|High School:||Agnes Irwin|
High School: The Agnes Irwin School
Parent’s Names: Diane and Gene
Prefect job after graduation: Designing robotic sensors and systems, possibly for surgeries
If you had TIVO in your room, what is the TV show you set it for?
Leverage. And Chuck. When I’m home (and have free time), I also watch How It’s Made and Ace of Cakes.
If Hollywood was making a movie about you, who would play you and what would the name of the movie be?
I would have Leelee Sobieski play me – she was the best friend in Never Been Kissed, and my life is basically the same part. =) I guess the movie could be called Just a Small-Town Girl, since I went to small a high school and a small college?
I don’t have one, but if I were to get one, it would be on the inside of my left forearm. That way, I could see it, too – if you’re going to go through something that hurts that much, shouldn’t you be able to enjoy it, too. Then I could still cover it up if needed with long sleeves, and even if the sleeves were too short (as they usually are one me) and I had to shake hands, my right arm would be empty.
If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
I’d want the power to move things with my mind – then flying would fall under that (I could just move myself!), so that’s like a 2 for 1!
Your favorite comic book series?
I don’t really read comic books, but I follow the stories. I love spiderman – I have a spiderman toothbrush, piggy bank, dishware set, and blanket. =) I really like how relatable his story is to everything else – the whole “with great power comes great responsibility” thing, and how he sometimes gets tired of it all and wants a day off…man, I’ve been there. Bonus fact: the hand motion he makes to shoot his web is actually sign-language for “I love you”.
What is the last book you read just for fun?
I’m right in the middle of a really really good one: it’s called The Eight.
If you found a magic lantern, complete with magic genie, what would your three wishes be?
I’d wish to trade places with somebody 5’6”, just for one day, so we could each see what it’s like.
I’d wish that the flight between Philly and Pasadena was only 2 hours. I like traveling, so I wouldn’t make it instant, but sometimes I can’t wait to go home!
I’d wish that time would go faster when you’re unhappy, and slower when you’re happy – the fact that it’s the opposite is the worst!
What is the one invention that you wish you had been the person to invent?
I wish I had invented a really cool skateboard/snowboard trick. I would do the hardest thing I can manage, and call it “the twister” - Mine would automatically be perfect, and people would be trying to be like me for years afterwards!
Favorite athlete and why?
I love the American Olympic softball team. They’re SO good, yet very few people really follow them. That shows that they play for love of their sport – not the fame. Of course they get some time in the spotlight – during the Olympics when they CRUSH everybody else! – but most of the time, they’re just doing what they love for the sake of playing.
Favorite scientist and why?
I don’t really have one. Mechanical Engineers aren’t what most people consider scientists. We’re more like kids who never grew up – we secretly just still love playing with cool toys. =) I met some really cool people at JPL this summer who I guess would be my favorite scientists – the ones who work in the machine shop designing the Mars rovers and building them. And then they get to test them in the Mars Yard!
Who is the person in your life that is the most responsible for helping you to be who you are today?
A lot of people have given me a lot of different qualities – most things from my parents (manners, values, humor); my ability to tell a story/joke comes from my Poppy (for better or worse – probably worse); patience and friendship from my sister; responsibility from teachers and coaches. . .
Favorite Quote and who said it?
Basketball related: “The idea is not to block every shot, but to make your opponent think you’ll block every shot.” - Bill Russell
School related: “Stress? What is stress? Stress is when you wake up screaming and realize you were never sleeping.” - ?
General: “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – G. K. Chesterton
Why is math or science so you?
My brain seems to work in a way that fits well with engineering. I like to have a very clear, right answer – a sort of “put your left foot here. Now right foot here” assurance. Engineering is the only field that has that. Man, I wish basketball did, too! It’s also very, satisfyingly logical.
What is your favorite time period in history and why?
The 60s and 70s had the BEST music! Sometimes I wish I could go back. Also, having structured dances with certain steps (like the Hustle…) would be much easier than dancing now-a-days. =]
If you could meet anyone (past, present, or future) who would you want to have coffee with?
Can we chance it to milkshakes? I don’t like coffee, and I’ve taken to using milkshakes to keep myself awake instead. =)
I’d love to meet Kip Thorne – he did a lot of work with wormholes and time travel. In high school, I had to give a ‘Senior Assembly’ – a 15 minute speech in front of the entire high school and faculty. I did mine on time travel, and mentioned Kip Thorne a lot. He is actually at Caltech, so hopefully I’ll get the chance to have milkshakes before I graduate!
Favorite family tradition
Christmas. We have a big, loud Italian family, and when we get together there’s always something happening. I still sit at the kids’ table with my 6 cousins (I’ll never leave!), and we have TONS of fun. My Dad and uncles like to play darts in the basement, and my grandmother makes the BEST food. I love helping – my favorite job is ‘taste tester’. =)
My small family (just my parents and my sister) has a lot of cool traditions, too – one that I really miss is watching thunderstorms. We have a big bay window in the dining room, facing the front yard, and when it rains really hard at home (especially if it’s hard enough to knock the power out), we sit on the windowsill with candles and snacks and watch the rain fall and blow the trees around. It doesn’t thunderstorm like that in SoCal!
What is the best advice your parents have ever given you?
Pick your battles.
Did you have an imaginary friend growing up and if so what was your friend’s name?
When I was little, I had an imaginary friend that I named Krissy – and I changed my own name to Allison. Krissy was always getting in trouble, and I was tired of being her! (See, I was clever, even then.)
What was your favorite thing to do on the playground in elementary school?
I do remember about 5 months in 3rd grade when my two best friends (Sarina and Milo) and I would tie our shoelaces together and walk around like that. We were REALLY good! We actually managed to go on the swings – and jump off- like that once!
What is your most favorite Caltech moment to date?
Beating La Sierra. Beating Pomona was really satisfying, but La Sierra was more of a scrappy game – it was pure determination and grit that got us that win, and an iron conviction that we WOULD win that game.
Which SCIAC team do you love to play and why?
For some reason, frosh year I decided I wanted to beat Whittier. I think we played with them really well the first half of the game, and then lost it in the second. So I love playing them, to work towards that goal. Also, I love playing Oxy – they really respect us, and they play hard!