OFF TOPIC With Christine Tan… 2008 edition

Mark Heise

Good news for any “Off Topic” fans out there, we are back. Once again, “Off Topic” is here to ask the questions that really don’t need to be asked, and bring them to you for your own entertainment. Well, yours, and of course, ours. Opening up the year, and becoming the first student athlete to appear for a second time, is Minnesota volleyball player Christine Tan. Here’s your opening information on our guest. Name: Christine Tan Number: 15 Class: Junior Position: Libero Full Bio Tan has started with the volleyball team since arriving in 2006, and has been the libero for the last two years. Tan recently recorded her 1000th dig, and on Monday, won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award for the fourth time this season. Outside of volleyball, Tan is majoring in neuroscience. On to the fun. Mark Heise: Christine, in six weeks, you’ve already won four conference honors this season, and have kind of monopolized the Player of the Week award. Have you ever considered letting up a little and giving some of the other liberos in the conference a chance? Christine Tan: There are some great liberos in the Big Ten. I feel like I’ve lucked out, you know, with long games, and people hitting the ball at me. The system we’re playing is funneling the balls towards me, so that’s how a lot of these digs are racking up. And I think it’s really cool, but we don’t really talk a lot about individual awards. We’re more focused on the team right now. MH: Seriously though, you’ve played well this year, and it’s paid off with lots of media attention. The Star Tribune, Sports Illustrated, and now WCCO have all done stories on you. Which of these have been the most fun for you? CT: The TV thing just happened today, I didn’t even know about it, and it sort of caught me off guard. I think the Star Tribune is actually my favorite. The writer actually talked to my parents, and he got to know me and my family, and where I came from. So I really liked that the most. Sports Illustrated was pretty cool, I didn’t really know much about that, but it was exciting. MH: With your major, you’re required to spend a lot of time in the lab… CT: Oh gosh… yeah… you want me to talk about this (points to an acid burn on arm, caused by an in-lab spill) MH: The question is, how important do you feel safety equipment is? CT: Oh gosh! (laughs) I didn’t take it seriously, you know, that first day of lab everyone is just breezing through it, checking in and getting it done. I’m just happy I knew what to do when I spilled the Nitric Acid on me. I’m that one person they talk about every time in lab when somebody gets an acid burn. So be careful, wear your goggles, your gloves, maybe have long sleeves on, because I had short sleeves that day… MH: In your defense, I heard the glove was torn, leading to the burn? CT: In my defense… my gloves maybe weren’t on all the way down. I don’t know, it was basically my fault. MH: Complete this phrase: Peanut Butter and… CT: Chocolate Chip pancakes MH: Peanut butter goes IN the pancakes? CT: No, it goes on top, with maple syrup as well. I’m actually giving up peanut butter for the season, so, I really want some right now. MH: Krista Chin said you like it on bananas CT: Oh, yeah that’s true to. Peanut butter goes with everything. You could probably say peanut butter and everything. MH: You played basketball with the women’s varsity team this summer, is that correct? CT: Yeah. MH: How did that go? CT: It was a lot of fun. We started off playing some volleyball with them first, and they dressed up in the spandex and had the ribbons in the hair, and we kind of had a little competition. But I think basketball was the most fun. I wore Zoe Harper’s uniform, they picked it out especially for me. I’m pretty sure the jersey went down to my knees. It was cool, we have some awesome pictures. We’re close with that team; they come support us, and we go and watch them. MH: So you do go to some basketball games? CT: Yeah, we do. And they come to ours as well. MH: Do you ever make it to the men’s games? CT: Yeah. I went to a lot last year. They were a lot of fun this last year. I don’t really follow basketball though; it’s not really my strong suit. MH: Do you know Travis Busch? CT: I know who he is, I don’t really know him though MH: He and gophersports writer Zach Eisendrath have a new show online called The What Else Show, where Travis shares his thoughts on current events, or really, whatever they feel like talking about. If you had a show like this, what would it be about, and what would you call it? CT: I don’t know, I’m not a very good public speaker… I watch the Food Channel all the time, so I would have a cooking show. And it would be called… wait, can I have a cooking show? MH: Yes. CT: I’d have a cooking show, and I’d call it “How to Cook as a College Student.” It’s not very cool. MH: That’s fine… first guest speaker you’d have on your show? CT: Rachel Ray. MH: I actually know who that is. CT: I have all of her magazines. MH: You live with Katie Vatterrodt, one of the healthiest eaters I’ve heard of, this year. Have her eating habits rubbed off on you at all? CT: I think I’ve rubbed off more on her. MH: Explain. CT: She does a lot of baking, and I encourage that. She’ll have a cookie once in a while, and we have a few more ice cream trips, we love the gelato place in Dinkytown, so we’ll go there a lot. But I guess she kind of rubs off on me once in a while. I mean, I’ll have a salad here and there, maybe some soup. But overall, it’s more me saying “hey, let’s go get some cookies,” not really the other way around. MH: Last Question: If you knew of some Minnesota students around campus who were looking for something to do this Saturday, what suggestions would you have for them? CT: I would say they should definitely come to Williams Arena around 7 p.m. and bring all their friends and every person they know, because it’s going to be a big game, and we’re hopefully going to beat Penn State. We’re excited, so basically just come!” Christine Tan, thanks for being a good sport. Well everyone, that’s it for this year’s first edition of “Off Topic.” What questions would you like to have answered? Please comment below with your thoughts.