To answer the obvious question, yes, we were a bit concerned that she might smash a folding chair over our heads during the interview.
But that didn’t happen.
And she didn’t spew her signature green “mist” on us during the 10 Questions, either.
In fact, Rachel Collins is about the sweetest person in the world. Kind, funny, solicitous of us Secret Lifers, she simply couldn’t have been nicer. And her lifelong love of science, born out of her childhood trips to her dad’s chemistry lab, was clearly both genuine and impressive in the stories she shared with us.
For me, though, what’s most memorable about Rachel is how she responded to a seemingly innocuous question from a co-worker some years ago. A secretary in her lab asked her:
“If you had one fun thing that you wanted to accomplish in your life, what would it be?”
And Rachel replied, half-surprised at her own answer: “I think I would learn to wrestle.”
Now what’s great about Rachel isn’t that particular answer. It’s what she did with that answer. She found a wrestling school and did, in fact, learn how to wrestle. Wrestling definitely wasn’t something Rachel had to do out of a need for money or career status (her job as a biochemist gives her those things). But it was something she had to do to feed her soul. Rachel became a wrestler—with the folding chairs, the green “mist,” the banshee wail, and all the rest of it—because she thought it would feel good. And it turned out that it did. It felt really good.
So during the day, you’ll continue to find Rachel happily working away on some antibiotic in her lab, but keep in mind that—just like the rest of us—she’s also got some MsChif in her.