Q&A with CHID Students: Tisbe Rinehart

Submitted by Sophia Choto on

Interview by Lenan Sophia Choto


LS: Please tell us your name.

TR: My name is Tisbe Rinehart, my pronouns are she/they.

LS: And you’re a CHID student who’s part of our RSO?

TR: Yes!

LS: Please tell me more about that.

TR: The idea kind of happened during the end of last quarter. Right now we're in the process of forming our officer team, getting it established, etc. We are officially an established RSO, which is very exciting. This is the largest project we're working on this upcoming quarter, and it will happen in tandem with CHID’s spring symposium.

We want to create a zine (or a journal), an alumni association to make sure that the community extends to those who have already graduated, as well as help students find advisors for their thesis. We also want some kind of student mentor program.

LS: And what made you become so interested in helping each other out or being a part of it in this way?

TR: I just feel really passionate about CHID and that's one of my favorite parts about it: how much input students have and how much respect faculty give students and how much freedom there is to do things. I've always felt incredibly supported by faculty and staff. And so when the idea for a CHID RSO came up, there were a lot of things in the CHID program that—as a student—I wanted to see.

LS: Please talk about the RSO’s spring quarter plans.

TR: Yes. So the biggest thing is a thesis symposium (different from the CHID 491 presentations). It's in the works, and actually, just today I got three people messaging me about this symposium and how it's kind of going forward. Yeah. It's going to work out and I'm super excited because the thesis is like the culmination of our undergraduate years, you know, a huge deal in the CHID program. It’ll be really special for students to be able to showcase all of the hard work they put in.

LS: What is one thing that you want students to get out of the RSO?

TR: Oh, I love that question. One thing that I want is for students to be able to learn more about the university structure and both take advantage of the resources we have and also challenge the structure of the university and develop leadership skills and think through how to implement things creatively and dynamically. I want students to be able to embody CHID philosophies and actualize them, to put what we learned in classes into action.

LS: What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming student?

TR: I would say take advantage of everything that CHID offers, and do the readings.  Definitely meetup with Cynthia, or meet with whoever your professors are, go into the CHID office and just sit down, talk to you, I think that's a really valuable part in feeling a part of the community.

LS: It sounds like socializing is very important for you.

TR: It is. That's such an interesting observation because I'm incredibly introverted, but I somehow find socializing incredibly important, but it's often only through extracurriculars because by the time I get home: I’m tapped out and can't talk to other people and just want to exist alone, but socializing through things I'm passionate about is, like, huge for me.

LS: I have a fun question I ask people: are you a sun dog, a night dog, a sun cat, or a night cat?

TR: Easy answer: Sun cat. I love cats way more than I love dogs. Dogs are really high maintenance to me. Like they require both a lot of baseline care, you know, walks, food, whatever.

But they also want so much attention, they really need human companionship and I'm not here for that level of commitment and I feel cats do their own thing. They vibe, they're great at holding boundaries. They help you understand boundaries and they won't require as much of you.

As far as the sun aspect:  I'm a lizard. I love soaking up the sun, like, it's so wonderful to me. And I live a pretty good life to be a cat napping in the sun for like hours at a time. 

LS: It seems you like to take on the facilitator role.

TR: Yes. It's like, “Hey, here's this thing. Join it. You get to meet other people who aren't me.” I don't know how to say this, but I find a lot of comfort in being in more of a leadership role where I can facilitate community. That's something that I've really enjoyed since I was really little: creating spaces for people I don't know. It's really fun and rewarding to start something and see it grow and see people find other people who are like them and who they befriend, like giving people pathways they didn't know they had.

LS: You're going into your final year. What is the biggest thing you want to accomplish? 

TR: To finally complete my novel. That's my thesis, and I bit off a lot. It’s a very looming thing: Will I be able to finish this? Like, what's it going to look like? So I just have to finish it since having a final product will be incredibly rewarding. It'll be like two or three years in the making. 

LS: Please describe your novel in one sentence (it can be a run-on sentence).

TR: A 16-year-old person gets kidnaped for a reason that she doesn't understand and gets dropped in the middle of the woods into a program called Wilderness Therapy, the specific program being “Desert Destinies,” and she faces a lot of abuse throughout the program, and she has a fraught relationship with her mother and also a guide and a mentor who is a field guide, who also has a lot of problems with wilderness therapy. And throughout the novel and throughout their stories, you get to explore the intellectual arguments against wilderness therapy and get to contemplate the concept.

LS: Can’t wait to read it.

TR: Yeah I’m excited!