Becky was born and raised in Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She went to Washington University in St. Louis and majored in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering. Becky has been in the area about 10 years, living all over the DMV — from Pentagon City to Foggy Bottom in Washigton, D.C., and now Rockville, Maryland, to name a few — and works as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She can be found on Monday nights playing trivia at Bier Baron, and she also enjoys an evening spent “knitflixing”(knitting while Netflixing).
What three items are you lost without?
My phone, my dog, and my car keys.
Midwesterner to Midwesterner, what would you choose: the freakishly snowless winters of the Greater Washington area, or the face-numbing, car-encasing winter wonderland of where you grew up?
The face-numbing, car-encasing winter wonderland of where I grew up. As much as I hate being cold, I do like snow, and people who know how to drive in it.
What does a patent examiner actually do? When people hear where you work, do they start pitching you random inventions?
A patent examiner reviews patent applications and tries to help applicants build a fence around their idea, as it were, using prior disclosures from other inventors to prove what is and is not their property.
I do have people pitch me random inventions. My cousins had a cool idea for a popcorn holder with built-in toothpicks/floss so that you can get popcorn out of your teeth at the movies. I thought it was a great idea. Sadly, it has been invented already. Not sure why it's not out there!
Would you say you have always been a poodle person, or did it surprise you how poodles have made their way into your life?
So, when I was born, we had a wire hair fox terrier named Asta. According to my parents, he was more terror then terrier, barking and marking, though he was awesome to me. He passed away two weeks before my bat mitzvah. There was something definitely missing from the house after he passed and my parents wanted a dog that didn’t shed. The list of potential dogs included a Bouvier des Flandres and a poodle. We ended up with a black poodle, which I am convinced I came up with the name for, Lilah. From there, I was a total goner and knew I wanted a poodle when I was old enough to be on my own. Since then, Lilah has passed, my parents now have a poodle named Eivie (Ivy— spelled specifically to complement our last name and be a palindrome) and I have a standard poodle named Chloe.
What is something your colleagues at work don’t know about you?
That I love meat. Since I keep kosher, mostly they see me eating dairy out. I always request vegetarian food at meetings, so most people think I am a vegetarian. If I am at a kosher restaurant you will find me eating steak, ribs, or lamb chops! I have even been known to ship in kosher salamis from Romanian Kosher in Chicago and beef jerky from RJ’s kosher beef jerky in California.
What is something only your family knows about you?
That I wanted to be a math teacher.
What is something you love about Jewish life in DC?
There are always exciting Jewish programs going on almost every week. Each organization in the city caters to every type of Jew, from Orthodox to non-practicing.
Interviewed by Rachel Kohn