Szczepan Olszewski is part of the Miller lab for a year as part of the OMRF Polish science program,
Szczepan comes from a very small town in Poland. The entire town consists of his mother, his father, his two brothers, a grandfather, an uncle and aunt, three cousins, and some guy that slept over on his uncle’s couch after a raucous castle party sometime in the 1990s and just never left.
As a result, Szczepan, in addition to common Polish, speaks a unique Polish dialect known only to himself and his family. It started as a shorthand for use in sheep wrangling but evolved through long use into a complex form of Polish filled with idioms, similes, and contextual historic meanings lost to its native speakers that are now being untangled. This distinct dialect was discovered and cataloged by ethnogeographer Szalony Maks Rokatanski on a cross-country drive. Szalony Maks was amazed as an Olszewski clan member leapt off a speeding motorcycle to grapple a fleeing ewe while screaming, “Bądź świadkiem!” Szalony Maks was further intrigued as others of the family encouraged each other to be ”błyszczące i chromowane” during the course of their shepherd work.
Szczepan was an excellent student in the local school, after which was accepted to the Medical University of Gdansk, getting a BS in nutrition and diet. After a quick intonation of “Żyję, umieram, znów żyję,” he then persued his masters.