Xandria Quichocho. Photo provided by Xandria Quichocho
Xandria Quichocho. Photo provided by Xandria Quichocho

Xandria Quichocho is an Afro-Chamorro physicist, recently graduated from Texas State University and attending Michigan State University for graduate school in the Fall. She currently serves as the Associate Director of the Texas State Physics LA Program. Along with her work into intersectional physics identity, she is looking into how a community-centered LA helps aid in physics identity development for traditionally marginalized students. It is her goal to attend a PER-focused graduate program and become someone who has the power to help other women with identities similar to herself.

She spends much of her free time with her dog Facetiming her three sisters and mamma. In an effort to have “hobbies”, she finds rocks to climb and trails to bike. When she falls down N=3 times, she goes back home to study and teach cello, then performs “Rainbow Connection” to an empty room on her ukulele when spending late nights in the education lab.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

A dog his name is Pooka and I love him

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Yes! I have some science pint glasses with a woman scientist (her name escapes me), dinosaur knick-knacks all over, and my cello (who is named after Mae Jemison so it counts!)

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Baking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Sweet

7 Do you speak any other languages?

I speak a tiny bit of Spanish and an even tinier bit of Chamorro

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

I’d open up a coffee shop/bakery/little free library

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Paleontology!

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

It’s free? I’d go to Japan and eat my heart out

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Breathe underwater

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

The How to Train Your Dragons films AND BOOKS! It’s a 12 book series and it WILL change your life

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

I want to sleep in with my dog, bake bread, and go to the library.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

My family (which includes my pup), my instruments, and sweets

15 What beverage gives you life?

My family (which includes my pup), my instruments, and sweets

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I read it before it was assigned, but it was still in school.

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

In order: Paleontologist, geologist, vulcanologist, novel writer, linguist/philologist, music teacher, and now a Starship captain.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

I just have to. You know? There’s not a specific thing, I just feel like I have to and I want to.

19 What got you excited in science?

Dinosaurs, then rocks, then space.

20 What excites you about science now?

Meeting more amazing brown folk like me, and encouraging others to get into science!

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Pepperoni pizza rolls and a Shiner late at night when I should be asleep

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I love to sing 🙂

23 What is your favorite game?

Animal Crossing

24 What is the last book you read?

Oof, don’t come at me like this. I think it was How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (book 12 of the httyd series) by Cressida Cowell.

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

Anyone can be a hero

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Perform a solo cello recital

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Girl go to BED, eat a LEAF, and it’s okay to recognize if you’re unhappy and change your situation. No one’s going to be mad at you.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Seeing the sun and feeling that feeling of its energy pouring into my skin, burning me just in the slightest to give me more melanin, but not so much to burn me.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

A video of Show Yourself from Frozen 2! It’s a gay anthem

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

My small bike tool: the TSA agent let me keep it though.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Dragons, obvi

32 What is your favorite book?

Anne of Green Gables. Whenever I re-read it it’s like I’m meeting a dear friend.

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Fried porkchops with cream of mushroom soup and white rice. Then chocolate chip cookies to eat after.

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Christmas! I get to see all my family, eat some yummy yummy food, sing some good songs, and just be happy

35 What is your favorite plant?

Love me a redwood tree, those boys are just so big

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Particles are waves are particles are waves are particles…you get the idea

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

I’m really into lavender and vanilla right now

39 What is your favorite sound?

The inside of an old old library

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m a dynamo. I’m a cello playing, physics studying, rock climbing, dog owning, singing dynamo.

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

nåpu (it’s ocean/sea/wave in Chamorro)

42 What is your proudest moment?

During my last group recital as a music education major, I played a short, memorized cello piece by Rachmaninoff and I KILLED the climax of the piece. I remembered what to do with my bow and my hands and my body and my eyes were closed, and I felt whole. It was such an experience to be able to take all those hours of practice and just be on stage.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

I want to be a coconut tree since it’s my ultimate dream to become a coconut

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

I love the sun, I love the farmers market, I love the small-town local vibe of my city. My FAVORITE thing though is that I can walk into my coffee shop and they know my name, my order, and I also know a little about all of them.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

My favorite fun fact is my favorite era of animated movies is the “Disney Dark Ages”. It was when the main campus was so focused on 3D tech they let their secondary studios go buck wild. These are the movies Everyone loves but made literally 0 dollars in theaters. Think Lilo and Stich, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, all the “non-Disney formula” films, all the experimental stuff (also all their business with brown people in movies).
Once the main studio got back into themselves and was down with 3D animation, they nixed the secondary studio and fired, like, EVERYONE. Those people DIPPED on over to Dreamworks and are still around KILLING the cartoon game in movies and Y7 television series on Netflix. If you need some good cartoon content check out She-Ra and Trollhunters on Netflix, then tweet me so we can talk cartoons.

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Corey Grat (@QuantumOfSalsa) or LaNell Williams (@AlxndriaTH3Gr8)