XASS: Lorelei, thank you for joining me this morning. Let’s start with the basics. Who are you and where you’re from?
Lorelei: Hi, I’m Lorelei from Los Angeles, California. And I’m a sophomore here at Stanford.
XASS: LA proper or one of the surrounding communities?
Lorelei: That’s a great question. Because even though I’ve lived in Los Angeles my entire life and I’ve lived all over Los Angeles, I am not the most familiar with how LA is organized. So I just say that I live in the Burbank / North Hollywood-ish area.
XASS: Okay, so you’re a sophomore at Stanford. Have you started to narrow down what to major in yet or is the world still your oyster?
Lorelei: I am still thinking about it. But I am heavily leaning towards human biology just because before I got here, I had done a lot of research into all the majors and I was looking at all the classes for human biology and consistently it was one of those thing where “I want to take that one”, “Oh my gosh this is cool – hey this is also a Hum Bio course!”
But I’m also interested in classics. And chemistry is one that I am really thinking about, which I’ve understood to be kind of a shocking thing – because who would want to take chemistry willingly? Hahahaha – but I truly enjoy the challenge. In all of this though, I’m just allowing God to lead me. Where He leads, I’ll follow.
XASS: All right now, why Stanford?
Lorelei: Stanford was always my dream school. I say that kind of loosely, because when I was younger I didn’t think that I would go to college. Not because I didn’t want to – I always wanted to, but I didn’t think it was necessarily attainable for me. We would have assemblies at school where they would talk about, you know, getting into big schools like UCLA or USC, Harvard or Stanford but make it seem as though it was kind of untouchable at least for the schools I was going to. But I had a lot of truly wonderful people who believed in me and here I am! I chose Stanford because it was the best of both worlds in that I was able to stay so close to my family, and my little brother London while still being able to have such a fantastic education. I’m truly blessed.
XASS: Now, what are you into that you don’t get graded for? What are your hobbies?
Lorelei: I really love… I don’t know if this counts as a hobby, but I really love talking to people. But most of all, I like listening to people and helping others. I’m really into volunteering. And I love to read. I love to just sit outside in the sun and listen to music. I really like writing poetry. I’ve been told recently that the word I’m looking for in terms of describing things I love is “lindy,” so basically everything related to that haha. Oh, and who doesn’t love running? There’s something about running in that moment where you know you’re just completely out of breath and like, physically exhausted. That’s just so thrilling and overwhelmingly exciting.
XASS: How far do you run when you run?
Lorelei: Typically two miles. I like to run in the morning, earlier in the morning or later at night, the latter which scares some of my guy friends (haha). But it’s nice not to have the sun shining on your face and making you sweat more when you’re trying to run. My favorite time to run is the rain though, because it’s something that’s so comforting and rare.
XASS: Now, how did you get involved with Chi Alpha?
Lorelei: I was coming to campus for Admit Weekend, and I had been assigned to a group to walk around and explore the campus with a volunteer Stanford student. And all of a sudden this guy with a funny kind of loud Stanford shirt is touring me and this group of kids around the campus. He introduces himself to me as Caleb, and in that same conversation we were talking about the Christian community on campus, eventually giving me his email at the end of the conversation. I guess Caleb is very well known for this, so I’m honored to share a similar story with the amazing Nicole. Anyway, after Admit Weekend was over and I officially committed to Stanford, I sent him an email and said, “Hey, like, I’d love to hear more about this Chi Alpha thing.” He was nice enough to give me a whole rundown and so I looked out for XA in the fall freshman fairs. And actually also shout out to Makayla because she lived in my frosh dorm and Katelyn, my twin sister, met Makayla the first week of fall quarter. She brought Katelyn and consequently me to the first social event of the quarter, and then I met Abigail, who has become a quite close friend. And then I got tied into a life group on Fridays with her, Andrea, and Elli and the rest is history. Can’t get rid of me now!
