Spotlight: Maile Hickman

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Maile Hickman

Eighth grader Maile Hickman smiles for a photo with her plant. Hickman loves collecting and caring for plants.

Marie Brockhoff

Eighth grader Maile Hickman may have a shy exterior, but she has a myriad of fascinating interests ranging from pressing flowers to interior design. During tumultuous times, creativity and kindness are increasingly necessary, and Hickman epitomizes both of these qualities. 

Hickman started at Seabury in seventh grade after attending Raintree Montessori School. “[Seabury] was a pretty good fit,” she says of her new school. So far, her favorite classes have been art and English. Hickman’s love of art class feeds into her passion for design, and she is interested in a potential career in marketing. Hickman enjoys watching YouTube videos about interior design and recently undertook a room decorating project. 

Hickman likes searching antique stores for decorations, including record covers. Her favorite find to date is a vintage children’s toy. “I went with my dad to wander around downtown, and we saw this little clown car . . . It’s pretty cool,” she says. The toy has a colorful clown on a spring. 

During quarantine, however, Hickman swapped antiquing for working in her family’s garden. “We made it in little pots and put the plants on top of them because the rabbits always get to them,” she says. Hickman loves preserving flowers from her garden by pressing them: “I just shove them in a book and forget about them for a bit. When I open them up, it’s like a little surprise.”

Japanese culture is another interest of hers. “I am half Japanese, and I want to reconnect with that side of myself,” she says. Hickman’s family planned a trip to Japan this year but canceled it due to the coronavirus lockdown. Hickman did visit Japan years ago. “I have lots of memories of being there . . . eating lots of cake and shopping with my grandma and grandpa,” she says. 

On her second trip, Hickman was excited for the Ghibli Museum, which showcases the Japanese animation studio. “I’m a big fan of Ghibli films, so I really wanted to see that,” she says. “[The films] take you into another world. The storylines really suck you in, and I think the art’s pretty.” 

At Seabury, Hickman has been on the volleyball and track teams. “I like playing with other people and having a team,” she says. She fulfills her community service hours by doing projects with her family. “It makes it a lot more fun to do it with family because it’s a lot more comforting having someone you know there helping out,” she says. 

Quarantine has given Hickman time to play one of her favorite video games: Animal Crossing. “It’s a nice, calming thing to relax to,” she says. Hickman enjoys playing it with her brothers, Seabury sixth grader Riku and nine-year-old Henry. While designing her island, Hickman incorporated her own interests. “I put lots of little flowers, and a little garden there, and a zen garden full of bamboo,” she says. 

Hickman is doing well in quarantine, though she misses her friends and teachers. Although she downplays her creative interests in design and the outdoors, this journalist, for one, found her a sweet, fascinating member of the eighth grade class.