Mya sits for a brief interview on the academic quad. They describe their role in investigating the simulated crime scene set up for their Concentration and their excitement for researching a cold case. Beyond reopening the cold case, they are also opening up themselves, trying new things, meeting new people, getting out of their comfort zone. 

Would you begin by sharing your name, pronouns, Concentration, and if you could have any mythical animal as a pet, what would you want?

My name is Amya Smith, but I just started going by Mya. My pronouns are she/they. I'm going into my sophomore year, and my Concentration is CSI. And if I could have one mythical creature for a pet, I would want a dragon.

I would be able to fly places and if anyone was like a jerk to me or my friends, I would have a dragon. I guess no one would be a jerk because I have a dragon.

How was investigating the crime scene in your Concentration today?

Today was my favorite day so far because it was so action-packed. There was so much stuff to do. I was in charge of drawing the scene and sketching it all out. Everyone was sort of helping out with everything, so I got to do a lot of other stuff too. There was a lot more evidence than I thought there would be. It was everywhere. There were random paper cups with blood on them and lotion bottles and bleach and teeth. I don't even know why, but it was really exciting. It was tiring though. We were all standing up for three hours straight, running around trying to find all the evidence, document it, and figure out where it was in relation to everything else. It was fun, but also I understand how doing that a lot can be very exhausting and tiring. 

I'm still trying to connect all the dots. No one had any idea where to start. We found a Starburst package, and we also found a bottle of bleach and two different guns, but no knife...but they were stabbed. They were shot twice in the head and stabbed in the back. The other group found a knife, but no guns, so we think our cases are connected.

Were you able to determine anything concrete or are you still investigating?

My group was able to connect a few concrete things. I was not as involved in that. My job was to measure everything and figure out where everything was. So I had drawn it all out. I think our two cases were connected because there was no way that both of them got stabbed and shot, but they only found a knife, and we only found guns.

What else are you looking forward to in CSI?

I'm looking forward to making a presentation on a real life cold case. At first, we thought it was solved. They caught a guy whose fingerprint matched one that was on the scene, but then it was reversed in 2017. We found out that the fingerprint hadn't been placed during the crime. So the whole investigation was based on something that might not even have been there when the woman was killed. This is something that happened in 1973...although no one seemed to have much on it. There are only a few videos on YouTube and a few articles.

What are you doing to pass the time and enjoy your time here outside of CSI?

Yesterday I did a bunch of chalk drawings — the rainbows on the sidewalk. I like playing games with my friends. We played Cards Against Humanity one night, and we’ve done other little things, like playing catch. We went to Target together, and we had to rush to get swimsuits for everyone because a lot of people forgot theirs. Yesterday, I went to open mic night and performed two songs. A lot of people said that I was good, so I'm happy. And I made a few new friends from that, too.

What trips are you looking forward to this weekend?

I'm gonna go to downtown Portland on Saturday. I think there's a scavenger hunt, and then we can go shopping. Then on Sunday, I wanted something more chill, so I decided to do culinary challenges.

I got obsessed with Master Chef Jr. recently because seeing kids cook incredibly complicated dishes is just really funny. Gordon Ramsay is also surprisingly nice to children. I also love the Great British Baking Show, which is a lot more chill than most American cooking shows. I don't watch adult American cooking shows. They're just mean. I also like to cook with my dad. So, I have a little bit of experience.

Do you have any sort of bucket list for your time here? Or are you playing the last week by ear?

I want to get out of my comfort zone, which I've done multiple times so far. I mean, this interview is out of my comfort zone. Two years ago, I would not have wanted to do this.

I also want to make as many friends as I possibly can. I made a small group of friends on the first day, but I don't want to spend all my time with only them. I'm just trying to be as outgoing and extroverted as I possibly can. I also want to do a few more sporty things. I mentioned soccer tonight. My dad's always getting me to do more exercise, so I think that would be a good opportunity for it.