The Charger Times

Student Profile: Dane Rich, A Music Man

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Dane Rich

Dane Rich

Dane Rich

Amy Dunham, Staff Writer

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Name: Dane Rich

Class: Junior

Major: Optical Engineering

 

As far as I knew, Dane Rich was just an outspoken student making his way through some engineering classes with me. But he stands out – he always wears his short brown hair spiky, and wears these teal suede shoes I’m a little envious of. He’s the one in class who asks the questions everyone else is too shy to ask. He’s also a part of a musical duo called Covalent, who will be performing on campus this weekend alongside the Beasley Brothers. This past week, I had the good privilege of talking more with Dane about his interests and life at UAH.

 

What are some of your likes?

I like playing music. I play piano, violin, guitar, and the cajón. And I like listening to music – classical and indie. I don’t listen to anything on the radio, honestly.

 

How long have you been playing those instruments? 

I started piano when I was seven, violin when I was eight, guitar when I was thirteen or fourteen. I’ve been playing the cajón about three weeks. I’m part of a small band and we needed some percussion.

 

Do you have a favorite classical composer?

I think I’d say Shostakovich, but it’s hard to pick. He’s probably one of my favorites. I like his story – he lived in Soviet Russia and was oppressed, like he couldn’t write the music he wanted to. When the war ended, there was so much that he wrote that was just getting back at the fact that he couldn’t write before – so frustrated. I like that about him.

 

What else do you like to do?

There’s so many things I want to do. I’d like to write more, and I like to read but don’t have time for it. J.R. Tolkien was my first love – I read Lord of the Rings when I was twelve or thirteen. I also like Dostoyevsky, and Walt Whitman.

 

What are some of your dislikes? 

Music on the radio. No, I mean — don’t say I hate pop music. I’m not that guy. I don’t like the electrical engineering classes I have to take. And I don’t like when people are on the phone while I’m talking to them in person.

 

How did you get into optical engineering?

I heard about optical engineering on a tour of UAH. Some faculty was doing some work on the James Webb telescope – have you heard of the James Webb telescope? It’s supposed to go farther out than the Hubble, and get better imaging. Anyway, my parents made me go on this tour. In high school, I came to like physics – and light in physics, so I picked optical.

 

Why did you pick UAH? 

UAH is one of four colleges in the country that offers an undergraduate degree in optical engineering. It’s a research university, and it’s convenient – I grew up here.

 

Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

Have a balanced lifestyle – don’t drown yourself in school. College isn’t about having fun – but you should have a balanced lifestyle. I guess I could work on that – I balance life between social and school, but I don’t have time to sleep. But if I was given more time, I wouldn’t use it to sleep.

 

As far as school goes, take advantage of your professors. Most professors, if they see you’re interested, will be helpful – if they know you, they’ll be more helpful. You can work really hard, struggle on your own, but it’s better to ask questions and be curious.

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Student Profile: Dane Rich, A Music Man