Matthew Mario Di Pasquale · About

Activities

During my free time I go for walks and runs, lift weights, eat healthily, do yoga, meditate, journal, and read. I sometimes play hockey and soccer, ski, snowboard, skateboard, and play golf.

When I was growing up, I played with legos and Lincoln Logs, built model cars and rockets, put together puzzles, folded origami, and played a lot of video games. I had a chess teacher and played in chess tournaments. My USCF rating is 1377, but I don't really play anymore.

Ice hockey

Ice hockey is probably my favorite sport. It's so much fun. I think I started playing when I was like five years old. I played travel youth ice hockey mainly for the Mid-Fairfield Blues out of Darien Ice Rink, but one season (I think 1998–99) I played for the Southern Connecticut Stars out of Milford Ice Pavillion. Youth ice hockey was so much fun. I especially loved playing in the travel tournaments (like the ones at Lake Placid and Providence, RI) and playing knee hockey in the hallways outside our hotel rooms. In high school, I played one season of varsity ice hockey at Staples High School and one season of junior varsity (JV) and then two seasons of varsity ice hockey at Kent School. In college I played junior varisty ice hockey, which was basically like club ice hockey. I tried to walk on to the varisty team a few times but never made it, although I did score once during a scrimmage one year. I got to play with Alex Killorn a bit, so that's cool. I was lucky. I got to play with so many great players. Since college I haven't really been playing ice hockey that much. Sometimes I go to rinks that have stick time and practice my skills. It's a great way to exercise.

Here I am on Nov 17 2017 practicing my skills during stick time at Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport, CT. My mom came to watch and did some filming with her iPhone. Thanks, Mom! :-)

Warming up
Shooting
Let's call this the Walter Gretzky drill because Wayne Gretzky said his dad (Walter) would do this drill with him. Walter would shoot a puck around the boards and have Wayne go get it. I think this was one of Walter's ways of teaching Wayne to go not where the puck is but where it's going to be. Unfortunately, I miss 100% of the shots I take. Also, my skates were super dull and I wasn't wearing all my pads, so I took extra care on the turn by the boards.
Walter Gretzky drill continued. Wayne Gretzky said Gordie Howe told him to work on his backhand.
Stickhandling 1
Stickhandling 2

Piano

My mom who's really good at piano got me piano lessons when I was growing up. We also had a Steinway stand-up piano in our house that I love. It's the one I'm playing on in the videos below.

I took more piano lessons at Kent School where I did piano as one of my extracurricular activities. I performed in a few recitals there too. These are some of the songs I performed:

Unfortunately, I don't remember how to play those songs anymore, and I suck at reading sheet music. Also, I never took a video or audio recording of me playing Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca or Chopin's Prelude Op 28 No 20. The former song I wasn't a huge fan of, but my piano teacher at Kent School picked it for me to learn. I do love Yuja Wang's variations on the Turkish March though. The latter song, also chosen by my piano teacher at Kent School, is not a very difficult song, technically speaking, but I still think it's beautiful.

I also know how to play the song Heart and Soul and parts of a few other songs, such as the piano arpeggios in the beginning of Coldplay's Clocks.

I also was the first cellist in my middle school's orchestra. And I took one oboe lesson because I think it's a cool instrument.

Here I am at different times playing piano. I think I just recorded myself for each video by propping up my phone or camera on something.

Chopin - Prelude Op 28 No 4 - Jul 10 2008.
Debussy - Clair de Lune - Apr 15 2010. By this time I had already forgotten a bunch of it, but when I was in high school I could play the whole song without any obvious mistakes.
Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata III - Nov 5 2013. I never learned the whole song, only the beginning and end and some parts in between. This is such a badass song. I also know the first few measures of the (very popular) 1st movement. It's beautiful.
Bach - Invention No 13 - Nov 5 2013. I love this song, but I never learned the whole thing only some of the beginning and this part, which I love so much because the hands are doing completely different things at the same time. Bach was a genius.

Skateboarding

Here I am on Oct 24 2014 skateboarding at Heath Eiland and Morgan Moss BMX Skate Park in Austin, TX. I asked a guy nearby (who I think was also skating there that day) to take a video of me skating, and he was nice enough to do so.

Skating a mini ramp. I drop in, do a rock to fakie, and then can't stick the tail stall. It's not easy to tell, but the side of the ramp I drop in on is a bit lower than the other side, and that kept tripping me up. I could also do some other tricks, like nose stalls and frontside fakie salad stalls, but I didn't want to ask the guy to film me again. I also got to the point where I could do rock to fakies and tail stalls on the taller part of the mini ramp (in the background).