Geek of the Week: Nate Caroe, Junior, Computer Science

Many students at Mines struggle with balancing school and social life, but Nate Caroe does it like a pro. By day, Nate can be found hanging out in the Digger Den with friends, keeping the table at which he resides energized and electric. By night, he is a typical Computer Science major, coding away into the wee hours of the morning. Despite battling a cough and Mines as the intensity heats up, Nate found time to sit down with “The Oredigger,” and is this week’s Geek of the Week.

[Oredigger]: What is your favorite part about Mines?
[Caroe]: I love the people at Mines. I love how everyone is pretty much normal, but it’s totally okay to be nerdy too! I like that, and I dunno, it’s a good community of people.

How do you manage to stay so awesome all the time?
Well, it requires lots of discipline, lots of patience, and occasionally, get in a fight with a tiger! They’re kinda hard to find, especially in Colorado area, but if you dig down deep enough with your fists, then you can definitely find one. They’re attracted to manliness.

Alright, so you’re a Computer Science major?
Yes I am.

What do you like about that? Why did you choose it?
I love CompSci because I have always been fascinated with how computers work. I’ve always been fascinated with what we can do with technology. Technology has been advancing so rapidly these days and it’s getting even more exciting, so I decided to jump on the CompSci train. I like it. I like learning new program languages. It’s cool that they’re not all the same. And some have more advantages than others.

What’s been your favorite class?
Probably Intro to Linux. That was pretty fun. It wasn’t a very difficult class; one credit hour and, you know, learned some batch scripting. Good stuff.

Are you a geek or a nerd, and why?
I wasn’t prepared for the question… I feel I should have known that was coming. Let’s see… what’s the real difference though? What does one have over the other in terms of advantages?

What do you do with your spare time?
In my spare time, I’m trying to watch new television series. Like I’m starting up Star Trek right now. I should watch Breaking Bad ’cause I’ve heard that’s pretty sweet. But uh, yeah… and then homework… there’s not a lot of free time.

So now that you’re starting Star Trek, are you a Trekkie, or a Star Wars fan?
You see, I’m not sure. I like Star Wars and I like the way Star Trek is going, but I guess it’s more science-y. You see, so if you have a more scientific mind, I feel like Star Trek is for you. If you have a more, I don’t know, action-y, go-cut-off-people’s-heads, stab people, which is pretty cool as well – Star Wars.

If you could be any fictional character, what would it be?
Hmm. I’d be Captain America. Why? Because Captain America embodies the spirit of the American Way. He has the power of a nation, and that’s all the power he needs.

What is your favorite internet meme?
That’s a tough one. I don’t know, “Deal with it”? That’s a pretty good meme. Anything that involves “Deal with it”.

What’s your greatest accomplishment so far?
I survived this long. I don’t know… I taught myself to read when I was six. That’s a pretty cool accomplishment.

That is pretty neat. You were homeschooled; how was that experience?
Being homeschooled is pretty fun. It’s really weird because there’s this mindset that if you’re forced to learn, you don’t really want to learn, but I wasn’t really forced to learn being homeschooled; I just wanted to learn.

How did that transfer to Mines?
Well I went from homeschooling to high school to Mines, so that pretty much destroyed my mindset, but it was nice to get back into Mines. College setting is one where people don’t force you to do work, so I guess you can say I went back to my homeschool roots. Learning wasn’t enforced, so I just enjoyed learning everything I could. Also, homeschool/college: go to class in your PJs! Do whatever you want!

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Hopefully, if I find myself in the super, super future, I’ll also find myself in the past from now ’cause of time travel. That, or rivaling Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

What advice would you give to Mines students reading this?
For advice, I’d say make as many friends as possible. And that’s not very easy to do. But the only way to do it, I found, is to barge into people’s rooms very awkwardly and sit down and then ask them like what their name is and then get to know them. It’s very awkward, but that’s how you do it.

That will keep them from going crazy at Mines. The more friends you have, the more cushion you have before you become crazy. Because if you get friends who are in, I guess, different aspects of school – people better with chemistry, people better at math – you definitely can have an easier time here. You can always go to your friends and ask them for help.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Only the ones that exit my mouth. My quotes are my favorite quotes. Or… I’d say: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky, quoted by Michael Scott.

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