Humans of Mudd

interviews and photos by Michelle Lum

Anneka Noë ’22

“I’ve been a Muchacho since spring of frosh year. I’m really relieved to be back on campus. When school went online, it was really hard to plan virtual events. I even found myself
disengaging a bit; it just wasn’t the same. At school, we have so many resources that we can use to plan really engaging events for people. I’m super excited about a new event that we did a couple weeks ago: water balloon dodgeball. We got a great turnout and ran out of water balloons before the hour ended, which we were not expecting. I always volunteer to run Paint Night. Tonight, I’m painting a landscape. I have three other paintings hanging in my dorm that I did at previous Paint Nights, and they’re all landscapes, so I’m sticking to the same theme. I find painting really relaxing. I’m in a theater crafts class, which focuses on scenic design. It’s a two-hour class where we paint these big flats and drill things together. We just finished learning how to paint cobblestone, and now we are moving into painting brick. We’re learning to use different textures, create new layer paint and add highlights and shadows to really allow things to pop off the page. It has opened up a whole new perspective on painting technique to me.
I think this class only happens at the 5Cs once every two years, because the people who teach it aren’t full-time professors; they are asked to come in and teach classes every once in a while. But it’s a really awesome class, probably my favorite class I’ve taken during my time here. The class combines two things that I really love: theater and getting to work with my hands and create things.
Planning events is super fun, but running events holds a special place in my heart because I get to see the impact on the community and I also get to make jokes into a mic. One of the things that is important to me about my career is to be able to see the impact of my work on people’s everyday lives, and create experiences for people. Being a Muchacho has allowed me to do that here at Mudd.”

Ella Blake ‘23 & Makenna Parkinson ‘23

“Being back with the swim and dive team has been the most exciting thing about being back on campus.”
“Definitely. The team has been really fun. It’s been a lot better socially. You just feel like you’re a lot closer to your support network. It’s really nice. Also, classes are just a lot better when they’re not on Zoom. I feel like that’s an understatement.”
“And we start practice tomorrow, so that’s exciting. We’re winter season. So, our first meet is around Oct. 23 or 24.”

“Over quarantine, pools were closed for a while, at least where I was living. So, I was just doing a lot of YouTube workouts at home, whatever I could do. Swim and dive is kind of hard to do without a pool.
But Makenna and I were living together at one point, and the pools were open. Makenna was diving once a week, and I was able to swim a little more often, because they let people swim more than they let them use the diving boards. But I definitely didn’t swim as much as I would have liked to.
Some traditions will have changed a bit. For instance, we used to eat dinner together every night after practice, and that’s a little challenging when we can’t eat at other dining halls. So, it may mean that team dinners become Mudd team dinners. But that’s definitely something I’m looking forward to. There’s a good number of us here at Mudd: there are two swim suites in Linde, plus a handful of people scattered around the other dorms.
I’ve just overall been super impressed with how positive everybody is for the most part. I think people are just really happy to be back on campus, and I like seeing Mudders supporting Mudders — it’s really cute.”

Edward Jacobs ’22

“I was actually not a big fan of rocketry or spaceflight, at all, for most of my life. But in
February 2018, Elon Musk launched his car up into space. That changed my life, and rocketry
slowly became a bigger and bigger fascination of mine.
When I got to Mudd in August 2018, a senior named Roger Hooper was running MARC at
the time. I asked Roger if I could join, and he was really great about bringing me on as a frosh who didn’t know much. From there, my interest in rocketry just grew exponentially. I’m really interested in making rocketry a permanent fixture at Mudd — because one
of the big problems with Mudd is that we all have a lot of work to do, and the club will go
through phases where there are a lot of people who are very interested, and then they’ll graduate without passing on the experience to another year of people, so the club dies. The big organizational changes MARC is making are structured on making MARC a permanent thing that happens every year. These smaller rockets are a fixture that students work on every year, but we also have an advanced team rocket, and we want to build a big rocket every year to submit to a competition.
Building a rocket is definitely not something that takes a lot of time — that’s one of things I
want to stress. You don’t need any prior experience, and building one of these takes about five hours over two or three sessions. You can do that whenever you want during the semester, and there are lots of people here to help you.
I think rockets are cool. I fell in love with rocketry because it’s very much hopeful. And there’s been a renaissance in aerospace in the last five years that is calling a lot of people to join the field, as we look to putting people on Mars and things like that.
If there are people who think rockets are cool, and they want to talk about space or whatever, we’re in the Makerspace every Sunday at 5:30, and I invite anyone who’s interested to stop by.”
MARC is short for the Mudd Advanced Rocketry Club. MARC is building a big competition rocket that they’ll be launching out of New Mexico next summer, and they also host monthly launches for smaller student rockets. If you’re interested in joining, the club meets every Sunday at 5:30 PM in the McGregor Makerspace.

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