What is your favorite book or author? What do you like about them?
What is with these surveys and favorites? *A* favorite author of mine is AJ Jacobs. After completing college I rediscovered my love of reading and AJ’s The Know-It-All (there’s a long subtitle, too) was one of those early books and I have tried to read all of his subsequent books. He’s funny and maybe a little neurotic and I enjoy how he delves into projects and writes about how they impact his life (this book is about reading a complete edition of Encyclopedia Brittanica).
What is the hardest English assignment you ever had to do? What made it difficult? How did you do on it?
I hated writing in school, in part due to the physical pain it would give me in my hand and forearm. We had a monthly assignment in my 4th grade GATE class (make your assumptions) to do daily creative writing using prompts. Of course, I would wait until the last weekend of the month and then melt down at all the work. It also was the beginning of my struggle with picking favorites when a prompt was to pick an animal to interview and then write what questions we would ask. What should have been a puff piece had me spiraling because I (wrongly) assumed that I had to pick my favorite animal and couldn’t come up with an answer. Fuck. Did this really all start when I was 8?
Do you prefer Literature or Composition? How come?
I enjoyed reading, but book reports sucked. They kept assigning them to us in ever increasing amounts saying they were preparing us for high school. Once 7th grade rolled around I never had another book report assigned until a Chicano Studies class, and even that was optional if we didn’t want to interview someone. I ended up doing neither assignment and received an NP in the class.
Was there a particular English teacher that stood out to you in school (good or bad)? What made them stand out?
Mrs Johnson was a self-described dirty old lady and her class was ringed (rung?) with smutty romance novels with titles like Bargain Basement Baby, as well as more normal books. She encouraged us to read what interested us. She also had even more mature books like the one on the history of the female orgasm that detailed all manner of things and included old-timey diagrams and ads of sex toys and “treatments” that she asked we not remove from the class. She was also the first person to praise my writing, saying it had “pizzazz” or the like.
Is there a particular leader in history that stands out as especially good or bad to you? What makes them so memorable? If you were in charge at that time, would you do anything differently? If so, what?
Obviously Hitler. Fuck that guy.
E: I didn’t see the rest of the question it seems. He and his people did the whole Holocaust thing. I would have not done that.
If you could go back and live in any particular era, in any particular country or region, when and where would you choose? Why that place and time?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being an adult in the 90s seemed fun. And if I could profit off of investing in Apple and Netflix, or tell young me to do so (would my younger self exist in this same time period?), all the better.
Some people say that the idea of changing history is dangerous, that if we changed how history played out then we wouldn't be where we are today, for better or worse. What are your thoughts on that idea? If we could, is there anything that you would like to go back and change?
I think ripple effects would be unavoidable, unless time travel operated like in DBZ where I would be creating a new timeline and my existing timeline would still be there if I traveled back to it. Preventing atrocities like the Holocaust would be great, though that is quite complex and should be left to those more clever than I. So instead I would like to go back and convince myself to invest some money in Netflix in 2002 when it was $1/share and I had a little extra cash and to keep investing when I could as long as it was under $10/share. And then to sell when it hit/exceeded $100/share. A loooot of heartbreak could have been avoided without radically altering my life before then. And I don’t need to be greedy and wait for it to top $600.
In many schools, especially smaller ones, history teachers are often also coaches of athletic teams. Did you have any teachers who were also coaches? If so, do you think they did better as a teacher, as a coach, or performed equally between their jobs?
My history/government teacher coached football. I have no idea how well he coached though.
How much of pi (π) do you have memorized?
- 3.14 is good enough for me LOL (just gonna leave this answer)
When is the last time you realized you were consciously using math?
I use math most workdays (finance) and even sometimes during fun things like video games and tabletop RPGs, but I don’t know if I ever think of it as math in the moment.
Some say that mathematics is a universal language; what are your thoughts on that idea?
That reminds me of a story I read in my college newspaper where the columnist suggested writing 1+1=2 on a piece of paper, showing it to an attractive someone that doesn’t share a language, and then trying to stick your tongue in their ear. Never tried it, but it’s a funny thought.
Math teachers tend to be quirky; can you think of a silly story to share about or from a math teacher?
That’s quite the assumption, but I do have a somewhat funny story from my geometry class in high school. For whatever reason the number 69 was said out loud and Joey, one of the class clowns, loudly shouted “Sixty-nine!” as one does and then follows it up with, “Do you know what that is Mr Winfield?” Without missing a beat Mr Winfield said, “Of course older people know what that is. How else do you think you little stinkers are here?” I turned to my then-best (now ex, but that’s another story for a different survey) friend and said, “So I guess not, because that can’t lead to pregnancy.”
Do you have a favorite field of science? If so, which one? If not, is there a science that you think you might like to learn more about?
I am quite fond of learning human anatomy, if you know what I mean. But in all seriousness, I was good at learning about it and regurgitating the information for tests.
Have you ever performed an experiment? If so, what was the experiment? The result?
As a GATE student, the science fair was a requirement for us. In 4th grade proved that covering a plant’s pot with foil would not lead to it’s healthy growth, though my control didn’t grow much. I don’t remember my actual hypothesis.
When it comes to science, do you prefer the theoretical or the practical? What appeals to you about that one?
- Practical, I guess. I'm more about concrete evidence. (I’ll leave this one, too)
Is there a science teacher you had that left a lasting impression? If so, what did they impress upon you?
None positive, for sure. Don’t remember anything particularly negative that stuck with me either.