"I think I liked senior year the most": Getting to know Linda Ly
Published: Monday, May 31, 2010 - 7:39pm
Linda Ly graduated from Uni on Saturday with an impressive résumé. She was a member of the track and cross country team. She was executive vice-president of the 2009-10 Student Council. She was a member of Uni's 2009 IHSA state championship journalism team. She was a subbie buddy since freshman year and served as an appointed member of the Illinois State Board of Education's Student Advisory Council. She helped run the score board at Uni sport events. But there is more to this senior than lengthy credentials. From her hobbies to reflections on her Uni career to her status as a "Gleek," Linda reveals her thoughts on her busy life.
Questions and Answers with Linda Ly
The following is a transcript of an in-person interview with Linda Ly, conducted by Gargoyle staff reporter Jenny Cooke before the school year ended.
Tell me about yourself.
I like a wide range of things. Rachel Harmon likes to think that I am very diverse in my interests because I really like yearbook and I also really like college basketball and I also really like random information. I really like information. I don’t know why but I am one of those types of people who will read Wikipedia when they are bored.
You are always involved in a bunch of extracurricular activities. Which is your favorite?
I really do like every extracurricular I do for different reasons. I love doing yearbook. I love compiling memories. I'm the type of person who wants to keep everything so I won't forget. I'm really afraid I'll forget things in the future.
Which sports have you played at Uni?
I've been a sprinter on the track team for four years mainly running the 100, 200, and 4x100 and 4x200. I love sprinting more than any other type of running just because I love that you are putting everything you have in such a short distance.
This was my first year on cross country. I joined cross country on a whim actually. The only reason I joined was because it was my senior year and I just wanted to try everything. It turns out that I loved the cross country team so much that I really wished I had joined earlier.
Linda Ly runs like a pro in her first season on the Uni cross country team. Gargoyle photo by David Porreca (click to enlarge)
How did you get started with Uni track?
When I first started track, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t think I had the coordination to do any other sports. There is no way I was doing distance because I didn't think I could run two miles straight without dying. So I joined the sprinter team and I really liked it.
You were class vice-president from subbie to junior year. And this year you are executive vice-president. Why did you choose to get involved with that?
I joined StudCo for the sake of trying things out. It wasn't like I had any serious aspirations. Most of the things at Uni, I have no idea what I am getting myself into. Back then elections were even more of a popularity contest than they are now. I guess I just had fun and wanted to return year after year.
You do the scoreboard at Uni games. How did you get into that?
Sally [athletic director Sally Walker] just needed someone, and I thought it was an opportunity. I didn't think that I went to enough Uni sporting events, and I guess this was a perfect way to get to see all the home games, plus get paid for it.
You said you were a big college basketball fan. How did you get into that? You don’t strike people as the stereotypical die-hard Illini fan.
My sister took me to an Illini men's basketball game in the fifth grade. And I fell in love with the environment. I really liked Assembly Hall. We lost that day, and I distinctly remember it was to Purdue.
Any other hobbies?
I watch a lot of TV. Truthfully, I don’t know how I get homework done. I watch at least two hours every day.
What shows are your favorites?
I really like "Glee." I am really a "Glee" dork.
A "Glee" geek? A Gleek?
Yes, I am a Gleek. I will admit it. I loved it so much when I saw the pilot. I watch a lot of sports when it is college season. Now I don’t. I watch a lot of sitcoms. I am such a dork. I watch all of these random sitcoms that probably aren’t very good but I watch them anyway.
I watch "Two and a Half Men." And CBS Monday comedy hour. Which has shows like "How I Met Your Mother." And then I watch ABC’s new comedy hour. With like "Modern Family" and "The Middle," which is about this family in Indiana. Which is really funny because they are talking about like how crazy Indiana weather is, and it is kind of like Illinois weather. So I thought that was kind of funny.
I like game shows a lot. My mom and I watch "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune." Every day when I don’t have track practice, she picks me up and we watch it. And she really likes "Wheel of Fortune" and "Family Feud," so I always watch with her.
What was your childhood like?
Well, even though I have an older sister, I saw that my childhood was an only-child childhood just because there was such a big gap between us. When she was graduating high school, I was 8 years old, entering the third grade. I never played with Barbies, but I did like things that beeped and lit up.
Do you consider yourself short?
Haha, yes, I am short. It is a fact. I've always known this and, well, I don't notice it a lot of the time. It's only when people seem to point it out that I'm reminded. I mean I've kind of lost the ability to tell how tall things are. It hasn't really INFLUENCED my life, but it's a little tidbit. I'm so loud anyways that I think it kind of makes up for it.
Describe yourself in three adjectives and explain why you chose them.
Loud. Like I said before, I know I'm loud. A lot of the time, I don't even really notice it, which is certainly a problem in life. Intense. And, umm … indecisive? I can’t make a decision to save my life. It's a problem. Maritza [fellow senior and Student Council executive secretary-treasurer Maritza Mestre] always gets frustrated with me. It's more that I'm paranoid I'll do the wrong thing.
If given a choice, which animal would you want to be? Why?
Animal? Hmm, giraffe? They're very tall, and Mr. Butler [history teacher Chris Butler] showed us a video of them fighting. It's pretty intense. They kind of whip their necks at each other.
Favorite type of soda?
Give me a juice box and I'll be a happy camper. But if necessary, ginger ale, root beer, and Sprite.
Have any bad habits?
I have this thing I have to do with the radio. So when a new song comes on, I have to quickly scan all of the other radio stations to see if something better is on. It doesn't even matter if it's the song I've been wanting to listen to for a long time, I have to check the rest. People find it a bad habit of mine.
I really love Taylor Swift. She makes me awfully head-over-heels happy. I'm always up for a singalong.
Top three addictions of the moment?
Crosswords. I've bonded with so many elderly people over them. Wolfram Alpha and probably track runners.
Are you a morning or night person?
I think I'm certainly more of a morning person. Morning Linda has difficulty waking up, like everyone does, but she usually starts off the day with a lot of energy. Night Linda seems to babble and be more confused than normal.
What do you want to do in college and why?
I want to major in business and minor in political science.
And where are you going to college next year?
After major mulling, I chose the University of Virginia. It ended up being a gut feeling that drove me to UVA more than anything.
What advice would you give to new Uni students?
Don’t get involved in things just for the sake of getting involved. But don’t be afraid to try things either. Just try out things. Like, I really regret not doing sports subbie year. And I really regret not doing cross country earlier. These things are things you can do really simply, and it’s not a big deal because sports aren’t a big deal at Uni. So I do recommend people do sports because it is really fun. Even if the games or the meets aren’t fun usually it compensates with practice and the team being really fun and supportive.
Any other tips?
Tell your friends to get pizza for you. I have only waited in line for pizza [during lunchtime sales at Uni] like three times in my entire Uni career. Be really nice to the office people because they have like everything back there. And they know everything about you. So be nice to them.
Sum up your life at Uni year by year.
Subbie year I was really dumb. I was very naïve. But I had a lot of fun subbie year. Freshman and sophomore year were a blur. It is so crazy how fast the five years actually go. Junior year, I just remember having to do a lot of work. With physics, standardized testing, and history. Senior year I learned to cherish everything a whole lot more. I experimented with a bunch of new things like cross country. I think I liked senior year the most just because I haven’t had any limits against what I want to do.