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Informing the Lincoln High community since 1895

The Advocate

Informing the Lincoln High community since 1895

The Advocate

Zeph Siebler

We are Lincoln High
Zeph Siebler, 9. Photo by Angel Tran and Meg Boedeker.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Grace Langan

“I’m not a normal human being, by any stretch of the imagination,” freshman Zeph Siebler says of himself.

“I like science, particularly psychology, so figuring out how normal human beings work is something that interests me – and how one can scientifically figure out a way to interact with people, so I like to think about it in that way,” Siebler said.

How does he describe himself?

“I would define myself as a nerd,” Siebler says enthusiastically. “Really, and that’s the core of my personality.”

In addition to being successful academically, Siebler’s “nerdy” interests include Dr. Who, Dungeons and Dragons, Sherlock, and Stranger Things (“although they did get some things wrong about Dungeons and Dragons”).

Siebler also writes and performs music. He plays seven different instruments: the violin, the piano, the trumpet, the pan flute (badly, he says), the melodica (which he describes as a keyboard on a tube), the ukulele, and the guitar.

“I picked up the violin at three, and I haven’t really stopped since then, so I’ve been growing in my musical knowledge and that is something that is really essential to me as well,” Siebler said.

Breaking things down and apart has been seeping in through Siebler’s interests since he was younger. Finding out how and why things work the way they do has defined Siebler in everyday life, from his travel to his determination.

A competitive force has always driven Siebler, and succeeding has kickstarted his drive to be the best. Siebler has found that his “tunnel vision” has helped him strive to better.

Independence has always been a way of Siebler’s life. “He marches to the beat of his own drum,” says music teacher Katherine Huerta Simpson. Despite independence, Siebler is able to push himself and strive for greatness. Siebler’s internal personal motto: “Be great.”

Siebler’s mother has had a continuing effect on his life. She is an English professor, and is said to be the main factor that he drives his inspiration from.

“Her intellectual capacity and creativity has really been something that influences me,” Siebler said. His mother’s career allowed him to travel with her, which has helped him to learn a variety of languages.

“I know a little bit in a lot of languages,” Siebler said. “My mother served in Morocco in the Peace Corps before I was born, so my first language was Arabic.

When he was about 10 or 11, his mother was offered an opportunity to do an exchange with a university in China.

“We lived for a year in China while my mother taught English, so I can speak some Chinese, and that’s something that shaped me quite a bit.”

Recently he traveled to London (which is where he got the Dr. Who T-jacket he’s wearing during the interview), and he has also visited New York a few times, Sweden, Australia, Africa, and Mexico.

“I’ve been on every continent but Antarctica and South America,” Siebler said.

Along the way, Siebler discovered his love of found objects and would pick up random pieces from each place he’d go in hopes of finding some inspiration from them.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Siebler has proven that, but what he may not know is that others derive their inspiration from him. When asked how Siebler inspired her, vocal music teacher Katherine Huerta Simpson said, “He is a remarkable talent, but I really love that he is happy in his own skin.”

Siebler has been able to focus his “tunnel vision” in many different places in his life. Music, poetry, expression, and performing are at the core of Siebler’s personality, and have inspired him for his future.

Psychology and Siebler’s interest in breaking things down is projected through his interest in breaking down random objects he has found through traveling.

Siebler is able to pinpoint a finished project in his mind, and challenge himself to decipher the work, whether that’s a musical composition or a work of poetry.

“Generally, my drive is one of being the best at something, and that’s really essential to who I am,” Siebler said.

If determination and focus are any indicators of success, expect to hear great things in the future about Zeph Siebler.

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