Inside Scoop: Alissa Haber

May 13, 2009

Alissa Haber, Stanford's All-American junior outfielder, is a local product out of Newark Memorial High School. For the third year in a row, Alissa leads Stanford in nearly every offensive category, pacing the team in batting average (.439), hits (79), doubles (21), runs (54), slugging percentage (.722), on-base percentage (.500) and stolen bases (18). Her career-best batting average ranks third in the Pac-10 and among the top 15 in the nation. She is also on pace to match a feat only Jessica Mendoza accomplished with a .400 or better season. Alissa and the rest of the Cardinal host Portland State, Cal Poly and Nevada in an NCAA Regional beginning Friday.

What is your major? How did you choose it?

I am currently an English major with an emphasis in creative writing, and I am pretty confident when I say that there aren't many collegiate softball players in the country who can lay claim to this undergraduate degree. I spent my first two years taking many different classes to try and find what I am truly passionate about. I took chemistry, biology, philosophy, even urban studies! Taking a broad range of classes helped me to find what my strengths and weaknesses were as a student, and for me writing was always my strongest suit. Articulating myself through the written word has always come comparatively easy to me, and I enjoy all types of writing, from expository to creative. At the end of my sophomore year I took a class on 19th Century English Literature, and I absolutely loved it. So when I learned that within the English major there was a particular emphasis in writing, I knew that I had found my perfect match. It took me a couple months to accept the fact that I was an English major, seeing as though there is a little bit of a stigma against students who choose to study the liberal arts, but I have learned to embrace it wholeheartedly. I have made it my personal mission to expand my writing abilities to the fullest extent. So while I am learning how to be a good critical and creative writer in my English classes, I have taken it upon myself to look into other avenues a career in writing may take me, which is why I have recently joined The Stanford Daily (the campus newspaper) as a contributing writer in the sports department. I don't know if I want to actually pursue a career in journalism, but to have that skill in my writing arsenal will only make me a better and more skilled writer.

Describe something you're NOT good at.

Ask my mother, and she will tell you that I'm no good at staying organized. If you were to look at my dorm room, you would see that my desk looks like it's about to collapse under the weight of stacks and stacks of papers, books, knick-knacks and the like. She's only partly right though. True, I have been a bit of a pack rat my entire life, and tend to accumulate lots of things in my dorm room, but that doesn't mean that I am unorganized. To the contrary, I have developed my own organizational style within the aggregate clutter that is my room. For the most part, I can always remember where I put everything in my room, and can pull any important paper out of that large stack with relative ease. So although to the untrained eye it may look like a mess, it's really just a massive labyrinth of organization. That being said, sometimes this method fails me from time to time, (for a short time I had forgotten where I had put my Stanford softball playbook, what a disaster!) and I have been trying to refine my unique organizational skills.

Anything you're 'addicted to' or spend a lot of time doing?

I can't say that I have any particularly constant addictions, but rather they fluctuate and change over time. Right now, I would say that I am addicted to baking. Recently I have found myself sitting in my room doing nothing, and the thought pops in my head that I should bake something! So I'll just look up a recipe online, go buy the ingredients and bake away! Maybe this is the influence of my mother, who is the best confectioner ever, but I find some sort of calming effect when I bake. I guess it's because life at Stanford can get so stressful, and with classes, homework, softball, and all the other things in between, sometimes it can feel like life is hectic and out of control. But when you just take time to step away from it and focus on something small that you can control (like the ingredients in a recipe) it can bring you back down to Earth.

What was the best vacation you've ever taken or favorite vacation spot?

I have taken some amazing vacations in my life, but even the most exotic of locations could never beat the summers I spent as a kid camping with my family. Ever since I can remember, every summer we would pack up and head to a small reservoir in central California. We would spend anywhere from a couple days to over a week sleeping in our huge tent and spending our days out on the lake on our boat and jet ski. There are so many amazing memories I can think of that have resonated with me. From learning how to water ski, to exploring the campground and looking for lizards under rocks with my brother, or just relaxing on the boat and reading some great books, every memory is special to me. Sadly, we haven't been camping in the few years since I have come to Stanford, but I am hoping that in the coming years we will be able to return to our lake and make some more awesome memories.

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