XASS: It sounds as though you were raised in some sort of Christian or churchgoing environment. Talk about that. What was your religious upbringing?
Lorelei: It actually was not Christian. I lived in a different household than I currently am in. I was in a single parent household and my mom was atheist, to the point where we would mock people that would come to the door trying to share religion and the love of Christ. Even with that though, part of me always knew that there was something bigger than just what existed here on Earth. I think that most children believe that there is something bigger and believe in God in general; I know I did even though maybe I didn’t know Scripture. I hadn’t yet named Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But that came later. Then when I was about 12, I transitioned to a new household. Religion was introduced to me in a really positive way. It was through my aunt Pamela, who laid out a lot of the essential things that are more or less the mark of every good Christian (aka helping your neighbor, loving people, being forgiving, kind, and honest, etc.) and she asked me if I agreed with all those things. Of course, I said yes and she said, “Well, boy, do I have a book for you!” And that’s how I got my first Bible. Ever since I have been in love with Jesus Christ, and it’s been, it’s been really a fantastic time.
XASS: Has your experience at Stanford been a negative or neutral or positive experience for your faith?
Lorelei: 100% of positive experience. Freshman fall quarter, I’ll admit, started off a little rocky, just because I had to process some things that I had put aside and gather my independence. And so that was really rough at first. But throughout all that whole time, I had my friends in Chi Alpha to support me, even when there were some days where, you know, maybe I didn’t want to be supported. But I think that kindness and patience that they gave me, was really something that’s unforgettable and invaluable when it comes to faith – special shoutout to Nicole and Abigail in this. Also, I think, winter quarter, I was just constantly wanting after Jesus and that’s something of course I did when I was young in my faith, but I think that in a lot of ways, Stanford allowed me to be reintroduced to Jesus in another way. I certainly continue to learn more about the way the Lord works in life through my big brother in faith, Jack, and received a lot of invaluable wisdom from Andrea about Bible reading and analysis. Outside of XA though, I’ve also made so many incredible friends that inspire me to see religion in everything and just be more open about the things I love. I also realized that the way I spread Christ is by showing love to others, so I’ve learned a lot about the relationship I have with Christianity and God.
XASS: Let’s say that I Google stalked you: what would I find out that maybe I’ve not thought about? Another way of framing that same question: let’s say I knew you really, really well. What would I know to ask you about that a casual observer might not know?
Lorelei: Hmmm… Well, not a lot of people would think that I was involved in a military Army-based program for I think going on 8-9 years now. It’s called the California Cadet Corps. And you can find lots of pictures online. If you want to attempt to Google stalk, I’m not going to encourage such behavior but you know, I fear it is coming anyway. But yeah, I was a part of that organization. And it’s funny, it was one of those things where my dad had found a school for us. And in doing that, the administration at the school more or less made it seem as though they were “sticking us” with cadets for applying to the school late as a form of punishment. But, we wanted to try it anyway because, if you know me, I don’t back down from a challenge haha. And immediately, I fell in love with the structure, the ability to find leadership and a voice but as I grew up the ranks and over my time in the Cadet Corps, what I loved most was the ability to work with so many young kids from all sorts of backgrounds. I loved hearing the stories that they had and helping to guide them on their journey to become leaders. I’d see them start as squad leaders then platoon sergeants then platoon leaders and all the way up to eventually hopefully one day Corps commander. It was a really cool experience and incredibly rewarding. And during summer camp, which is every summer, we got to do a lot of fun things. Recently, I told one of my friends that I was a qualified sharpshooter, and that tends to surprise people. It was a really great time and I can’t wait to go and volunteer this summer. It also showed me that I was really interested in serving in the U.S. Army as a pediatrician after med school, something I can’t wait to have the privilege to do.
XASS: What was your maximum rank? What did you level up to?
Lorelei: Not to toot my own horn by any means but, by the end of my time in the Cadet Corps as a cadet, I had made it to the highest rank of Cadet Colonel and the highest position available for Cadet, Corps Commander.
