Geek of the Week: Kate Lyssy, Sophomore Mechanical

Being a geek has become mainstream chic in today’s age. Now it is up to geeks to further define their geekiness, choose a nerdy speciality if you will. In comes Kate Lyssy, a sophomore in mechanical engineering here at CSM. Lyssy instantly felt at home amongst the intellectual and technically inclined student body, and decided to bring her own twist to the Mines campus by starting the Urban Gaming Club (UGC). The UGC is most recognized by their Humans vs. Zombies events held on campus. That’s right, Lyssy is the one behind all those students running around campus with nerf guns and pool noodles. The Oredigger sat down with Lyssy to pick her brain about everything from battling the Swap Thing to life after Mines.

[Oredigger]:What would you say is that highlight mechanical engineering?
[Lyssy]: [I] probably haven’t gotten there yet. [So far,] knowing I’ll always have a job…doing things that make sense to me.

Are you a geek and why?
Apparently yes, because sometimes I feel like playing video games and I do. I’m a Mechi geek in that I get excited about seeing things get made. [I] guess I read some geeky comics. I fit in with a lot a people at Mines.

What’s your favorite class?
Chem II with Racicot was easy and fun…

Is there any part of Mines you don’t really enjoy?
The homework is not the greatest. Mastering Engineering: I do not like it. It wasn’t so bad until this semester [because] my ME homework is done at 10 PM Sunday nights.

Why did you decide to start up the Urban Gaming Club (UGC)?
I had a friend I was Skyping with and he was wearing the [club’s] bandanna. I was jealous of the fun he was having so I brought it to Mines and it kind of exploded beyond what I was prepared for and we’ve been playing catch-up ever since. I’ve seen people at huge state universities playing HvZ [Humans vs. Zombies] and I thought it’d be a hit here, and it has been. Max [Mazzocchi] played a huge part in that because he’s always wanted to start [HvZ] here, so with the help of Colton [Kohnke], we kinda just made it happen.

What’s your anti-zombie weapon of choice and why?
[In the HvZ game, a] pool noodle because I’m more of a sword fighter and hand-to-hand combat is easier for me. I’m a pretty good shot in real life, but Nerf guns are hard to shoot. In the real zombie apocalypse, I’d probably go for a shotgun and a bat as backup.

What’s your favorite thing about Mines?
It’s a small, generally more geeky population…more intellectually and technologically inclined. It’s a rarity for you to get that dumbfounded “huh?” look. After years of playing softball with the generic athletes, it’s a welcome change of pace [not to] have to dumb myself down the whole time.

What are some of your greatest accomplishments thus far?
Starting HvZ. That’s definitely the thing I’m most proud of. Other than that…getting into Mines.

How would you handle a confrontation with a Swamp Thing?
I’d try to shoot it at first, but if that didn’t work, I’d dive in and try to rip something out. [That] feels like a situation [where] you’d have to adapt to how it [the Swamp Thing] reacts.

If you could be dropped into any fictional setting, what would it be and why?
A long time ago, I’d have said Hogwarts, but after the final battle, it was left in a huge pile of rubble and I don’t really like messes. A generic magical realm maybe. [Or] I would live in New New York in Futurama. I’d probably spend all day flying through the tubes.

Do you have any plans for life after graduation?
I don’t know yet. Obviously, get a job and go where that takes me. I’d like to travel early on…but eventually I want to get married and have a family and take my kids on trips around the world. Oh, and a ball pit! My house will have a private ball pit and a butler who cleans every ball so I don’t get sick. It’ll also have an armory with anything and everything I can get. [I] wonder how many stories you can make a ball pit…

Do you have any advice for fellow geeks and Mines students?
Enjoy it while you can…we eventually have to go out into the world. Not everyone in the office will be as geeky or easy to talk to as people at Mines. You have to be prepared with more small talk that [non-geeks] will enjoy.

Which did you celebrate: Valentine’s Day or Irish Potato Famine Celebration Day?
I got to celebrate Valentine’s Day, luckily. I got to make cupcakes and I got the most awesome earrings in the world: Portal earrings.

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