie Home Companion with Chris Thile and you will see what I am saying. So I love modern bluegrass, modern alt-rock, and modern jazz.
Q: Who is your best friend?
A: Andrew, because I talk to him to most. Sometimes I hate him, sometimes I think he's great, and sometimes I throw pencils at him.
Q: What is your favorite part of the farm?
A: You students, because you guys are wild and crazy. I love our little farm family.
Q: Where do you see yourself in one year?
A: Right here, and I want to be teaching a creative writing class focusing on poetry.
Q: What would you like to change at our farm?
A: I specifically would like to diversify our group. I want to work towards tuition being feasible for low-income families to be able to come to our school.
In conclusion, Mama Llama is a totally cool, bubbly lady who just happens to love us kids and has a passion for teaching us the things she is passionate about. Often we joke that Mama Llama is not just a person at the farm, but instead is the farm. Although we are being silly most of the time, I am not sure what we would do without her.
Thanks for reading. See you next month to meet another member of our farm family!
-Liberty Pruett, 16 years old