My name is Irene Smith. I am in my third year at UT, double-majoring in linguistics and electrical engineering. I am a native Austinite, and commute to UT from the outskirts of town, where I live on some acreage. My first college essay tells the story of Ferdinand, a goat that I bottle-raised when I was a child. He is now a thriving gentleman and an esteemed philosopher. In middle school I participated in a creative writing club with a group of peers. Now in my first year working at the UWC and in the CSC program, I see many connections between writing club and the UWC’s consulting philosophy. In addition to working at the UWC, I am a research assistant in the UT SoundLab, where I run experiments in phonetics, the sound-related elements of language. I am also a member of the Junior Fellows, an interdisciplinary group of undergraduates who meet regularly to share their research. Through the Junior Fellows I not only present my SoundLab research, but also engage in a wide variety of topics that other students bring. Outside of school, I am a skilled handweaver, and my favorite fiber is linen. I am also an avid backpacker, with particular love for deserts for their variety, ruggedness, and seeming contradiction between harsh landscape and abundant life.