OFF TOPIC with Rachel Hartmann

Mark Heise

Two in a week! Whew, do you know how tough it is to come up with enough questions to satisfy this need? Luckily, this blog is dedicated to you, our loyal readers, so we’ve put forth the effort for an Off Topic to rival Lindsey Schwartz’s from earlier this week. Oh, and Rachel Hartmann decided she wanted to ask some questions of her own, a surprising move, so that extended the interview as well.

Name: Rachel Hartmann
Class: Senior
Position: Setter
Number: 8
Full Bio: Gophersports Bio

Rachel has contributed to the Minnesota volleyball team since the start of her freshman season, filling the setter position all four years of her collegiate career. She has made big strides this season, doing a great job of placing the ball for her hitters, and opening up the net with smart setting decisions. Hartmann is one of the many players hailing from Illinois, and brings a sense of calm leadership to the team.


Mark Heise: Brook Dieter nominated you for this interview this week, and she offered up a question to ask. So to begin this Off Topic, here it is, from Brook Dieter:  Explain the changes you went through between high school and college, both in appearance and personality.

Rachel Hartmann: Well everyone gives me a hard time because I never saw the sunlight when I was younger. I played basketball and volleyball, and it was always indoors, all summer.  So they talk about me being like a ghost, it’s kind of an inside joke, “the ghost of Rachel.” It’s really embarrassing. I brought out some pictures from sophomore year and freshman year of high school, and they get a kick out of them. I can only say so much, I was a little twig, I was pale, I was goofy-looking… they say I’ve changed, and that’s probably a good thing! But yeah… I think the personality has stayed the same.

MH: We learned that Brook has no musical talent. Do you have any musical talent?

RH: No, I’m just like Brook, absolutely horrible. Never played a musical instrument, can’t sing, Karaoke Night is not something I would ever want to do…(laughs) so yeah, I can’t do it at all.

MH: If you could sit down and have a lunch with two people, past, present, real or fake, who would they be?

RH: Oh gosh, that’s a tough question… Well I know one person I always admired when I was younger was Michael Jordan, because I was a huge basketball fan. So just sitting down and talking with him would be really cool. Um… tough question… Maybe my grandpa. He passed away a couple of years ago, and when young with them you don’t really get a chance to talk with them and hear their stories. I’ve gotten to know my grandparents who are still alive a lot more than I got to know him.

 MH: That’s understandable. Moving on, favorite place on campus?

RH: Another tough one… you have good questions.

MH: I have nothing better to do with my week…

RH:  Let me think… I guess being in the mall area. One of my really good memories is my freshman year during the winter we had a huge snowball fight in that area, and we took a picture on the bridge looking into the city so I like that spot.

MH: Ok… usually I try to stay out of the mall when it’s snowy.

RH: Yeah, I don’t like being there during classes and stuff, but I just like the view into the city.

MH: Ok. Halloween is coming up, when’s the last time you went Trick or Treating?

RH: I haven’t gone Trick or Treating in a LONG time… and our team isn’t even dressing up this year, it’s depressing, because we don’t get back until Saturday night. But we talked about costumes this year, because if we were going to do it, we wanted to do Power Rangers. We used to love that. I remember I was always the Pink Ranger back in second grade or whatever. When I was younger my favorite costume was Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

MH: I don’t think I did a whole lot other than being different baseball players… Flu shot yesterday, did you get yours?

RH: No. I did it freshman and sophomore year, but I don’t like shots. So… but maybe I should go. They always tell us to get one. Did you get yours?

MH: (Slight uncomfortable silence…) No. I got one last year and got sick three days later.

RH: No way! That’s not supposed to happen that way…

MH: My sister, the nurse, says I didn’t get sick from the flu shot, but I was still just a little wary.

RH: That’s so weird.

MH: I’ve been told you’re a big fan of Root Beer.

RH: Favorite of all time.

MH: What brand is the best? There ARE differences…

RH: There are. The one I do like, Brook and I gave it up for the season, and we’re having the most miserable time because I see them all the time… you know your favorite restaurants that have Root Beer in it… I have to say, and Brook and I disagree on this, but I would say Barq’s. In high school we had pop machines and it was 50 cents for a cup with free refills. I’d have three cups with each lunch, and I got used to that one. I hated it until high school and then I saw it there, and then I loved it.

MH: Barq’s IS the best kind…

RH: Oh good! See?

