What am I reading?

Hello, hello! My name is Claire, and once you meet me, you’ll quickly learn that I LOVE questions. I want to know all about you, about the world, about everything. So I thought I’d make a game of it, and you’re reading the result 😀 

Down there is me (before I cut off half my hair this summer) with some of my triathlon teammates in Georgia, holding the tire we’d just flatted.

Where: I grew up in the East Bay (El Cerrito, to be precise). I like that my home is frequently shrouded in fog, that neighborhoods are filled with trees and random greenery, and that the regional park is just a quick bike ride up the hill. I’ve spent the past four years in Los Angeles, an urban wasteland situated in the middle of a desert that I’ve somehow come to love, and maybe even like a little bit, much as I miss my trees and fog. 

What: I’m an electrical engineer, an eclectic and enthusiastic tinkerer, a puddle jumper and rain runner, a whimsical skeptic and curious fool, fond of putting myself in situations where the only way out is through, of picking up hobbies and skills and moving on to more before mastery, of melodic music and wind rustling through forests.


…am I doing? I’m doing good, thanks for asking! I’m excited about where I am right now and where I’m headed. 

…do I get from point a to point b? Typically car, but I prefer to bike or walk when constraints allow. 

When: I’m currently found in 2023, but that’ll change over time (it’s been changing for 23 years, and I have no reason to expect that to stop).

Why: Absolutely no reason at all, which opens up all reasons for exploration, and isn’t that half the fun?

How’d you end up here at Augusta?
I arrived at a labor day family camp 11 years ago, someone dropped down from a tree playing ukulele, and I decided I was home. Here is where I learned to climb up the silks and throw myself into the void, to shape hot glass and hot metal, and to support and connect with others. In the years since, I’ve been a camper, a circler, a JC, entirely absent, a cameo for a session, and this summer, staff!

What are some favorites at Augusta?

Want to learn to climb aerial silks, shape molten glass into pendants and beads, or subversively stick a clothespin on your counselor? I’m here to guide you. Even if I am your counselor.

Has it been too long since you were knee deep in a creek, sliding down rocks, chasing tadpoles, and adventuring into new territory? Come join me for creekstomping adventures!

Do you find yourself at snack, munching your way through popcorn and watermelon, but nearly melting from the heat and mundanity of the moment? I revel in any snack magic that involves water play, and any whimsy that involves a chorus of howls. 

I’m excited to once again chase and be chased during EP’s, to creep into my cabin in a costume at dawn and to spend some quality time together at dusk (possibly also in costume).

And I can’t reiterate this enough. Creekstomping.

What do you do outside of camp?
I have a degree in electrical engineering, and come fall I’ll be working on artificial gravity space stations (small satellites to begin with) in Los Angeles. I started college out by joining rocket project, maintaining control boxes and designing and testing flight telemetry systems, and the aerospace theme stuck – the past two summers, I’ve interned at a space manufacturing startup doing test engineering and circuit design, and occasionally kidnapping the label-maker for nefarious purposes.

That’s work stuff! What do you do for fun? 

What, work can’t be fun?

I spend a lot of time up high 

and going fast 

and going slow 

and going far

and enjoying lights

and mixing ingredients in semi-sensical ways.

Other than that? I read books, dragonboat, invert myself (silks and handstands are two of my preferred methods), play with my fire staff (although not usually on fire), and (attempt to) play some instruments (much to everyone’s joy, Claire picked up the clarinet in high school, pun not intended).

What’s your favorite book?

This is a hard one, but here goes nothing.

I tend towards anything fantasy or sci-fi (as long as the characters are more substantial than cardboard), but I’ll read anything really. Some of the books that have stuck out to me most over the last couple years are N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, and Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I’ve been recommending Sanderson’s (not-so-short) short story “The Emperor’s Soul” – it’s a standalone novella, vivid characters in a world built of brief strokes, and a great introduction to Sanderson’s larger body of work.

What are you up to until camp?
I can’t quite say yet, plans are still fluid. I’ll be in Japan in January, Thailand two weeks after that, and travelling throughout Southeast Asia in the time that follows. Ask me again at camp 😀

What’s your favorite place in the world?
Besides Augusta? I spent four months studying in the netherlands, and I absolutely adored the weather (overcast, cold, and frequently raining) and the infrastructure (I (1) could get anywhere on public transit and (2) could go on a 100-mile bike ride and only spend a couple miles of it not on a bike path). While I was there, I played soccer (even a tiny village would have a team or two) and travelled to a dozen different countries.

A dozen countries? Where? Why?

The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Hungary, Spain, Albania, Malta, Italy, Slovenia (technically), and Croatia. I wanted to explore, to meet itinerants from all over the world, to wander new cities and find trails and waterfalls. And travelling across Europe is rather convenient, with a dense network of transit options. 

Any long term life plans?

At some point I want to hike the pacific crest trail, move to Europe (again), and work on something with climate change/wildfire mitigation/water supply relevance 😀