This post features Rodney from School Spirit
Another character survey of mine 🙂 For anyone who wants to learn more about an extremely optimistic dragon.
- Gender: Male
- Species: Dragon
- Appearance: Predominantly green, approximately eight feet long, wispy spikes on head and tail, wings, young by dragon standards, bright blue eyes.
- Favorite color: Orange
- Typical Outfit: School-themed decorations, mostly
- In a nutshell: Fun-loving and excitable, does not conform to the normal dragon stereotypes of being powerful and dignified and important, enjoys life, refuses to feel embarrassed, genuinely cares about the students at the school.
- What do you value more than anything? Genuineness. I like when things and people are exactly what they seem to be. No tricks. No masks. No second guessing.
- What role do you take in a large group? In a large group, I’m normally the largest one there 😉 Pretty much I do whatever I feel like the group needs just then. If people are gloomy (like if they just lost a game) I’d try to cheer them up. If they were already excited, I’d be excited with them. If there’s something really heavy that needs to be moved, I’d move it.
- If you were a drink, what would you be? Fruit punch with a twisty straw
- Here’s a shoebox. What do you hope is inside? Um… hopefully nothing fragile. Or if there is, I’d want someone to help me open it. Little boxes are so tricky… you humans with your weird little hands; you’re so adorable! Anyway, inside, I’d hope it was a cake or something. I’m really craving some cake right now.
- In what ways do you rely on other people? I’m a dragon living in a human society, so there’s a lot I need people to do for me. That’s okay, though. I know some dragons hate that, and that’s why there are a few places only inhabited by self-sufficient dragons, but I’d find that really lonely, personally. And I don’t mind asking people to help me do things like drive me around in a truck. Or write down my answers to a survey since I can’t hold a pencil. Thanks, Hannah! [Don’t mention it.]
- Name one thing you have no talent for: Speed flying. I’ve always been slower than average. I can do some pretty fun tricks in the sky, but if you need someone to get a message somewhere quickly, I’d be just about the worst choice.
- What impresses you? People who are really determined about their goals. It doesn’t even matter what the goal is. I think that if anyone wants something badly enough to really work hard for it, that’s cool.
- What do you lie about? Lying is a pretty strong word… I try not to. I suppose I’d lie if someone told me a secret and asked me not to share it, and then someone else asked me if I knew what was going on with the original secret-holder, and I’d say no even though I obviously do know. Other than that sort of thing, I’m pretty honest.
- What would your college major be? Dragons don’t really have college degrees like humans do… it’s more of a apprentice / master situation. Before I was Soran High’s mascot, I was working with a big science firm. It was boring, and everyone there was smarter than me. I was just like another piece of equipment, and I didn’t like that, so I quit.
- Pick a random word from the dictionary. What does it mean to you? “Preserve” It makes me think of traditions, which are a big deal with dragons. I’ve never been as serious about that kind of thing as I should be, but I still think it’s neat that we have an ancient language and legends and stuff like that. I just wish that we could celebrate the traditions and have fun with them instead of flying around them so carefully.
- What would earn your sympathy? Oh, tons of things! Pretty much anyone that’s sad about anything. I just really hate it when people get down on themselves for things, and it happens a lot in sports because there’s such a definite “you win or you lose” set up.
- If you made a documentary, what would it be about? The history of Soran High School. I’ve been there close to sixty years now. The sad thing about high schools (or maybe it’s the coolest thing about them?) is that every four years, there is a completely different group of people. They only see this tiny little cross section of the school’s history, and have no real idea how it grows and evolves.
- Name something that you love for no reason. Air fresheners, haha. Also owls, and snow shovels, and glass soda bottles, and hot air balloons. I love a lot of things, and I very rarely have reasons.
- What is the best compliment I could give you? “Hey, I was feeling really icky about something, but you really cheered me up! Thanks!”
