Sherman Ave Homecoming Court Interviews: Pear Dhiantravan

Sherman Ave Homecoming Court Interviews: Pear Dhiantravan


pear In the past two weeks Sherman Ave has interviewed the 12 members of Northwestern’s 2015 Homecoming Court to have them reflect on their Northwestern experience, the last time they woke up licking their dog's face, how much wood a woodcharles could charles, and the boner police.

In this installment we talk with Pear Dhiantravan about her role in the moon landing cover-up, Barry Bonds place in baseball history and our hearts, and how Morty sees Willie as his biggest competition on campus.


Walter Klondike™: So, just to start out, describe yourself and tell us what you’re involved with on campus.

Pear Dhiantravan: So, my name is Pear, like the fruit--it’s my nickname--I’m a Northwestern senior, umm...I’m in chemical engineering, as are you, [Walter].  So, I’ve been involved in a lot of tech-y groups on campus.  I was on NUSTARS, and I participated in rocketry my freshman year, so that was awesome.  It was the year we made the rocket that beat MIT’s record for flying closest to a mile high.

WK: That’s awesome.

PD: Yeah, I didn’t actually do that much, I just soldered things.  It was really easy.  Yeah, and then sophomore year I was on the microgravity team, which is like a subgroup of NUSTARS.  So we proposed an experiment--it was an all undergrad team--to NASA as part of one of NASA’s outreach programs, and then our experiment was accepted!  And we got to do our experiment in one of the zero-G planes.  So that was my big defining moment of being good at science.

WK: What was the experiment?

PD: We were looking at actin polymerization.  It was a biochem experiment.  The actual experiment wasn’t super involved because it was on a plane.  So, we made this huge box--we had to stress analyze it and everything--this was an extracurricular activity with me and seven or eight other undergrads--and we were looking at the critical concentration of actin monomers, so we flew to Houston in April for that, which was awesome.

WK: Is it different than in regular gravity?

CT: Houston’s gravity?


PD: We thought that it would be.  We didn’t actually get to see any results because we had to image them back at Northwestern and by then a lot of it had depolymerized so we couldn’t really tell.  But it was really cool.  So yeah, that’s what I’ve done; those were my big things at Northwestern.

CT: Cool.  So what’s your favorite memory throughout your four years at Northwestern?

PD: Umm...so that has to be one of them.  Cause I was on this plane with a few of my best friends and we had worked together day and night, and we had the big Northwestern flag behind us.  You can see in the GoPro video the flag sort of flying up and flowing behind us when we hit zero-G.  And that picture--the one of myself with the Northwestern flag--is up on one of the NASA intern pages, so that was awesome.  Shout out to Northwestern!

CT: That’s really cool.

PD: Yeah, so that’s one of them.  I’m actually really excited for this year; I’m living in Kemper with a bunch of my friends so it’s gonna be a rockin’ senior year.

WK: So, with this whole NASA thing and being on Homecoming Court, would you say that you are hands down the most successful member of our PA group? [Editor’s Note: Yeah, Walter and Pear have been friends since WW 2012, nbd]

PD: (Laughing) What?

WK: Your words, not mine.

PD: I would NOT say that!  However, I am very happy with the things I’ve been able to do.

WK: So, who’s your favorite professor at Northwestern?

PD: Ooh...that’s difficult…

WK: We’re sending this out to the ChemE listserv too, so be careful.

PD: I’m sure you are!  I have to figure out who I have next quarter…

CT: That listserv, may I just say, must be full of personality.

WK: Yeah, just jokes flying all day…

PD: Oh yeah, for sure.

CT: A lot of gifs and memes.

PD: I’ve had a lot of really supportive professors.  Actually my orgo professor, Dr. Trzupek, was awesome.  I think he just liked me because I’m a ChemE.

WK: In a sea of premeds, yeah.

PD: Yeah, exactly.  He was really cool; he helped me a lot with my application to my internship this summer.  And...like all the ChemE professors are awesome!

WK: Yeah, it’s a really great department.

PD: Yeah like Neda Bagheri.  We emailed a few times this summer to catch up and I told her about my internship.  And go Burghardt for becoming assistant dean!

WK: He wrote me a rec for my summer internship.

CT: (motioning to Ammonia$ta Dribbling) We don’t know science very well.  She’s environmental science, which…

Ammonia$ta Dribbling: It’s not a real science.

CT: And I’m political science.

AD: So, obviously you love science, but what would you say your secret talent is?

PD: Ooh, my secret talent...so like, throughout middle school and high school I did a lot of different things that I never really became a pro at, but I liked doing them.  Umm...it’s not really a secret talent, because all of my good friends know it, but I love ice skating. It’s a cool thing I can just pull out, like when the Norris rink opens.  I can just pull out my skates and go.  I’m not on the figure skating team.

