“I love learning languages. This summer I am going to Morocco for six weeks to study Arabic. Learning languages runs in the family. My dad spoke five languages. He was in Marine Corps intelligence during the Vietnam War. He worked as an interpreter and learned Cambodian and Vietnamese. He grew up speaking Swedish and also spoke French. My mother speaks Spanish and German. Last year I attended STARTALK Arabic Camp at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I really liked it last year. I wanted to improve my Arabic. I wanted to sit in a classroom all day so I could be immersed in the language.”
School: Boarding school senior at Verde Valley International School in Sedona, Ariz.
Parents: Olga Hayward-Ryer, of Baton Rouge, and the late William Ryer.
Books: “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseimi and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde.
TV show: “I am in the International Baccalaureate Program at my boarding school so I do not have much time to watch television.”
Movie: “Pride and Prejudice,” “The King’s Speech,” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
Music: Beirut, Joan Baez and the Rolling Stones.
Hangout: Perkins Rowe, Barnes & Noble and friends’ houses.
Role Models: “Strong women like Queen Rania of Jordan, Hillary Clinton and pioneer settlement worker Jane Addams.”
Extra: Ryer is staying with a family in Marrakech as part of the National Security Language Institute for Youth, a State Department initiative. She is also fluent in French. “I had two really good teachers at the LSU Lab School. Vera Lazarre taught me in the sixth and eighth grades, and Scott Harris taught me in the ninth grade. In the summers for four or five years starting in the fifth grade, I went to the Concordia Language Villages in Hackensack, Minn, to improve my French fluency. When I graduate, I may take a gap year and go to a theater school or study dancing. I was a dancer for many years. I also may do something with horseback riding.”
Carol Anne Blitzer
Advocate staff writer