Allegheny College is the home of the gators, but that unifying term fails to do justice to the diversity of interests and hobbies that each gator has.
Just because a person finds a hobby enjoyable does not mean they are necessarily a pro at it, though.
“Snowboarding’s fun and it’s what all my friends and I do when we’re home,’’ Noelle Kidd, ’24, said. “It’s the one thing we can all do together. We’re not good at it and we don’t really know how to do anything, but it’s just fun.”
For Kidd, there is nothing better than spending a day on the slopes with friends.
“We wake up in the morning and chug Monsters and take the trucks out to Boston Mills and Brandywine (Ohio) and f—-ing snowboard all day,” Kidd said. “Then in the evening we come back and we have sunburns from the snow reflection and have the best sleep after.”
Sunburns are not enough to keep dedicated snowboarders away, though, as Kidd and her friends only intend to snowboard more in the near future.
“My friends and I are going to work at Boston Mills this year so we can get free passes and snowboard all the time this winter,” Kidd said. “We’re gonna be slummin’ it, we’re a bunch of college kids who just need some extra cash and something to do. We get all excited talking about how we should go out to Utah and Colorado but it’s like we’re not even that good.”
Kidd is not alone when it comes to considering her skills to be less than advanced in her hobby.
“I really like cooking but I’m god-awful at it,” Katherine Stancil, ’23, said. “I’ve given my family food poisoning before, and like a week before we moved back in [to Allegheny] I started a fire. I was spraying the cooking oils while the stove was on very close to the pan and I learned not to do that the hard way.”
To avoid safety hazards, Stancil enjoys making meals that are sent to her through a company called HelloFresh.
“It’s a subscription and they’ll send you the meats, spices and side dishes and tell you step by step what to do with pictures,” Stancil said. “The little boxes they send you make the easiest meals and they give you specific instructions and so I haven’t really messed those up.”
Stancil is not entirely incompetent in the kitchen, however, as she has had her fair share of successes.
“I’ve had a lot of tragic cooking stories, but I can successfully make tacos if all I have to make is the ground beef and I can make spaghetti if the sauce is already made,” Stancil said. “I also make fire quesadillas, that’s an easy one.”
Stancil’s cooking endeavours are no new thing to her and neither are the tragic tales that come with them.
“In middle school I would have sleepovers with a friend and we would make pizza from scratch, but we were too lazy to let the dough rise so we made like yeast-free pizza,” Stancil said. “Homemade ice cream was a success, though.”
Others have also found hobbies in middle school that have stuck with them to this day. Ivory Marcucci, ’22, recalls the middle school memory that she shot with her first professional camera.
“I have a Canon camera that my grandpa gave me because I used to make videos and he had a whole wall filled with nice cameras,” Marcucci said. “He gave me a camera when I made a video and he thought it was so awesome.”
Despite her grandfather’s sentiment, Marcucci’s mother felt otherwise about the video.
“It was really embarrassing,” Marcucci said. “It was me and a bunch of my friends on New Year’s and we stayed up until like five in the morning making a video to the song ‘Hit the Lights’ by Selena Gomez. We were in my sister’s room and I put baby powder all over the fan. It really messed up the room and there was baby powder everywhere. My mom wasn’t happy.”
Some parental displeasure would not be enough to stop Marcucci from using her camera, though, as it seems that her photography hobby was bound to take shape eventually.
“My birth dad was an artist and my grandfather was a photographer so it’s in my blood,” Marcucci said.
Although she had secured a real camera and to go along with her artistic bloodline, it would not be until years later that her joy for making videos would turn to photography, ironically in the absence of a Canon camera.
“I feel like what started it was when I was in Canada and a fly landed on my leg and I just took a picture of it,” Marcucci said. “I’ve shown people the picture and they can’t believe I took it on my phone. You could see the little squares in its eyes.”