Student of the Week: Vishal Casper

Senior+Vishal+Casper+works+at+Kumon+as+a+tutor.+%22I+actually+really+enjoy+it%2C%22+he+said.+%22I+enjoy+helping+people+in+that+way.%E2%80%9D

Photo courtesy of Vishal Casper

Senior Vishal Casper works at Kumon as a tutor. “I actually really enjoy it,” he said. “I enjoy helping people in that way.”

Maya Smith, Editor

All while recovering from a concussion, senior Vishal Casper has juggled the responsibilities of his job, schoolwork, college applications, and other activities including digital painting and building a computer. 

On Dec. 1, Casper got into a car accident resulting in the concussion that took him two weeks to recover from. Despite this setback, he said that he hasn’t let it stop him from staying on top of all his commitments. 

This semester Casper is taking AP Physics, Economics, English 4, Honors Spanish 4, Lasallian Ministry, and Pre-Calculus.

“My favorite classes at the moment are probably Spanish and Physics,” he said. “Physics is a subject that will help me in the future and the career I want to go to, which is computer science. And I really like Spanish because I feel like, especially over a Zoom environment, [it’s] a really interactive class.”

Casper’s first language is Malayalam, but he eventually mastered the English language around kindergarten. Since Spanish is the third language Casper is learning, he said it’s occasionally difficult for him to pronounce some words. 

“Reading and writing is easier for me,” he said. “When it comes to actually speaking and listening, it’s harder in Spanish… but English and Malayalam are fine.”

Math is Casper’s least favorite subject currently. “I don’t despise it,” he said. “I decided to take it easier this year and take Pre-Calc instead of AP Calc because of the COVID situation and everything. I didn’t want to overwork myself at home… [but] I know all the content already, so it’s kind of boring.”

For Casper, online school was beneficial at first. “I’m really an independent learner, so I teach myself a lot of the content,” he said. “It helps me learn faster, but at the same time I miss going to class and just it was more easy access to get help.”

Casper said that he has yet to decide whether he will attend school in February when students are allowed to return for a hybrid learning system. “I feel like COVID cases are still a bit high to go back,” he said. “I feel like I would stay home and hopefully they would gradually let more students come back.”

As for college plans, Casper applied to the University of Portland, Portland State University, Oregon State University, Central Washington University, and the University of Washington. 

“I’m most likely going to go to PSU because… I could also stay at home, so I could have a part-time job and actually save money for the future,” he said. “They also have a really good computer science program.”

Before Casper got into his car accident, he was planning on building a computer. “I’ve ordered some of the parts… [but] I had to dip into my savings for a computer for [a new] car, so I can actually drive places,” he said. “I was set back a bit, but I’m still planning to finish it off — hopefully by the summer.” 

Casper said that he plans to start from scratch with his computer. “[I want to] buy every part in a PC and put it all together, and then just have my own setup,” he said. “I’m also into video editing and photo editing… I want to do After Effects and all the Adobe stuff too, so I need a beefy computer for that.” 

Occasionally, Casper also participates in gaming tournaments. “It’s very limited because I don’t have the right equipment for it, so it’s more of small things here and there,” he said. “Some events [are] local [and] stuff, and sometimes me and my friends bet money.”

Casper plays games like Rocket League, Minecraft, and Valorant most often. “I’m planning to get into more once I finish building my PC,” he said. “That’s also why I want to, because I have a big interest in gaming… That’s also one of my career options, to play video games or become a streamer.”

In Casper’s free time, he also enjoys digitally painting landscapes, working out, watching anime, and working at Kumon after school as a tutor. 

“[Kumon] is a different tutoring environment, but it’s like teaching,” he said. “I actually really enjoy it. I enjoy helping people in that way… I wasn’t really good at it at first, but I’ve been able to build really good skills from it, so I’ve been enjoying it a lot more. I’ve been closer with my co-workers as well, so it’s a lot of fun working with them.”

Although Casper has several different hobbies and a multitude of other responsibilities, he said that he usually doesn’t get too stressed. When he does, he likes to decompress by painting, playing video games, or talking to his friends. 

After graduating high school, Casper wants to travel to California, Washington, and Montana. He also hopes to go on a trip after college to Tokyo with some of his friends. 

For other students who are still navigating and adapting to the high school experience, Casper wants them to stay motivated, work hard, and remember to complete their school work. 

“Just really [work] on what you’re passionate about, and really [work] on your talents,” he said. “I feel like I started a little too late for that… I wish someone else had told me that when I was younger. I feel like it matters a lot that you put in the hard work now so then later you don’t have to work as hard and you can relax and enjoy life more.”