XASS: And is this partly the origin of your catchphrase, “choose violence”? Your experiences as a sharpshooter and a drill instructor and whatever they had you doing then?
Lorelei: Being a drill instructor was funny because I was known to be the most maternal loving but also fiercely protective DI. They liked to refer to me as a Mama Bear. Say there was a cadence that another platoon was calling talking smack about my platoon in an egregious attempt to get honor unit points. Well, I was known for being the single voice breaking through the sound calling them out in return.
Interestingly, it didn’t have anything to do with the “choose violence” catchphrase. “Choose violence” originated from me being sarcastic, and trying to get people to laugh. Here’s an example: Last year, I took the sign off my door and instead replaced it with a string of memes, which I highly would recommend! No one needs to know your name, just identify you by your memes. It’s legendary. Anyway, back to the story – a couple of my neighbors were walking by my door one day while going into their rooms and they saw my door. Both of them started laughing with me overhearing this whole thing from inside my room. And one said, “Choose violence? Like that’s great, that’s funny.” And then the one turns to the other and goes, “You know, what’s even funnier?” Pause. “That’s Lorelei!” And then they laughed more.
They know I’m not a violent person in any way, but I think it’s funny to say the unexpected, and, you know, I’ll do it for the laughs. You gotta do it for the meme.
XASS: All right, I think three more questions. So I know that you and your sister have done child acting before. How did that start? And what was your favorite moment from that?
Lorelei: I don’t remember how it started. I think it was just that we were in Hollywood, a convenient location and also, you know, twins tend to work a lot so maybe that was more like utility. But either way I enjoyed it. Honestly, any moment I was on set I really loved I thought it was hilarious. When you’re twins, one of you ends up usually working more and so Katelyn and I always used to say that I got the bum rap because I would always be the one on the set and working and she got to camp out in the trailer and play on a DS all day. I’m a big fan of video games too, but I loved acting. There was a really strange commercial I was in that I was told only showed in other countries. It was for Chobani Yogurt, a Greek yogurt company. I think now they’re a little bigger than they were then. Basically, I had to run through or bike through a park. That’s not anything out of the ordinary. But the unusual thing was that I was riding with a guy in a dinosaur suit. Think off-brand Barney, but if Barney was traumatizing. And I just rode around for a while and then paused at the bottom of the hill and ate Chobani so that was fun. A little fever-dreamy, but fun nonetheless. I also did a Direct TV commercial, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t know where these things are. In this commercial though, they had me sit on a sofa and just eat popcorn and look at a movie. I think we were supposed to be watching The Amazing Mr. Fox or something. In the commercial when we watched it back, we were watching that, but it was actually fun movie magic because when we were actually sitting on the couch, we were just looking at a blank black TV screen. I felt like a real actor at that moment. Katelyn and I also did a lot of child modeling too for toys and clothing brands, so we worked a decent amount. I would definitely do it again and you might see me in a Stanford Theatre show at some point. 😉
XASS: Awesome. Now, we alluded to your twin sister Katelyn several times. What advice would you have for people in distinguishing the two of you – not so much physically but in terms of personality. What are the differences that stand out to you as you think about you versus your sister?
Lorelei: I guess personality wise, I tend to be a little more outgoing and extroverted. And you know, I use that one pretty lightly because Katelyn is also very extroverted. But I think the difference comes in that I tend to get energy when I interact with other people. And as the typical introvert, she tends to expend energy when she’s around other people. But I’ve always admired Katelyn’s more logical side of things. When she explains things it’s very clear, and I know she’s very calm. I am chaotic. To a fault. Very loud. I feel like those are the big differences and yeah, you’ll have to get to know us to learn the rest.
XASS: The final and classic kind of Spotlight Series question: Lorelei, are you in a relationship?
Lorelei: I am not and will not be until God puts a man on my heart. So we’ll see what His plans are!
XASS: Very good. Thank you for your time!