Behind the shield: Isaac Bevers

Isaac Bevers is a charming host, an avid reader and an excellent swordsman. The 10-year-old John Muir student has been spending his summer practicing and playing Belegarth, a medieval-type sword-fighting sport in which participants spar with shields and foam-padded swords.

The sport is naturally appealing, says Bevers. "Boys like to whack other boys with things, and it doesn't hurt as much as getting whacked with a stick."

When he's not in battle, the genteel warrior can often be found rock climbing or in the library. "He's very thoughtful," says his mother, Amy Mycko. "Isaac doesn't do anything quick or impulsive. He considers not only himself, but everyone around him. Isaac is true to himself and he is unshakeable in that. That's hard for kids these days and I respect him for it."

The soon-to-be-fifth-grader offered the Tidings some tea with bread and jam, then sat down to chat about his favorite books, Greek mythology and the joys of whacking people with foam swords.

DT: What are your favorite subjects in school?

IB: I like math and history. History and mythology are really cool and interesting. I really like Greek mythology; the stories are cool. I also love reading. It's a great way to pass the time.

DT: Do you have any favorite books?

IB: I like the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series. If you like Greek mythology, I recommend those books. They are great and you learn a lot about mythology. I'm also reading the "City of Flowers" series.

DT: What do you like to do outside of school?

IB: Outside of school my favorite activity is Belegarth.

DT: Tell us more about Belegarth.

IB: I got started last summer. I like it because it's physical activity and it helps me build endurance and strength. Also there's a social aspect. Everyone is really nice. The organizer is great. His name is Palmer Niklaus. We meet at Garfield Park. Our group is small; usually there are about seven of us, but last summer we had about 20. There are different types of games you can play. There is a free-for-all where we all just fight each other, and there are games where you have teams, or in the zombie game you have a team of zombies and a team of town folks.

DT: What do you think you may want to do when you grow up?

IB: I'm not really sure; maybe a professional rock climber. I love climbing. I've been doing it about three years.

DT: What are you looking forward to this coming school year?

IB: Talking to my friends and going to John Muir for the first time.

DT: Tell me about someone in your family you admire.

IB: My mom. She is awesome. She gives me food, she pays the rent, she's nice to me. She's great.

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