CT: So, it says on your bio that you’re “PUMPED about Homecoming!”  So what is your stance on steroids?

PD: (Laughs) Well, you might not be able to see it on me, but I don’t really use steroids.  I really work out, it’s all natural.

CT: Walter said everyone from his PA group did steroids.

WK: I wrote a tell-all book.  As a follow-up, should Barry Bonds be in the Hall of Fame?

CT: Or Mark McGuire, Rafael Palmeiro…

WK: We’re getting political here.

PD: So political!

CT: ...Clemens…

PD: Umm, I don’t know.  I think all the Wildcats on the football team should be in the hall.

CT: The baseball Hall of Fame?

WK: Ooh, she’s pandering.  So, if you have to personally divest from something. what would it be?

PD: Can I answer a kind of a different question?

WK: Yes.

PD: If I could, I would put a lot of solar panels up.

WK: So divest from the anti-solar panel lobby?

PD: Yes!

CT: NU has been in bed with them for years.

WK: You know the movie Taken? Imagine you were taken. Who on the homecoming court would you want to be your Liam Neeson?

PD: That’s a hard question. I feel like I would need to personally interview everyone to assess their martial arts skills or who can run a thousand miles.

WK: I don’t think that’s part of the movie.

PD: I would totally judge based on headshots.

WK: Would you like to see some?

PD: Yes!

CT: This would be super easy if Jet Li was on homecoming court.

WK: Can you write him in as a canidate?

CT: After seeing Romeo Must Die, I believe Jet Li is a perfect candidate for homecoming court.

PD: Judging from these pictures, I got to say Kenny. He’s looking pretty athletic because he’s next to a bike.

WK: Good call. Now, being involved with NASA, what part did you have in faking the moon landing?

PD: I signed a confidentially report. I will say they have a lot of equipment.

WK: Like film cameras?

PD: Well, everyone has cameras.

CT: According to Facebook, it says you don’t like any music. As a cold hearted woman of science, what about music doesn’t appeal to you?

PD: As a cold woman of science, I do, in fact, like Taylor Swift.

CT: What was your favorite song from 1989?

PD: Right now, it’s “Style” because I’m wearing my pink lipstick and am on homecoming court.

WK: You’re also a biology major which, for our listeners, is the study of life.

CT: This is on XM radio

PD: This will be a great NPR story.

WK: Our boss told us we can’t run this interview unless we get you on record explaining that evolution is a lie.

CT: The weird this is that we are the bosses.

PD: I have a really good friend who majored in biology at Berkeley. She is now at Caltech studying jellyfish, and she doesn’t believe in evolution.

CT and WK: Say what?

PD: She’s like it didn’t happen and I’m like it probably did.

CT: Our pastor tell us that God put dinosaur bones here to test our faith. We buy it.

AD: 100%

PD: Well, if you were God, would you really put dinosaur bones here?

CT: Good point, she [Editor’s Note: Ooh, edgy] could have done so many other things.

PD: Exactly. It’s crazy.

CT: If I was God and I took a fat hit of a dank blunt, I would think to put dinosaur bones.

WK: If I wanted to test someone’s faith, I would just put a bunch of signs underground that say “God isn’t real” and see if they believe it.

PD: Well there’s the real answer right there. Walter with the logical solution.

CT: So imagine one of us is Morty. PD: Oh. CT: We’ll do Walter, because you’re closer with him and you can also see him better. (To Walter) You’re the same height as Morty, right?

WK: We’re probably pretty similar.

PD: You’re not wearing purple. It’s hard to believe.

WK: Yeah. Does he wear purple all the time?

PD: Yeah.

CT: I think he has to. It’s one of those unspoken parts of his job.

PD: Like, it’s the first thing on his job requirements.

WK: He picked that in a “would you rather” instead of eating a spider or something.

PD: (Laughs) I’d rather wear purple every day.

WK: Would you rather wear purple for the rest of your life, or eat a spider? CT: Eating a spider is gross. So, imagine Walter is Morty, and you have 10 seconds to make him cry. So you can think about it for a second, and when you’re ready, you can go.

PD: (Starts right away) I ran over Willie the Wildcat. I’m really sorry. He’s out on the street. We’ll bury him. I’ll make him a burial right now. I’m so sorry, Walter--Morty. I’m really sorry. I apologize. We’ll make a new outfit. He’s a little ripped up.

CT: The thing about that, I feel like Morty, from what I hear about him, probably thinks Willie the Wildcat is his biggest challenge for the Presidency.

PD: (Laughs)

CT: He’s definitely like (punching motion), “Who’s this guy?” He’s just a mascot. WK: He knows to cry though if Willie died.

AD: But would it be sincere?