- If you could increase one thing: beauty, talent, or power, which would you choose? Well, I’m as talented as I need to be, and I wouldn’t really know what to do with power, so beauty sounds fun. Maybe I could have multicolored scales or something.
- If you had to be in therapy, what would you talk about? You wouldn’t think there would be a market for dragon therapy, but there actually is. And lots of dragons go to it. I think it’s just because when you live a long time, you just collect more memories and it helps to talk them out sometimes. I’ve talked to a therapist when I was younger, when I wasn’t as happy because I was trying to fit in, and it helped me a lot.
- How would your life change if you’d been the opposite gender? Honestly? It might have been a little easier. Guy dragons are sort of expected to do really dangerous types of jobs. Not that girl dragons can’t, but there isn’t as much pressure on them to do that sort of thing.
- What is more important than most people realize? Teamwork. I don’t just mean at sports games (although it really, really helps in sports…) But that attitude of “I’ll do everything myself and I don’t need anyone’s help,” never accomplished very much. Or if it did, it generally made the person lonely and miserable and what’s the point, then?
- What do you do to de-stress? Just being around a bunch of people normally relaxes me. It’s really hard to dwell on stuff inside your head when you’re focused on others. And besides that, I try not to get stressed out very often.
- How do you want to be seen by others? I want people to feel comfortable around me, like they can be themselves. I also want people to associate me with happy memories. Like “Hey, there’s Rodney! I bet we’re about to have a lot of fun!”
- What is your biggest secret? That I was really miserable once before I figured everything out. People see me and kind of assume that I’ve always had the same personality, and I honestly prefer them to think that. I don’t want sympathy or anything. I’m happy now, and that’s all I really care about.
- What is your deepest fear? Going back to the way I was before. Being unhappy again.
- Describe yourself in one word: Enthusiastic
“Okay, well. Thanks for that.” Hannah set the pen down and was able to jump right into the interview since she had just transcribed all of his answers. It was difficult to keep from asking follow-up questions as she went along. “So, why Soran? I’d imagine there would be hundreds of schools making you offers, because you being there is such a novelty.”
Rodney fluttered his wings in embarrassment. “Um… actually only three schools call their sports teams ‘the dragons.’”
Hannah gave him an ‘oh, please’ look. “They would have changed their team names.”
This seemed to surprise Rodney, like it was an unthinkable crime to change your mascot. “I’d never work for a school that changed their name just for me, anyway. So it doesn’t matter. I picked Soran just because I liked the atmosphere, and it was small enough that I could get to know the students, and big enough that the city could accommodate dragons.”
“Are there other dragons there besides you?”
Rodney shook his head. “There were once, but I’m the only one right now. I think the dragon who lived at my place before me was a science dragon, but he moved on a few decades before I got here.”
“Ever miss being around other dragons?”
“Sometimes,” Rodney admitted, which honestly surprised Hannah a little. “I mean, if I hear someone’s nearby and I know them, I’ll try to see them. But I don’t miss the interactions enough to consider moving any time soon.”
“I’m sure they appreciate that,” Hannah said, feeling confident that Rodney wasn’t aware of how important he was to the city’s overall prestige. “Tell me about Trevor.”
Rodney blinked in surprised. “You don’t know him? I thought your job was to know everyone.”
“It is. But I like hearing people described to me by their friends.”
“Oh. Oh, okay. Got it.” Rodney shook his head, making his head spikes waggle. “Trevor is great! It’s awesome having the same person drive me everywhere. And Trevor’s so nice about it; he never complains or anything.”
Hannah found this hard to believe, and figured it must be nice to have Rodney’s type of selective hearing.
“And being on the road with him let me learn a lot about him, and he’s a really neat guy. I think he’s got his life together way more than most people that age, and that he’s way way way more stressed out about it than he needs to be. I mean, he’s obviously going to do something great with his life.”
“Why is it obvious?” Hannah wanted to know.
“It just is. Obvious means I don’t have to explain it.”