MH: It has caffeine too, but…

RH: Well there you go…

MH: But I don’t think that’s what does it.

RH: It could be…

MH: Back ON topic, another rumor is you don’t like millipedes.

RH: I HATE millipedes! Have you heard about our infestation?

MH: Briefly.

RH: Well there was one on my pillow, and I about spazzed, because we just got back from our trip this weekend, and they’re usually not in my room. They’re usually mostly in (Kelly Schmidt) Schmidty’s room. I’ve been pretty lucky. But I got back from the trip and I didn’t even think about it, and was I setting my alarm clock next to my bed because I wanted to nap, BADLY… and as I’m about to clear off my bed I see something MOVING, and I just threw it to the ground, but those things are SO FAST. Have you ever seen one?

MH: Yeah, our basement at home…

RH: Yeah, I live in the basement…

MH: Uh-oh…

RH: Yeah, it’s horrible. But our landlord is going to take care of it. But I couldn’t sit in my bed, I couldn’t fall asleep for the rest of the day to take that nap, and I didn’t even try, but then I found another one dead behind my bed.… ugh.

MH: Wow. Another new topic: have you ever seen the show “Monk?”

RH: Yes, I have.

MH: Does watching that show ever make you feel more OCD?

RH: Yes! I’ve never thought of that, but you just think about more things that you’d never think to be freaked out by.

MH: Exactly. A few more questions, beginning with the Question of the Year. One of the players on the Minnesota men’s basketball team, Travis Busch, and Zach Eisendrath from Gophersports have an online TV-blog called The What Else? Show where they sit online and just talk about things that they’ve seen recently or things they’re thinking of, current event-type things. The question is if you had a show like this, what would you call it, and what would it be about?

RH: I liked Brook’s idea, I heard about this.

MH: Well you could have cut me off then…

RH: No, I like to hear the explanation… Gosh, I should have thought of this after she told me this… I should stick with hers, but I don’t want to copy her.

(SIDE NOTE: Dieter’s idea, for those who don’t remember, was a show called “Whose clothes are they?” and revolved around the amount of clothes that is passed along among the volleyball team.)

RH: I’m not very creative with this kind of thing… I mean along with the clothes idea she had, I would think more about the shoes, we switch shoes a lot, so “Whose shoes are they?”

MH: So you’d team up with Brook…

RH: Yes. For the Shoes edition.

MH: Ok. Who would be the first guest on your show?

RH: It would have to be someone on my team, right?

MH: There aren’t any restrictions, it could be whoever.

RH: I should get someone from like Top Model or something, some fashion expert. Or Kelly Schmidt and just ask her about how many times she lends out stuff to our team.

MH: I’ve heard that. Ok. You’re a big fan of architecture, and since I know very little about it, your question will be a simple one. Favorite building on campus, and least favorite building on campus.

RH: Um, I guess when I think of buildings I’m thinking more of the city, and I got to actually visit three of them, like the IDS Tower… so I like those buildings down there. But on campus, I guess the Mechanical Engineering building doesn’t look cool from the outside, but it goes really deep, and I think that’s really cool, I think they won an award for that. But I think it’s interesting to see new building go up, like the Hampton Hall building over by Carlson, it’s an interesting process. And I do like the old buildings, like the one with the languages in it, Folwell, that’s pretty cool, they redid a little bit of it. It’s probably my favorite-looking one.

MH: Least favorite?

RH: I don’t know… maybe Cooke, but that’s just because when we have camps in there it’s so hot and so gross… I have nothing against it, I know people who love it because it’s old and everything.

MH: Well it IS a warm building. Weisman doesn’t come up?

RH: I guess I wasn’t even thinking about that, it’s more of a modern style, but I guess I don’t think the inside is that great, the outside is really cool but the inside isn’t. Folwell the inside is cool, with the staircase and everything. But I guess it would be somewhere near the top.

MH: Last question, who would you like to nominate for next week’s Off Topic, and what question would you like them to answer?

 RH: Ok well you should do Kelly Schmidt, and I think you should do the millipede question, but you should ask how long it takes her to kill one, if she has to do it on her own. That’ll be a good story for you.

Rachel, thank you for being a good sport, and for occasionally forgetting your role as the interviewee to step in as an interviewer. It definitely added a new challenge to the Off Topic. Readers, tune in next week to hear from Kelly Schmidt and also our second non-volleyballer of the season.