CT: Definitely not.

PD: But there you go. I wasn’t told to make him cry sincerely. He would have to cry. He would have to eat that tub of Half Baked [Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream] and make it rain outside.

WK: We typically don’t rip on Morty because the freshmen are supposed to be in the “Morty’s great” bubble--

CT: Yeah but fuck that guy. I’ll say it.

WK: We’ve been doing it [ripping on Morty] a lot during these interviews.

AD: Would you support Willie the Wildcat usurping Morty’s presidency?

CT: I wouldn’t, no, that’s crazy.

AD: I think I would. It would be kind of cool.

WK: He’s our mascot, Ammonia$ta. Get your head out of the clouds.

AD: I think he’s really smart.

PD: I don’t know, is he one person?

CT: They must have like a few people because of the scheduling issues.

PD: Right, right. He’s gotta be multiple people.

WK: How do you get to do that? Is it an application?

PD: I feel like you have to be on a cheer squad, or you have to have cheered before.

CT:  Because you also have to be fairly acrobatic and small enough to fit into the suit. So it’s usually small or petite women.

PD: I bet it’s sweaty in there. I wouldn’t want to get in.

CT: Oh jeez. It would smell horrible in there. What do you think the inside of Morty smells like?

(Everyone laughs, Walter keels over laughing)

CT: Ooo, paging doctor Freud.

WK: Jesus Christ.

PD: Oh my god.

CT: Boy oh boy.

WK: We did not have that question written down.

CT: The inside of Willie, pardon.

PD: What do I think the inside of Willie smells like?

WK: Probably the same.

PD: (Laughing) Probably the same.

CT: Like blood.

AD: Ewwww.

PD: Like a lot of dancing. I think he smells like a lot of dancing.

CT: Morty does?

PD: (Laughing) Willie.

WK: Okay. Truth or Dare.

PD: Dare.

WK: Yesss.

PD: Is there a roulette of dares?

WK: No, we have one.

PD: Oh.

CT: Typically we make them up as we go.

WK: So we have the number for the office of Rahm Emaneul on the the screen. We’d like you to call him up and ask about his foreign policy in Azerbaijan. PD: Okay. What’s the office number?

WK: It’s 312-744-3334. See if you can talk with him.

PD: Okay.

(Phone rings)

Disembodied Phone Voice: You’ve reached the Office of the Mayor.

PD: Hello, is this Rahm Emanuel? Not Rahm Emanuel (Formerly DPV): No, this is not Rahm Emanuel. PD: May I speak to him, please?

NRE: Um, I don’t believe I can put you in direct contact with Rahm Emanuel.

PD: It’s really important.

NRE: It’s really important? Alright, who is this?

PD: My name is Pear, like the fruit.

NRE: Your name is...okay. And what is the nature of your call?

PD: I have a question on one of his policies. May I just speak to him directly? It’s really important.

NRE: I cannot put you in direct contact with Rahm Emanuel. I’m sorry.

PD: Is there any way I can speak to him later if he’s busy right now?

NRE: Um, not over the phone. However, if you would like to put in an interview request, I can give you an email address.

PD: I’ll take the email. Yeah, that’d be great.

NRE: Okay. That will be press@cityofchicago.org

PD: Press@cityofchicago.org? NRE: Yes.

PD: And do you think you could possibly answer a question about Rahm Emanuel’s foreign policy for me? Since he’s not currently available.

NRE: Um, sure.

PD: What’s his policy in Azerbaijan?

NRE: What’s his policy in Azerbaijan...okay. I’ll submit that question. I won’t be able to answer that right now for you, though.

PD: Okay. That’s alright, we’ll email the  interview.

NRE: press@chityofchicago.org

PD: I’ll speak to him directly. Alright, thank you so much. Have a great day. NRE: You, too.

PD: Bye!

(Hangs up)

PD: (Laughing) I tried!

CT: That was good.

WK: That was awesome.

CT: That went for longer than we thought.

PD: (Still laughing) You guys definitely need to use that. Like that email. DO THAT.

WK: Yeah we’re definitely going to try to submit something. That would be incredible.

PD: If you got to interview him, can I be there?

CT & WK: Yeah.

CT: I have one more question. So on a more serious note, can you give some advice for freshmen?

PD: Um, yeah. Northwestern is a place where you can meet a lot of people who are very talented in their fields. Because it’s a smaller university, you can really get to know people. Like there are familiar faces. Being a senior, I see people that I have seen around all the time and a lot of them have really interesting stories. So, you know, even if you meet someone at a party, try to get to know what they do, what’s their thing. It’s really interesting to hear different things that are important to different people and it gives you a bigger world view of the people around you.

AD: Awesome.

CT: That’s really good.

WK: Yeah, that’s it.




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