Tandy James, an avid free writer, blogger, and aspiring scientist, gives insight on her life and her effort to make sure “wannabe thugs and wannabe baby mommas” in her school, as she says, do not bring down her standard of learning.
James is a self-proclaimed “no-nonsense” kind of girl who gets straight A’s in school.
“If I get an 89.99 I better find somewhere else to live,” James explains in reference to the reputation and standards held for her by her parents at home. Yet as a teen with interests such as singing, dancing, blogging and cooking – for herself only, because she feels her cooking would not be properly appreciated by others – James describes how social surroundings have or rather have not affected her learning capabilities as well as many other aspects of her life and education.
In a school with people who are much more concerned about social status, James has dedicated herself to education through her love of learning and avid interest in science. In a brief interview, she describes her standpoints on the matter and expresses that she feels she does not need to be “dumbing herself down” for those around her who choose to remain ignorant.
With a strong love of science, James’s desire for the future is to become a biochemist or a medical researcher.
“That way I don’t have to interact with people,” she says, adding that she could then “chill” by herself and do what she loves without interruptions.
This 16 year-old girl mentions how her love of science drove her towards an interest in journalism and stated, “journalism is just an extension of science,” because of its correlation between people and how they are affected by events in an anthropological sense.
James also enjoys free writing in her spare time. Free writing provides an outlet for her to reflect on her days and interactions with people. She believes her writing skills to be well-developed and that journalism could give her a focused point to write about; in contrast to how she feels school writing feels more like rambling.
“There’s always something new to learn,” James expressed in regards to her professed love of learning.
Discussing her high school, New Visions Charter High School for the humanities, James describes the students as “hooligans”, but also expresses that she does not allow their behavior to distract her from her courses, specifically stating, “It doesn’t affect my learning. It just provides another source of entertainment.”
As a firm believer in respect, James believes that, “what you put in is what you get out” and that if you want respect you must first give respect.
Being no-nonsense when it comes to academics and with people does not mean James does not know how to have fun.
She describes herself as “fickle” and says that her friends often see her as “crazy and funny.” She loves the television programs “Doctor Who” and “Supernatural” and says that if she could have one wish it would be to be able to read minds to make for easier social interaction and getting to know what people think.
According to James, her friends see her as “the crazy one,” but after a brief interview with her friend Teylor Hamilton, it became clear that, with her strong drive, James is able to influence her friends as well.
“[Tandy] did make me a better person,” Hamilton said, describing James as outgoing and adding that she brought her “out of her shell.” “She’s just the person to call when I wanna go out or need to talk,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton also mentioned that James came to America from Guyana in first grade. Not only did she persevere through difficult surroundings at school, but James also changed and adapted completely to the new surroundings.
Her friend Keisha Reina also states that James and her indulge in “constant laughter,” and that her friend is hilarious and “outspoken”, “dedicated”, and “focused and determined to finish what she starts.”
Regarding her involvement in College Now and hindrance from a school full of those whom she sees as disruptive, what James had to say about herself was, “started from the bottom and now I’m here.”