Who is Kyle Conniff?

If you want to know more about Kyle the human, read on!

Beyond teaching and academics, I have quite a few hobbies that generally fall under the umbrellas of athletics and nerdom.

An an athlete:

Kyle throwing a forehand for a score against  the San Jose Spiders.  PC: Meg Hofner I played professional Ultimate for the Los Angeles Aviators from 2019-2021. As an undergraduate, I studied abroad in Perth, Australia where I learned how to play ultimate. Since then, I have spent way too much time focused on getting better at ultimate. It took three total tries, before I made the Aviators in 2019. To the left is a photo from my first Game of the Week in front of an international audience (PC: Meg Hofner). This particular throw ended up making the top plays of the week (well, technically, the catch made the top plays of the week). The video is below. I am currently taking a break from high level ultimate to finish my Ph.D.

Kyle juggling 5 clubs in an open quad.  PC: Casey Rentmeester I have also been an active juggler since 2009. My best friend in high school was one of the world's best jugglers and we spent many hours every week working on the ultimate craft for introverts. The picture to the right (PC: Casey Rentmeester) is a classic 5 club cascade (cascade = the normal juggling pattern for an odd number of objects). Before moving to California, I attended a few juggling conventions annually and even prepared to participate in a technical juggling competition. Although I didn't compete, I trained for 3 hours a day to prepare for competition. My personal records are 9 balls, 7 rings, and 6 clubs. Nowadays, I juggle here and there, but without any aspirations of competing or improving. I much prefer to work on passing patterns (2 or more people juggling together by throwing objects back and forth) with 6, 7, and 8 clubs, or to play combat with 3 clubs.

In the escapism realms:

When I am recovering from my more active endeavors, I enjoys watching anime. My favorites are old-school: Yu Yu Hakusho and Rurouni Kenshin. However, I have watched a lot of good anime and definitely recommend:

I am currently watching: Jujutsu Kaisen season 2.

Sticking with the theme of escapism, I love to read science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian future novels, especially in the young adult genre. I can get lost in 3-10 book series through which I feel a connection with the main characters. Some of my favorites include:

I am currently reading: Seasparrow from the Graceling Realm.

My only vices come from having a bit of a card collection problem (Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu Yu Hakusho, Original Pokemon sets, and original Digimon sets...so far), and playing a relatively small and selective set of video games. (I am currently playing the Pokemon Yellow version. I am in the process of hunting for all 151 original Pokemon. I am also playing the gen 2 pokemon games on Gameboy Color). Well, I might also be very addicted to sugar.

Kyle's dog is a 12 year old pitbull mix named Drake.  PC: Kyle Conniff I also am a dog parent. Drake is a ~12 year old pitbull-mix pound-rescue. Details of Drake's previous life are scarce, but it is believed that he ended up on the streets after having a few previous owners. Drake is now happy to play with his cousins (Kyle's parents' dogs) as well as cuddle on the couch with papa. Fun fact: Drake is not afraid to steal food from his favorite sitter. The current list includes a full pizza; fried chicken; crawfish; and a 6-inch Subway cold cut sandwich with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, and siracha sauce. Somehow, Drake has never exhibited the expected effects of eating such meals. Truly a garbage disposal of dogs.