Of Life and Bread

“There’s not anything find it irresistible,” stated Fox, who is graduating May 10 with a USC Viterbi grasp’s diploma in materials engineering. “With simply 4 easy ingredients, you can feed a whole global: flour, water, salt, and yeast. And steam. Steam may be very vital in case you need to get that crispiness simply proper.”

Like many stuff in Fox’s life, it took lots of trial and error to grasp. But whilst he found out he may want to make bakery-excellent bread — the very stuff of life — in his very own kitchen with simply 4 substances, he has become a devoted bread-maker.

“More like a bread idiot,” he likes to interject. “You don’t have any concept how a great deal shitty bread I’ve made. It’s a part of the family motto: ‘commands are for idiots.’ Call it endurance, no longer stubbornness.”

For Fox, bread isn’t just an afterthought on the table or really a constructing block for sandwiches – breaking open a clean, steamy loaf of bread is an experience that conjures up nostalgia.

Fox became thirteen years old when a snowboarding twist of fate in Utah left him paralyzed. He becomes on an excursion with his mom, Celia Brewer, an attorney, and if it hadn’t been for the subsequent guy down the mountain, a physician, who saw him fall and become able to flag down ski patrol, Spencer Fox would most probably now not be here nowadays. With his neck damaged and lungs collapsed, he becomes helicoptered to the closest sanatorium wherein the prognosis came like an avalanche at the family.

“One second, I become an active youngster, gambling basketball, riding mountain motorcycles, and skiing. The next 2nd, I become a quadriplegic, not able to transport or experience something underneath my chest,” Fox recollects.

When he returned home, after almost four months inside the clinic, his residence had to be retrofitted with ramps and wider doors. He started excessive faculty in a wheelchair and wished an aide to take notes and assist him to navigate campus.


He made it via by way of choosing now not to consciousness at the tragedy.

“There was no mental building up. My mother signed me up for fitness center like per week once I got out of the clinic,” Fox stated. “If you don’t prevent moving it’s difficult to be terrified of transferring.”

He buried himself in his research and achieved a 4.Three GPA. But the brand new truth of uninsured clinical costs also positioned a heavy strain on his own family’s sources, leaving little for education.

Then came Swim with Mike, giving Fox a scholarship to have a look at chemical engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, covering lessons, housing, and books. Fox said his mother become so happy, she couldn’t forestall crying for 3 days instantly.

“Swim with Mike essentially opened every door in my lifestyles,” Fox said. “Even now, after I’m searching out a process, I can reach out for mentorship and support from their network. I absolutely can’t say enough approximately them.”

The agency, which gives physically challenged college students scholarships to acquire the dream of university education, has raised over $21 million in 38 years, supporting 231 scholarships at 122 specific faculties. But they also gave Fox what he desired the most – a hazard to give lower back to others. He frequently mentors Swim with Mike applicants and new scholarship recipients.

At USC Viterbi’s Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, he’s also a direction manufacturer assisting professors in organizing, educating, and grading scholar work in numerous chemical engineering publications.

“Many humans after listening to my tale arise to me to mention ‘Oh, you’re so inspiring.’ I never understood that” he said. “The things I locate inspiring is what you do for other humans – no longer what I did for myself.”

Fox is now seeking career possibilities, with a selected interest in materials studies sustainability, studying material failure and fatigue or why materials wreck. He hopes to create new materials one day and credit professors Andrea Armani and Ted Lee Jr. With focusing his hobbies.

“Growing up, I changed into very clinical approximately breaking things, that’s what I’m doing now, so I wager I haven’t changed a whole lot,” he said.

Materials research will wait due to the fact his mom has prepared a European adventure. The graduation experience will surely consist of a bread tour of Europe’s maximum mythical bakeries. The journey also bears some other importance. It may be the first mother-son trip given that that fateful coincidence in Utah – a super victory lap for a mom-son crew that in no way stopped shifting.

Want to try to be your own “bread idiot” and master the artwork of the sourdough? Here is Spencer Fox’s Ultimate Sourdough Recipe.

Ashley Stephens

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