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Ava Bower & Mason Johnson

Serious Swifties

By Nate Fisher

“I like to be able to see my teacher every day and all my friends.”

As you enter Mrs. Braun’s or Mrs. Sharp’s third-grade classrooms, you hear two young souls humming the melodies to their favorite Taylor Swift tunes. Depending on the song of choice, you’re listening to Ava Bower or Mason Johnson, two Swifties who connect to the songwriter’s messages of self-empowerment and personal growth. Ava and Mason are perfect examples of how Swift’s fans may differ in many ways, but their love for her music unites them.

Ava thrives in the classroom, enjoying her friends’ company and Mrs. Braun’s guidance. “I like to be able to see my teacher every day and all my friends,” she ties together with a smile. Mason, too, shares this affinity for learning but finds an additional layer of joy in the little things like his dad’s pancakes and scrambled eggs. Just as Taylor Swift’s music has multiple layers, from her poignant lyrics to her catchy melodies, each student finds something different to cherish daily.

Mason dreams of becoming a scientist so he can help people. “When I see stuff that I haven’t seen before, I question it,” he says, resonating deeply with Swift’s exploratory phase in her “Reputation” era, when she ventured into the uncharted territories of her identity. On the other hand, Ava sees the world through a “positive lens,” a sentiment echoed in many of Swift’s earlier albums. She’s athletic, committed to gymnastics and softball, and her walkovers in the gym mirror Swift’s graceful approach to dance through various genres and styles.

Swift’s “Blank Space” captivates Mason, and he even sings us a snippet from the second half of the first chorus: “I’ll write your name.” Ava admits to obsessively looking up the singer online to keep up with the hot gossip. Swift’s appeal to young people isn’t baffling. Her songs often speak of individuality, heartbreak, and the magic of everyday moments. These themes can reverberate in the lives of third graders even if they’ve yet to share in the specific experiences Swift writes about. Such is the universal beauty of songwriting.

Imagine a scenario where Ava and Mason’s biggest wish comes true, and they meet America’s Sweetheart. Given her love for metaphor and storytelling, Mason’s recently acquired pitching machine for spring training would likely pique Swift’s interest. “So that’s where you practice aiming for your dreams, huh?” Swift would say, sharing a knowing smile with Mason. She’d undoubtedly be touched by Ava’s radiant positivity, perhaps even inviting her to dance along during a live performance of “Shake It Off” to show off her gymnastic prowess.

Ava and Mason would both snag a selfie, capturing a moment that solidifies the connection between their young lives and the music that inspires them to push forward. As they look back at this moment years later, they would be reminded of how Taylor Swift’s music was not only a soundtrack to their youth but a mirror to their growing selves. Whether it’s Ava’s passion for her team, classmates, and the joy she finds in learning or Mason’s quest for understanding the unknown and assisting others through science, their tales are like the rich narratives in one of Swift’s albums. We hope these two “count to ten” and “take it in” because “this is life before you know who you’re gonna be…”

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