Spectacular spotlight: What students do off campus

Kip Kane and Yesenia De La Torre


The school year began full force this August, with many new and returning students. Students with many unique and fascinating hobbies.

Six years ago, second-year student Alexia Smith started crafting blocky masterpieces with the popular toy Lego. She builds everything from real-world monuments to modern cars to creatures from a galaxy far far away. 

Smith flies solo when she adds to her collection, often creating her builds while watching a movie at home. Her hobby has the added benefit of soothing her school-fried nerves.

“It helps relieve my anxiety and keeps my hands busy,” Smith said.

Smith is currently double majoring in welding and automotive, and she enjoys seeing the finished project physically in front of her. 

Her tips for beginners to start their own collection? Save your money, start with small sets, and make sure you have plenty of time to work on building. 

Second-year student Michael Hall, is a self-made blacksmith who creates powerful and intricate weapons. He’s forged swords and daggers and is looking to expand his horizons to bigger swords and axes.

Hall takes immense pride in his work, by creating unique and tangible things with his hands.

Hall’s blacksmithing journey began as an act of spite and perseverance. He decided to craft his first knife for a school project, but his teacher didn’t have faith in his abilities.

“My teacher said I couldn’t. I did it anyway,” Hall said.

His interest was piqued after that project and has expanded into his current favorite hobby.

Hall’s first forge was hand-built in 2019, and has since been destroyed. He warns that blacksmithing is dangerous and proper precaution should be taken around hot metal and fire. 

Hall enjoys smithing alone for now but expressed his interest in teaching others in the future.

First-year student Logan Pfeiffer favorite thing to do is go Skiing with his family. He started to learn at just 4 years old when his mom entered him in skiing lessons.

“It is definitely a mental challenge,” said Pfeiffer.You have to learn to trust yourself.”  

Pfeiffer recommends that beginners take it slow and have patience. He also warns that you can hurt yourself as he himself falls from time to time.

“About 3 years ago I started learning tricks and landed a big jump after a few tries of failing,” said Pfeiffer. “I was very proud of myself.”

Second-year student Ryan Kyprianidis was introduced to car restoration at the age of 15. He didn’t begin hands-on work until two years later. Kyprianidis’s father and uncle paved the way for him to learn everything there is to know about assembling and disassembling a car.

“Don’t start on all the crazy stuff right away, start off easy,” said Kyprianidis. “It’s not something you can rush because when you mess something up you can destroy the whole car.”

Kyprianidis worked on fully restoring a 1973 Camaro.

“There was a time where we were working on the engine and it set on fire,” said Kyprianidis. “The Carburetor was not hooked up properly and too much gas was going into the wrong place.”

Kyprianidis is currently working on a 1990 Japanese Nissan 300ZX and is in the final stages of refurbishing.