Our “One of 360” series continues as we learn about Diba D. '20. Diba lives with her mom and stepdad in Chatham, NY, and with her dad and stepmom in Delmar, NY. Diba's mother grew up in Boston, and her father immigrated from India when he was young. She has four younger brothers. Diba is on the Morning Reports team and also runs hurdles in outdoor track. In Diba’s own words:
On home life...
I’ve lived in Chatham since I was three, so it feels more like home than anywhere else. The people are super outdoors-oriented, and many have built their lives and careers around that passion. I live near a hunt club which, unlike it sounds, seldom results in the death of an animal. They own hundreds of dogs, beagles, and foxhounds, some of which are taken out a few times a week “hunting.” It’s more an exercise of the dogs’ tracking abilities than the sport of hunting rabbits and foxes. They host a small dog show using their dogs every year, so I participated in those when I was younger.
I also horseback ride on the trails that cut through the hills and fields around Chatham. I don’t own a horse, but a lot of people around me do and sometimes they let me go out with them. I work at a nearby barn, so I get to ride through that too.
In Delmar, my dad likes to make my brother and me go running with him. I always hate it in the moment, but looking back at those experiences, they’re nice. He basically likes to do anything active with us outside, and we’ve been planning to bike to Emma from his house on the bike trail.
On Emma Willard School...
I first knew about Emma because of the hunt club. At least five of the women there are Emma alumnae. They pressured me into visiting the school, and I ended up loving what I saw. The campus is undoubtedly beautiful and the feeling of the campus was what made me apply. I didn’t give much thought to the all-girls part of it, but I think that it’s had a good impact on me academically and socially. I was somewhat socially awkward when I got here and I think I’m less so now.
My favorite class would probably be Physics of Matter and Motion because it was the class that got me to appreciate learning for learning’s sake. In middle school, I didn’t pay much attention to my classes because I didn’t have to. We didn’t really do much in a day, so I spent most of my time drawing in class. Once I got to Emma, however, the workload was much greater than it had been at my previous school. I had to pay more attention in class and that was a difficult transition for me to make. I had Physics with Mr. Ball, who infamously calls out names randomly in class, and seems to know exactly who doesn’t know the answer and who didn’t hear the question. Having him as my teacher forced me to pay more attention in class and I think that prepared me the best for the rest of my classes at Emma.
I think the most unique part of my experience at Emma would be my involvement in the theatre. There’s a lot that audience members of a play might not think about that goes on during a play, unless they’ve been in one before. The lights and sound are run by people who communicate over headset with the stage manager and the people backstage, where I was. I like working behind the scenes. I joined the tech crew sometime during my 10th grade spring upon responding to an email from Ms. Tryon asking the community if anyone would like to help with the tech for the play. That weekend, I showed up to lab theatre for the first time and met Mr. Myer, who told me to grommet curtains so they could be strung across the stage as the set for The Tempest. I spent the next hours hammering grommets into curtains.
After finishing the curtains, I was asked to be a run crew member during the show. During shows, the run crew and I would move portions of the set around, preset props in their places, and do miscellaneous tasks like tracking down the mic tape, carrying costume pieces to people, and fixing things that had broken, along with other things we were called to do—like building IKEA couches 10 minutes before a show opened. I think that being involved in tech crew was one of the more meaningful things I did with my time on campus because I discovered a passion for something I hadn’t even known existed before.
I’ve only been to a couple of professional theatre productions, but both times I found myself gawking at the complexities of their set and the number of lights they have over the stage and around the room. I would be ecstatic just even to watch what the tech people do during the show and see how they build the sets for those shows.
On other interests...
I think that people who can remix songs are pretty skilled at their craft. I’ve dabbled a little in garageband, but I haven’t produced anything remarkable. As a fan of electronic music and remixes, I'd love to explore the complexities of music-making and sound mixing more and maybe even produce a track or two.
On Emma Willard traditions...
I’d say my favorite tradition at Emma is probably the senior triangle. It’s atypical and unique to Emma, which makes it that much more special.
Thanks, Diba, for sharing your passions and contributing to the Emma Willard School community in unique and significant ways. We look forward to seeing the impact you will have as you serve and shape our world!