Students showcase their out of school talents

Students showcase their out of school talents


Juggling while on a unicycle is impossible for some but for Nick Garrett, senior, its a lifestyle.

“I have many special talents but the most impressive is juggling on a unicycle. My other talents are infinite,” Garrett said.

The beginning of this talent was born from a trashcan, but has evolved into more, bringing a  balance to his life.

“My friend jason found a broken unicycle in the trash and said I would be the most likely person he knows to learn how to ride it,” Garrett said.

Garrett’s talent has gained him some positive feedback from friends and family. The hobby has also been noticed from interested strangers.

“Juggling and riding a unicycle at the same time is not something you would see very many people do. A lot of the times when I’m riding down the sidewalk people wave and honk,” Garrett said. “So I  don’t imagine it’s something other people see very often.”

Although Garrett has become accustomed to doing both talents multaneously, there are still risks involved.

“You can get hurt,” Garrett said. “Sophomore year I was riding home from school on the last day when I was almost home my shoelace got stuck in the spock of the tire and I couldn’t catch myself because I was juggling.”

From the time this talent began in the summer of Garrett’s 8th grade year, till now, he still plans on continuing this hobby for a long time to come.

“My mom bought me my first actual good quality unicycle as support and I plan on doing this forever,” Garrett said.



Jack Williamson, senior, is the youngest professional grade bagpiper in the U.S. His special talent has let him travel and compete in St. Louis, Madison Wisconsin, Toronto, U.K, and all over Chicago. But this talent was not born overnight.

“ Music has always been in my family. My parents met in college because they were both in choir, my brother played percussion instruments since he was 9,” Williamson said. “Then I got interested in my history and found out I have a bit of scottish and then I got interested in bagpipes. I’ve been playing since I was 10, so 8 years now.”

Williamson and his father started playing at the same time giving him the support he needed. From his time traveling Williamson has gained new friends and supporters.

“My dad and I started playing at the same time so he has been very supportive. I’ve been able to travel extensively, its one of the biggest fraternities anybody could ever join,” Williamson said. “Pipers anywhere are willing to help you out and whenever you need help they are willing to put you out for a weekend.”

Bagpiping has been around for many years however its not practiced as much as it use to be. Williamson, “Hardly anyone does bagpiping. I’m the only young person in Topeka. In Kansas there is probably fewer than 10 people my age doing it and in the midwest its not as big,” Williamson said. “I think the main thing [that makes it unique] is its such as old art that is still alive and thriving. The historical aspect of bagpiping is the most unique.”



The inspiration for skateboarding for Vincent Carper, Junior, began with the T.V series Rob & Big and has since continued for four years.

“ It sounds weird but if you have ever seen the show Rob & Big you would understand,” Carper said.

Skateboarding is unlike any other activities Carper has ever done. When he skates, it’s not for anyone but himself.

“ Not many other people skateboard. It consist of yourself and mainly yourself. You can’t depend on others to improve. Its a one man activity,” Carper said.

Skateboarding can be very dangerous if one does not know the precautions and is not aware of, or pay attention to their surroundings.

“ If you have terrible balance, you can fall and break your bones. You can be hit by a cars. I have,” Carper said. “Its usually the typical injury.”

This talent Carper has developed throughout his life has grown to become a daily routine and a lifestyle. Looking towards the future, he plans on continuing and improving for as long as he possibly can.

“ Its more a lifestyle than a hobby for me. I plan on skateboarding for as long as I can keep moving,” Carper said. “Or until I’m physically unable to.”



Lawrence Laurie, senior, rode a bike for the first time when he was 3 years old but decided to take it a step further and took a strong curiosity Bicycle motocross (BMX).

“I got on training wheels when I was 3. I started in 8th grade and have been doing it since. I plan on riding until I don’t break myself,” Laurie said.

The coalition of acrobatics while riding a bicycle, BMX, in its basic form involves racing. BMX is on the Forbes list for being one of the worlds most dangerous sports. The amount of injuries are abundant ranging from scrapes and bruises to concussions and even death.

“ You can seriously get hurt and break bones, stitches, and loose teeth.” Laurie said. “Not a lot of people BMX because its kind of a harder sport to learn.”

BMX for Lauri is a both lifestyle and a hobby. Pursuing a hobby like this can become hard to accomplish without proper funding or backing from close ones, to use as a strong foundation.

“ My parents help me buy the parts I need as support. Then I have a group of friends who also do BMX,” Lauri said.

BMX races are sprint races on built road racing tracks sometimes over 1000 feet long. The race relies on strength being that races mostly last 30-45 seconds, depending on the the length of the track.Racers practice to gain strength and agility to complete new tricks successfully.

“ I practice everyday, you have to have the strength to do the trick over and over again,” Lauri said.