Geek of the Week: Carol Skelton, Sophomore, Environmental Engineering

Some geeks spend their time solving complex math equations, immersing themselves in some complicated video game, rolling dice to see if they can kill an imaginary dragon, or just hanging out and watching nerdy shows on TV. Others enjoy less stereotypical activities, such as long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, or perhaps even expressing some artistic creativity. Sophomore Carol Skelton, an Environmental Engineer and this week’s Geek of the Week manages to land herself squarely in both categories.

[Oredigger]: What drew you to Environmental Engineering?
[Skelton]: I’m big into water. I worked a lot with water in high school and I learned a lot about pollution and because of all these issues, I wanted to change them. That, and I always loved math and science, so engineering was an easy pick for me.

What’s been your favorite class and why?
EPICS because I like to draw. [Professor] Smathers is a great drawing teacher. I’m in EPICS II right now and we have a really cool project.

Do you believe that you are indeed a geek and why?
I usually consider myself more a nerd than a geek. I have general knowledge; I know a lot about lots of things. I consider a geek to be more of a person with specific knowledge, like a math geek or a band geek.

How do you use the time not spent shackled to schoolwork?
[I’m in] Earth Works, [which is] is pretty much the most awesome club. We’re starting to plan our Earth Day activities now. I’m into poetry, running, hiking, biking, swimming, and contemplating why people can’t photosynthesize (that would be amazing!) or why there are no pink Legos.

Imagine a chimera randomly showed up in the middle of your day. How would you react?
I’d throw a saddle on that puppy and ride it everywhere! [Then] I’d offer people rides on it and make a profit.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments?
I’ve done a lot of cool stuff… I’ve won some national speech and essay contests and gotten a “positive action referral” form for returning a lost wallet. I’ve also saved the world. I met Superman. He’s my inspiration.

What’s the best part about being at Mines?
I feel like I’m getting a top-notch education here – and the three-to-one guys-to-girls ratio isn’t bad either.

If you could be dropped into any fictional setting, what would it be and why?
Scott Pilgrim! I’d love to be in his world. I would know everything that’s going on. I would definitely have blue hair and it’d be normal. I think I’d buy this Nintendo/Gameboy dress I saw online.

Which do you consider a greater threat: a vampire that wants to suck your blood or one that sparkles?
I kinda worry more about the one that sparkles because of the diamond issue. Diamonds are sharp… but blood’s a big issue too. Blood’s a pretty big threat. I could take the sparkly vampire.

Assuming you make it through Mines, do you have any plans for your future?
Grad school, maybe business school would be cool too. I’d like to work with water. Water rights in Colorado and all over the US are really screwed up. Plus, there’s so, so much pollution and so, so many people who die from preventable waterborne illnesses. I want to help with that.

Do you have any advice for fellow Mines students?
No. I have no advice for you. You are doomed!

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