Geek of the Week: Ben Cathey, Sophomore, Petroleum Engineering

Some students at Mines attempt to suppress their nerdy instincts, denying their inner geek in all but the most extreme circumstances. Others accept their geeky nature but make no efforts to encourage that particular side of their personalities. Many however, choose to embrace their inner geek and act enthusiastically on their nerdy passions. Whether you see him walking around campus in his trademark fedora, catch him at his computer playing “Space Marines” and yelling that “cover is for the weak,” or pass by as he’s busy frustrating the DM of whatever RPG he happens to be playing, Ben Cathey most definitely fits squarely in the final category.

[Oredigger] Do you consider yourself a geek?
[Cathey] Yes. I’m rather obsessive over things that don’t exist and probably never will. I find them more enjoyable than sports. I find joy in what I can. If that labels me a geek, whatever.

What do you like about your major?
It’s interesting. I like the money. I definitely like the money.

Is there anything about your major that you’re not looking forward to?
Continuing Calculus. I like my Chem. and Phys. more than I like my Calc. It’s the class that bugs me. I have a good prof this year.

Do you have any plans for life after Mines?
Join company, find oil, profit? I don’t know; I don’t really have plans. I haven’t burned that bridge yet.

What do you do with any free time you have?
Game, read, talk to people, and being friendly I guess.

Wow, social skills at Mines?
Barely. What few I have. (laughs)

What’s your favorite gaming platform?
My PC. It’s what I’ve got, what I’m used to, and I like the games I can get on it.

What sites do you frequent online?
The SpaceBattles forums, Manly Guys Doing Manly things, [which is] an awesome comic! A very awesome comic. Mostly what I frequent are webcomics and forums and I guess you could count Trailhead and Blackboard as well.

If you could drop into any TV show, movie, comic, or video game, what would it be and why?
You know, I’m going to be incredibly nerdy and say Pokémon. They’re incredibly fun.

Do you have a plan for surviving the zombie apocalypse?
Yes! Move north! Zombie-sicles! Then you just go out with a bat and just shatter then.

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars. It kind of helps that all of the movies came out on or around my birthday, so those are the ones I went to see. That and they have Darth Vader. He’s cool. They’ve got a six-foot Russian in a costume being voiced by James Earl Jones. You can’t
beat that.

What’s your favorite geeky catchphrase?
“For pony!” Everyone loves “for pony.”

Is there any particular other geeky thing about yourself that you’d like to mention?
Hold on. (Gets up, grabs a foot-high stack of role-playing rule books, drops them with a loud thud) [smiles] I have a lot of geeky books. Lots of them, and that doesn’t include my PDF collection for DnD. I have almost all the books. I’m a DnD nerd.

Do you have any advice for fellow and aspiring geeks at Mines?
Work hard, do your homework, and make good use of whatever little free time you have.

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