Geek of the Week: Eileen Hartsock, Junior, Environmental

Some geeks make it through this school with the assurance that engineers, scientists, and general nerds either rule the world already or are going to rule it very soon. Most are subtle about a conscious or sub-conscious desire to reign over all. Then there are people like Eileen Hartsock, who are very adamant about their plans to rule over all of humanity. This environmental engineer granted “The Oredigger” an exclusive interview before she enacted her secret plans to declare herself supreme ruler of the Earth.

[Oredigger]: Why did you go for Environmental?
[Hartsock]: I want to save the world. Actually, it’s because water is one of the greatest assets on the planet and I feel like it’s going to be [greatly] needed in the future. And I shall control it all!

What’s been your favorite class?
I actually really liked [the] Intro to Environmental courses. They covered a lot of processes and what’s going on. [They’re] very current-oriented courses though… not like Math [classes] that teach stuff that’s a hundred years old. [The material] is very relevant.

Are you a geek and why?
Yes I am a geek. I grew up with “Star Trek.” Seven of Nine was my idol up until the seventh grade. My first computer was a Commodore 64 which had Nintendo 64 games on it that I’d play with the keyboard. When I play Mario [now], I look for the keys because that’s what I grew up with. I’ve always loved computer games, but I was always really sad when the bad guys lost. I have a broad range of interests. Think Geek is one of my favorite sites because of all the fun stuff and “Geeks Are Sexy” has the best articles. I love geeks. They entertain me. Normal people bore me. [They] still have good things to contribute; they just don’t [hold my attention] very long.

How do you occupy your time when you’re not in class?
I study, contemplate taking over the world, then get distracted by facebook, talk to anyone who’ll listen, do homework, watch TV, make nefarious plans, do homework, and destroy any possibilities of superheroes in the future.

How do you do that?
Check for high levels of radiation, make sure babies shot to Earth don’t find a home, make sure those tragic origins never happen.

What are some of your greatest accomplishments thus far?
Getting into Mines, leaving behind my evil lair and stepping out into the world, convincing the general populace to trust me, passing Physics I and II on the first try without ever having taken a physics class before, being Geek of the Week.

How would you fight a giant lava monster?
I think I would name him Henry and bring him home with me. I would tempt him [to follow me] with plenty of ignitable things, bring him to my (obviously) heat-proof basement, and then train him to follow my commands through positive reinforcement. Because really, how rare are giant lava monsters? We should keep them and use them to take over the world. I’d be really sad if Henry got destroyed.

If you could be dropped into any fictional universe, what would it be and why?
The universe of Anne Bishop’s “Novels of Dark Fantasy” series. The world will actually change to fit the person, but if the person really conflicts with where they are, they’re sent to another place. I always liked it because it’s like karma, but more so. The world accepts you as you and puts you in a place that fits you, but if you change, it moves you. It was a very interesting concept. Well, and Hogwarts of course, ’cause who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts? It’s awesome. I always feel bad for the Whomping Willow in those books. It never did anything wrong. It just tried to live and people made it cranky. And I want a dragon.

What’s the best part about Mines?
The people. They all are very unique and interesting. Everyone comes from different mindsets, but they’re all going for the same sort of goal, whether it’s money or a better world. I love how you can go from one table where they’re playing D&D to the next with four people on computers to the next where they’re having a Bible study. There’s just so much knowledge here. I [also] love the stories the professors can tell.

Do you have a favorite animal?
I do actually. [My favorite] non-mythical is the sloth. It leads the perfect life. [If you’re a sloth,] you hand out all day, you eat, and you chill. Someone doesn’t like you? Eh, whatever. You eat and go back to sleep. [My favorite] mythical is a dragon. It flies, breathes fire, is super intelligent, collects gold, and has the world in its claw. What could be more epic? They’re one of the few animals that appear in almost every mythology, including Christianity, if you count St. George. I like the Chinese version of the benevolent dragon, but I also really like the way the Western dragon’s shaped. Dragon is such a broad idea. There [are] so many shapes and forms it can take.

Do you have any plans for the future?
I feel like disclosing them would decrease my chances of completing them. In the words of Dr. Horrible, “It appears that among our faithful viewers is the mayor of New York, the LAPD, and Captain Hammer.” Also, in the words of Bender, “Kill all humans!” [My] more immediate plans include trying to find a source of clean water to bring to water-starved nations.

Would you rather use a d20 to determine the success of the rest of your major endeavors in life or have to deal with stupidly long, unskippable cutscenes every time you need important information?
I have actually rolled a natural 20 four times in a row, but I have rolled a lot more 1s than I care to admit, so I’m either really lucky or really unlucky. Plus, I think I can find something to do during the cutscenes and the cutscenes give me information on the devious plans of those around me. So [I’d pick] cutscenes. [They’d give me an] extra five minutes to study. I’m okay with that.

What’s the best nerd moment you’ve seen or been a part of recently?
I screamed and jumped up and down and majorly celebrated the fact that Diablo III is coming out May 15th. And no one would celebrate with me! I was absolutely, fantastically excited for that.

Do you have any advice for fellow geeks and Mines students?
Plan everything. If you know exactly when you have free time and someone asks you if you want to hang out, you can actually say “yes” instead of, “Sorry, I procrastinated my homework ’til the last minute and now I have to go do it.” Don’t go poking into the Closet of Mystery. Go out and have fun. Life is too short to spend your entire time in a textbook. And don’t fight against my evil regime. It’ll happen whether you’re here or not.

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