Street: Which high school cliché is most you: Quarterback on the football team dating the head cheerleader, guy losing his virginity on prom night, nerd stuck in a locker, or rebel who throws a party when his parents are out of town?
Steve Rybicki: "Quarterback on the football team dating the head cheerleader"... except I played soccer at an all-guys school that didn't have any cheerleaders…
Street: If your high school had superlatives, which would you get?
SR: Student who pulled the most all nighters. I had, and still have, the most absurd sleep schedule.
Street: What's your go-to study break during an all nighter?
SR: I watch The Amazing Race. I love traveling. I love competition. I love camraderie. So anytime I’m studying and need a break I flip on Amazing Race and watch the newest episode. I’m also a huge music buff. I’ve been playing drums since I was little, I taught myself piano and I love to sing, so working at Platt is really nice because I can scoot in the rehearsal rooms and play a little music (Ed. note: Did someone say triple threat, or...*tugs collar*).
Street: What table would you have sat at in the cafeteria from Mean Girls?
SR: If the Varsity jocks formed a strategic alliance with the Asian nerds and then made a lunch table, that's probably where I sat.
Street: What’s your favorite show or movie with a high school setting?
SR: Boy Meets World. Favorite show growing up, hands down.
Street: How have you changed since high school?
SR: Physically, I’ve changed. I went into high school at 5’5” and now I’m 6’1”, so I’ve definitely grown a bit. In a lot ways I’m still the same guy. I was involved in a lot of things in high school, I played a lot of sports, took a lot of hard classes, always did everything that no one else seemed to want to do. I’m kind of the same in college.
Street: Where would you definitely be spotted as an alum during Homecoming?
SR: The crepe place in Houston. My friend and I are always there either doing work or hanging out with Chris, the guy who runs the crepe place. He gives us a ton of food. My favorite is bacon and egg with a ton of vegetables. Every time.
Street: What’s on your Senior Bucket List?
SR: Go on a crazy spring break trip. I’ve always gone home or stayed on campus during spring breaks so it’s time to do something fun. I also want to explore Philly more.
Street: Can you tell us the meaning behind your nickname “Scooba Steve”?
SR: Scooba Steve was a nickname that I got through Club Soccer my freshman year. My first time out with the team, we all drank a ton and I don’t really remember most of the night. I went to practice the next morning and everyone was calling me Scooba. I didn’t really understand it, but it kind of stuck.
Street: We’ve heard you don’t have a sense of smell...fact or fiction?
SR: Fact. Ever since I can remember, I just was never able to smell. Even at a young age when guys would joke around about farts or poop, I would joke along with them, but I never had any idea what they were talking about. Then when I got older and started cooking for myself after school, my parents would come in the house and be able to tell what it was that I cooked. I would freak out because I never told them what I cooked. How could they tell what I made? It's a blessing and a curse. Obviously there are things that I want to smell, like a nice meal or a perfume or something outside. But if someone farts or throws up or something, it doesn’t phase me at all.
Street: Can you tell us a little bit about your research at HUP?
SR: I work at a sleep and chronobiology lab in the hospital. They bring in volunteer patients who live in the lab for two or three weeks at a time. They can’t leave the lab and they’re under specific lighting conditions and sleep conditions, and one of my main jobs is to make sure that they stay up because they have weird sleeping hours. I’m also an EEG technician so I hook up electrodes to their heads during tests or when they’re sleeping to monitor their brain activity.
Street: What is the weirdest thing you’ve experienced as a PennQuest leader?
SR: This year on the trail, my group and my friend Dimitri’s group crossed paths. Dimitri and I had made a pact when we were freshman - before we had even become leaders - that if we were both leaders, we would do a tandem poop our senior year. We'd both basically squat, hold each other’s hands, look into each other’s eyes and poop. It’s a very weird term for outsiders, but for PennQuesters it’s a common term. Not only did we make sure that we did it, but we got a lot of our freshman to do it also. We called it “the two group poop” and we had twenty people total poop in a circle together. So freaking weird, but very PennQuest.
Street: If you could let any famous soccer player score or foul you, who would it be?
SR: My favorite player is Cristiano Ronaldo. If anyone had to foul me it’d be him. He's so good, I would accept the fact that it happened and move on.
Street: Does the Men’s Club Soccer team have any special rituals?
SR: Well we call ourselves "The Dolphinos." Before we start a game we say, “Dolphinos on three,” and after three we make a dolphin noise. When we see each other on Locust, we make the dolphin call to each other.
Street: What advice would you give to your freshman year self?
SR: I would say not to lower my expectations for myself. I came from a competitive high school and assumed that coming to an Ivy league school would be tough, so I think I lowered my expectations for myself so that just lowered my standards for grades freshman year. Sophomore year I raised my expectations for myself and did much better, so I would give the advice to always try your best at everything.