A night with Andrew Fire


Sepand Rouz

The sun had finally set on MVHS’ campus, but the voices of MVHS’ students could still be heard. Students could be seen leaving school from their after-school sports, but in the student center, AVID students from every grade were waiting for Andrew Fire to speak on the night of Feb .8.

Andrew Fire is a geneticist who primarily focuses on viruses and how they affect the human body. He came to MVHS to talk to students who are enrolled in AVID since AVID is a college prep course, and he knows a thing or two about rejection. When Fire was a senior in high school, he was rejected from his first choice for college, Stanford, and had to go to Berkeley.

Even though Berkeley is ranked as one of the best public schools now, it wasn’t like that in 1966, the year that Fire was applying to colleges. Stanford was the prestigious school that most people worked towards, and when Fire was rejected, he was devastated.

As the students took their seats, Fire began his lecture. At first, he was talking about his work: the pathology, the study of viruses and diseases. But that wasn’t the main reason for his visit. The discussion shifted over to a more relatable topic — answering questions from students about his college experience. Scroll down below to see the Q&A with Andrew Fire.

Q: What was the most exciting part of college for you?

Choosing my own path was the most exciting part for me. To study whatever I wanted, although scary, was the thing I resonated with the most.

Q: When you first got to college, what was the first thing you wanted to do?

I was very happy to explore the campus—  the library was a great thing. But the thing was, the college library was kinda unique back then. In fact, because of this, there was a uniqueness to it. There were really smart people in college doing a tremendous number of things and they weren’t the faculty, instead it was the students. Learning where people come from and what they do is the most exciting part.

Q: Do you have any advice to get through any issues you’ll face in college?

Family is good, friends are good. Sometimes there are people who professionally help with things and sometimes, it may be your friends. I’ve always thought of ways for help. It may come from your friends, it may come from your family, but it also may come from outside.

Q: What is something you regret not doing in college, like an experience or anything?

I wanted to live in a foreign country. I did go to a foreign country, but it wasn’t too foreign, England.

Q: How do you think college environment’s changed from when you went to now?

There is actually a cycle on how many young people are going to college, as of right now there are a lot of you. When I had went to college, there weren’t as many young people, so how the school adapted to this changed. Instead of catering towards the young, the school catered towards the older people on the campus.